In continuation of his two-day working visit to Lagos State, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commissioned the first phase of the Blue Line Rail of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) and the JK Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History.
The president who had on Monday commissioned the Lekki Deep Sea Port, the Lagos Rice Mill, Imota among others in the programme tagged: :Festival of Commissioning” at the banquet organised by the state government in his honour, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the landmark projects.
Buhari described Governor Sanwo-Olu as a ‘’True Ambassador of Progressive Politics.’’
Among the dignitaries at the event were the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of youth and sports Sunday Dare, members of the state executive council, members of the state House of Assembly, monarchs such as the Oniru of Iruland Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, Elegushi of Ikateland Oba Saheed Elegushi, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRosheed Akanbi; lawmakers, former assistant inspector- general of police (AIG) Hakeem Odumosu, former Lagos APC chairman Tunde Balogun
At the unveiling of the Lagos Blue Rail and signing of the contract for the second phase of the Blue Line Project held in Marina, Sanwo-Olu applauded the role played by President Buhari in the actualisation of the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line Rail.
He said the president granted the state waivers on customs duties to import infrastructure equipment and trains for the project.
Sanwo-Olu said, ‘’I want to thank you for your commitment and support you have given us. You mentioned it last night and I think it is important for us to mention it again that you have given us waivers, you have given us clearing waivers on Customs duties to bring our trains in for this project. You are a forward looking president that when we have people oriented, driven programmes , you are willing to support us all the time.
“The completion of the Blue Line here, the first rail system by a sub-national in Africa, is a sea crossing. It’s a testament that indeed, the dark days of oppression are behind us as a government and what we will be commissioning here today (Tuesday) is the first phase.’’
According to Sanwo-Olu, the rail infrastructure is “expected to cover less than 15 minutes as compared to a journey time that hitherto will take about an hour and a half to two hours.”
Sanwo-Olu who emphasised that the Blue Line is to be powered end to end by high voltage electricity, supplied by delegated independent power with a back-up system, said the train has the capacity to transport per hour, an average of 25,000 passengers.
Also , the deputy governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, described the project as the “Most audacious rail project to be funded by a sub-national government” in Nigeria, saying that it is not surprising that the landmark Blue Rail would reduce pressure on road and put the state on the pedestal of other cities around the world.