by Ajadi Daniel
The Lagos light rail project was supposed to revolutionize the transport sector in the state thus facilitating the mega city vision of Lagos. Not that Lagos is not a mega city, it is of course. But here we are talking about a modern mega city with infrastructures to support its ever growing population. The light rail project is part of the Lagos master plan. The project was started as far back as 2006, but it is yet to become a reality.
The project was started as far back as 2006, the contract was awarded in 2008, it was scheduled to start service by the first quarter of 2014 after the contract was awarded.
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Presently there are no express reasons from the state government as to why the project has not been completed except the obvious reason and the one given initially, which is the usual unavailability of funds.
According to the Ventures, Lagos state government has borrowed about N160 billion ($981 million) from the World Bank. The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) developed the Lagos Rail Mass Transit and also sponsored the project which is expected to have seven lines.
The project is expected to make transportation easier for lagosians and also effectively link the inter land with the mainland and also the island. In spite of the vivacity of the planners when the project was started, the project is taking long to come, the major setback being fund.
The project was awarded in 2008 to the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) at the cost of $1.2 billion and was initially set for completion in 2011. After this there had been several deadlines given for the project, but the present reality of the project does not justify the deadlines.
Work has temporarily stopped on the project, even though it is difficult to state categorically that the project has been abandoned. It would be difficult for the state to abandon such project because of the enormity of resources that has gone into it, and the potentials it holds for the state mega/ modern city aspirations.
Yet eleven years and still counting, the project is yet to come.