Lagos unveils $1billion urban rail project

In conjunction with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Lagos State Government has unveiled the Lagos Urban Railway Development project which is aimed at paving the way for a new transportation system to be called the Automated Guide Transit (AGT) – a type of monorail.

The survey titled, “Lagos Urban Railway Development Project in the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, was revealed at a seminar held last week in Ikeja with all the relevant stakeholders in attendance.

The study showed that the new transportation system would help mitigate traffic congestion and improve the environment in Lagos state. The monorail project will run from Marina to Victoria Island and Ikoyi.

Speaking at the event, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr.  Dayo Mobereola, stated that the project is estimated to be executed at about $1 billion dollars, a huge percentage of which would come from the private sector.

Explaining further, Mobereola said the project has to commence from Marina, Victoria Island and Ikoyi, because the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lagos State comes mainly from the axis and it constitutes a major attraction for investments in Lagos.

He noted that during this project, major existing structures would not be affected, since the middle of the roads would be used for its implementation. However he emphasised that compensation would be paid by the State where existing structures are affected.

According to LAMATA Acting Managing Director, Mr. Iyiola Adeboye, the project, is aimed at ensuring smooth transportation and reducing gridlock in Lagos State.

Adegboye said “Lagos state should have a mega city structure as is seen in other countries.”

Commenting on the state of transportation in Lagos Island, LAMATA Public Transport Director, Gbenga Dairo, an engineer, observed that the current issues affecting road networking around Victoria Island and Ikoyi, were inappropriate road layout, poor traffic management, inadequate public transport and institutional obstacles.

In his remarks, the team leader, Urban Railway and Transport Planning, JICA, Mr. Akiyama Yoshihiro, said the preparatory survey carried out in August, 2015, was based on terms of reference agreed on between JICA and LAMATA.

Yoshihiro explained that JICA conducted its first survey on route planning/demand forecast between March and April 2016 and as a follow up on rough estimate of project cost review of funding policy, comparison and review of the new transportation systems, initial environmental and social considerations.

He assured the stakeholders that with or without gas supply, there would be an integrated generator to power the project.

The team leader stressed that after much deliberation in reviewing the route plan of Victoria Island Monorail Line in revised

Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) and considering route options for the project, the conclusion on the proposed best route plan was actualised with the total length of approximately 15.4km and 16 stations within. This connects Marina to British International School Way with two ways visible in both island Victoria Island and Ikoyi.

The basic concept of the survey is to minimise obstruction and to check for possible land acquisition that will result to good connectivity with other transport modes and Eko Atlantic City.

Stakeholders representative present at the seminar include: Federal Ministry of Transport, Lagos State Ministry of Finance, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Julius Berger, Access Bank Ltd, Unity Bank Ltd, Skye Bank, FCMB and Agencies Franchise de Development. Others are Morubeni Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance, Toyota Nigeria, AIICO Pension, Lekki Concession Company, CFAO Yamaha Motor, National Inland Water Ways Authority, Obalende LCDA.