The Blue line of the Lagos Metro line system that was launched last week, is only one of seven megacity rail lines that will invariably drastically reduce vehicular traffic on Lagos Roads, according to the megacity’s two decades old Development Masterplan.
For many who were not even sure that Lagos State indeed had a development Masterplan, the commercial operations launch of West Africa’s first inner-city rail metro with sea crossing last week, was also a final proof that not only is there a Lagos Masterplan, the Masterplan certainly contains many desirable goodies for the state harbouring the former Nigerian political capital city, and now fast growing to be Africa’s most populous city.
Lagos State is the commercial capital of Nigeria.But the state is the tiniest State in Nigeria which is Africa’s largest economy. It is therefore one of the most densely populated commercial capital cities in the world. There may indeed be as many as 10 metro rail lines in Lagos, even if essentially four of such lines may be branches off six main lines.
The blue line that was launched last week, is set to be joined by the Red Line, most likely within the next one year. The Red Line is almost ready. The Train Engines and Coaches have already been delivered more than one year ago. The Red Line too will be iconic. It already promises to be the fastest city metro line in Africa, with an engine that can run at more than 200 kilometres an hour, although it certainly will not be running at that speed.
Today’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria is the political leader who spear-headed the birthing of the Lagos Masterplan some two decades ago. He also began the execution of the Masterplan by laying the solid foundation now being built on by successive administrations in Lagos State. But Asiwaju Tinubu was way back then, only trying to follow the giant footsteps of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who led the Western Region of Nigeria to lead Africa in many pioneering landmark socio-economic and infrastructural development achievements, some seven decades back.
Today’s three month-old Nigerian federal government led by the same Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will soon be drawing a similar, but more comprehensive Development Masterplan for Nigeria. It is in the interest of all lovers of good things in Nigeria, to support the pulling up, pushing up and rebuilding of Nigeria, rather than the pulling down, threshing and breaking up of Nigeria, as being canvassed by some persons.
The future greatness of Nigeria is definitely predicated on our return to the practice of true federalism and recreation of a true federation where every region will be free to develop along its own chosen trajectory and its own pace, without any region holding down or trying to influence the developmental path chosen by another region.
But any better-run Nigerian federation that will emerge tomorrow must be supported by an in-built regional peer review system which will ensure that no part of Nigeria is left behind in socioeconomic development. This is one critical essence of a national development Masterplan. It is one more reason why it is desirable for the majority of Nigerians to support the Tinubu-led federal government. Doing so looks set to be a worthy cause.
Here are some details of Nigeria’s first-ever urban Rail Masterplan – The 21 year-old Lagos Rail Masterplan.
The Rail Masterplan is headlined by a parastatal of the Lagos State government, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). LAMATA was created by an Act signed into law on January 13, 2002 by the then Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
LAMATA is the urban transport implementation agency of the Lagos State government. The original Masterplan details six rail systems that are differentiated by colours are: Green line, Purple line, Yellow line, Orange line, Blue line and Red line.
BLUE LINE: The 27-kilometre rail line from Okokomaiko to Marina. The first phase, already commissioned, Governor @jidesanwoolu has kickstarted commercial operations, it runs from Mile 2 to Marina with stop-overs at National Theatre, Iganmu, Alaba, Mile 2.
RED LINE: A 37km rail line that will move from Ebute Metta (Oyingbo) to Agbado, cutting across so many major passenger routes like Agege, Mushin, Yaba, Oshodi, Jibowu and others
GREEN LINE: A 68km rail designed to run through Marina, Victoria Island, Lekki Phase 1, Ajah, Lekki 2, Ogombo, Elepetu, Eluju, Lekki Airport and Lekki Free Trade Zone and projected to carry over 500,000 passengers per day at starting, rising to over a million in 2031.
PURPLE LINE: 60km rail designed to run through Redemption Camp, Mowe, Long Bridge, Isheri, Toll Gate, Omole, Ogba, Agege, Iyana Ipaja, Isheri Osun, Igando, Iba, Estate, LASU, Okokomaiko and Ojo.
ORANGE LINE: This 48km line is designed to run through Ikeja, Alausa, Magodo, Mile 12, Irawo, Itolowo, MajidunAwori, Majidun Ogolonto, Agric Ikorodu, Alapadi, Maya, Eligana, Isiwu, Ibere, Imota and Agbowa in Ikorodu.
YELLOW LINE: A 34km rail system designed to traverse Otta, Meran, Alimosho, Ipaja, Isheri Osun, Ejigbo, Mafoluku, Isolo, Surulere and the National Theatre, with a projected daily capacity of 238,000 passengers, rising to 486,000 in few years. Yet another line is planned to link this Yellow Line from Iyana Ona LASU junction.
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