Managing Director of The Infrastructure Bank Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye has hinted that the proposed Lagos Metro Rail Transit (LMRT) project, also known as the Red Line, will cost N456 billion.
Oyinloye said in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday that the project was expected to cost so much because it involved fixed infrastructure – tracks, stations and rolling stocks.
“We still have some paper work to do with Lagos State for concession. Immediately the concession is done and we have a bankable document and get to finance close, then the project will start.
“We are hoping and believing that within the next six to eight months, we will be able to get to finance close and we will start,” he said.
Oyinloye said the bank was a member of the consortium which created the Marina Express Train Services and partnering to construct the rail line known as ‘Red Line’ project.
“Infrastructure bank is also the transaction advisor and finance arranger for the project. It bidded for the Red Line project which started since 2008.
“When we got the preferred bidder status, the right of way was not available, so we had to work with Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and Lagos State Ministry of Transport.
“We also had to work behind the scene with the Ministry of Transport to ensure that the right of way was granted,” Oyinloye said.
The right of way for the proposed Iddo-Agbado rail line was handed over to Lagos State in Abuja last Friday.
“There will be changes in the landscape of Lagos. There are about 1.8 million passengers daily who currently spend about four hours daily to get to work and another four hours to get back.
“After the completion of the project, the passengers will now need 30 minutes or maximum of 45 minutes to get to their destinations in a cosy train services.
“If you are living in Agbado or Agege and you work in CMS area or Victoria Island or you do business in Oke-Arin and Balogun Markets, you do not need more than 45 minutes to get to your destination,” he said.
Oyinloye said the proposed project was delayed due to transfer of asset from the Federal to State Government which required a lot of engagement and involved several ministries and departments.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation, , Mr Kayode Opeifa, said the project would create direct and indirect jobs during and after the construction.
“It will reduce the cost of transportation and save money for citizens; it will improve our mass transit system by moving more people within a shorter period by decongesting the road and managing the traffic accurately,” he said.
SOURCE: Nigerian Tribune