Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called for the Federal Government’s support to enable the state to efficiently put in place necessary infrastructure that will also contribute to the huge size of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, made the call on Monday as he received, on behalf of the governor, the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Mass Transit Scheme at the Round House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the state needed such assistance as, according to him, “there will be no progress recorded in the country if the big cities are not taken care of,” pointing out that his administration had to take up the Blue Rail Line among the huge projects being embarked upon due to the large population in the state.
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This was just as he noted that Lagos State happened to be the first to take up such a project anywhere in the world without the Federal Government’s inventions, pointing out that execution of the Blue Line took a long time because of its financial implications for the state.
“Despite the state being the first to take up such a system, no other sub-sovereign anywhere in the world has run rail without the Federal Government’s inventions,” he said.
“It would be difficult to run a city like Lagos without mass transit; the government cannot have a city that is 0.4 per cent of the land mass of the country but hosts 11 per cent of the population.
It is going to be chaotic, and that is why we decided as a state government to bite the bullet and start running it,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu also noted that the first phase of the 27-kilometre blue rail project had just been completed, running from Marina to Okokomaiko, and said that the 14-kilometre second phase had been awarded and would be commencing soon.
The governor disclosed that the Blue Rail transports about 150,000 people daily, with an estimated number of people to be transported daily of between 480,000 and 500,000 upon its completion, hinting that one million Lagosians would be conveyed daily to their various destinations at the commencement of the Red Line operation.
On water transportation, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration had enormously increased the operation of its Lagferry operations with the purchase of more ferries, adding: “It has gotten to a stage where we now build these ferries in the state; currently, the state has built about fifteen ferries, and of course, our private partners are also running.”
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Mass Transit Scheme, Hon. Afam Victor Ogeme, stated that the committee was being saddled by the plenary to look into reasons for previous failed mass transits.
The lawmaker, however, acknowledged that most of the infrastructure put up in Lagos was worthy of emulation by the component states across the country.
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