Gov, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the inauguration of the Ikeja Overpass bridge will boost business and reduce traffic along the Ikeja and Agege areas of Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu spoke during the official inauguration of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line Ikeja Overpass Bridge on Tuesday, in Lagos.
He said that in 2002, President Ahmed Tinubu inaugurated LAMATA, which had created a lot of infrastructure in Lagos State.
“Today we are commissioning the fourth bridge, and before the end of January 2024, we will commission the Mushin overpass bridge, which is 90 per cent completed now.
“Just about three years ago, we gave our word on the implementation of two rail lines, the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue and Red lines.
“Today, the first phase of the Blue Line is already in operation, giving a lot of relief to those using its corridor of operations.
“The infrastructure we are commissioning today is one of the five overpass bridges we planned for the Red Line alignment.
“This will be the fourth to be commissioned, leaving only the Mushin overpass bridge.
“These overpass bridges are all about our commitment to the safety of our people by developing a permanent solution to the recurring fatal vehicle/train accident collisions at railway crossings.
“The completion and formal commissioning of this safety infrastructure is a precursor to the commencement of passenger operations of the Red Line, which will be commissioned by our dear President, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, in the first quarter of next 2024,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that in the last four and half years of their administration, they had prioritised the implementation of integrated transportation system under the traffic management and transportation pillar of the THEMES+ agenda.
Sanwo-Olu said that his adminstration had been able to deliver life-enhancing transport infrastructure, which were making life easier for the average Lagos residents.
The governor said that the Blue line, which was operating over 50 trips daily, would increase to 72 or more trip in January 2024.
Sanwo-Olu said that the LRMT Red Line rail system, the first phase of which was projected to move more than 500,000 passengers daily, stretched over a distance of 27 kilometres.
He said it stretched from Agbado to Oyingbo, with eight stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba and terminated at Oyingbo.
“Our administration is committed to the goal of achieving a zero-carbon State, with the expectation of becoming an emission-neutral city by 2050.
“We are piloting the use of buses powered by Compressed Natural Gas on defined corridors.
“We have only recently concluded the proof-of-concept phase in the deployment of electric vehicle buses to test their suitability for our environment.
“We are moving to the pilot phase in 2024 with the deployment of 50 buses.
“We will continue to work with the private sector on these initiatives for us to achieve seamless integrated transport system befitting the economic nerve centre of Nigeria and 5th largest economy in Africa,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that his adminstration would remain committed to a transport system that is safe, sustainable, integrated, seamless and with the potential to drive the socio-economic growth and development of the state, and indeed Nigeria.
The Governor of Kwara State, Mr AbdulRahman Abdulrasak, said that between 1990 and now, there had been massive development in Lagos, which was achieved by policy consistency.
Abdulrasak commended Lagos and the team working to achiev great development in the state.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Oluwaseun Osiyemi, commended the effort of Lagos State, under the leadership of Sanwo-Olu and Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
“In line with these efforts, our ministry is dedicated to formulating policies that prioritise the ease of commuting for our citizens.
“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Lagosians experience a transit system that not only enhances connectivity but also promotes a safe environment,” Osiyemi said.
He said that the Ikeja overpass bridge, among the infrastructure projects apportioned to Lagos State by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, underscored the commitment to enhancing vehicular traffic circulation in and out of the state capital.
Osiyemi urged motorists and commuters to embrace the vision by strictly adhering to traffic rules and regulations.
He implored the business community in the vicinity to take ownership of the project, understanding its pivotal role in shaping the future of transportation in Lagos.
The Commissioner said activities such as hawking or selling on the bridge would not be tolerated, and the prohibition of commercial motorcycles on the bridge would be enforced.
The Executive Chairman, Ikeja Local Government, Dr Mojeed Balogun, said that the bridge would reduce traffic on Awolowo Way.
He pleaded that government should extend construction to Anifowose area in Ikeja.
The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, Dr Mudashiru Obasa, said that the bridge would improve business in commuter village and Ikeja area.
The Chairman, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Mr Zhang Zhichen, commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu and the LAMATA team, for giving them support to achieve the milestone.
Zhichen commended Lagos communities for their cooperation during the project, saying that the successful completion would improve business and enhance transportation system in Lagos.
He said that CCECC would be ready to participate in further construction in Lagos.
The Managing Director, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, said that one of the highly essential components of the Red Line was the construction of five overpass bridges to separate vehicular and pedestrian traffic from train traffic.
” A total of 10 level crossings were identified along the LRMT Red Line rail corridor, over which overpass bridges should be built.
“Five were allocated to the Lagos State Government and five others to the Federal Ministry of Transport.
“These bridges are an essential part of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line rail project to ensure the safety of the people of Lagos,” she said.
According to her, the LRMT Red Line Ikeja Overpass Bridge has a total length of 620 meters.
” I would also like to inform you that the infrastructure to support the operation of the 27-kilometre stretch representing the first phase LRMT Red Line rail, which is a 37-kilometre rail road, are already in place.
“The rail platforms are built at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege and Iju. By and large, the system is ready for test operation.
“The Red Line, when opened for passenger operations, will tremendously improve the state GDP.
“The entire 37-kilometre Red line is expected to move more than one million passengers daily when fully operational.
”This train line will reduce congestion, emission and facilitate easy movement for commuters and goods,”Akinajo said.