by Usman Alabi
Embarking on a light rail project is an audacious venture, it is not just something that any state could venture into if they do not have the financial capacity to undertake it or an attractive economy that could secure a loan for such venture.
Although, one could argue that the population of a state should not necessarily hinder the construction of such project, but it is important to put into consideration the economic potential of a state before embarking on such project. Abuja is not as populous as Kano and Lagos, but it has a thriving economy and it is a federal capital territory. Ogun State perhaps embarked on such a project to leverage on its closeness to Lagos and the fact that eventually Ogun would become the Industrial and manufacturing base, as well as home for Lagos, while Lagos is a mega commercial beehive. Hence, in that situation, people can leave in Ogun and work in Lagos.
Below are the Light Rail Projects across the country
Abuja Light Rail
It is an ongoing project to build a light rail transport system in the FCT. The first phase of the project will connect the city center to Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, stopping at the standard gauge railway station in Idu. The FCT minister said in July this year that the first phase of the project is 77 per cent complete and that the project would be launched in December 2017. The Abuja Light Rail Project is intended to link Abuja satellite towns such as Nyanya, Kubwa, Mararaba and Lugbe.
The project was officially started in 2007 when President Obasanjo performed the opening ceremony in May of that year. The project was originally linked to the city’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014, but it was delayed due to unavailability of funds. The Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation was awarded the contract.
Lagos Light Rail Project
The light rail project in Lagos is being developed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) on behalf of Lagos. LAMATA proposed seven lines in the network: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange.
But the line presently developed is the Blue line, which is being handled by CCECC. The project is in two phases, the first phase covers National theatre to Mile 2 while the Second phase includes mile 2 to Okokomaiko section. The project was slated for completion December 2016, but there are unconfirmed reports that it would not go into full operation until 2017.
Ogun state Light rail project
Ogun State according to the Governor, Ibikunle Amosun will commence the construction of a 195 kilometres light rail project in January 2017. The Project includes 57km Agbara-Berger; 54km Ofada-Sagamu; and 84km Abeokuta-Sagamu-Ijebu Ode rail projects. The projects would be completed by 2019.
Kano Light Rail Project
Kano State recently signed a contract valued at 1.8 billion Dollars with China Railway Construction Group C18 for the construction of light rail line in the state. The first phase of the project was billed to take two years, while the second phase of the four-line rail is expected to take another two years. Upon completion, the project is expected to cover Janguza-Bata, Jogana-Bata, Dawanau-Bata and Kwanar Dawaki-Bata routes in Kano city.
Do you think these states can maintain the infrastructure?, let us have your take on this matter.