The Federal Government has approved the construction of the $2.4 billion Lagos red line rail project.
Commissioner for Transportation Dayo Mobereola said approving the right-of-way for the project had been a problem for years.
He said the last Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led Federal Government foot-dragged in approving the right-of-way, which belonged to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
According to him, it took Lagos four and half years to get approval for the project and another four years for discussion on the technicality of the project.
“It took us four and half years to get approval for the project. It took us another four years to get them to discuss the technicality of the project with us. The right-of-way has been approved and we are in full discussion with the bidders,” he said.
On the Blue Line Light Rail project, the commissioner said the government would complete it by the end of next year.
He said Lagos was the only state in the world to have embarked on such project without support from the Federal Government, adding that such projects normally take around seven years to complete.
The commissioner said it took Dubai, with all its resources, seven years to complete its rail project and in some places, 22 years.
“We are mindful of the problem of transportation in Lagos State. Towards the end of next year, something will happen. Our rail project is 27 km and we are doing it in phases. We are doing Mile 2 to CMS now and we will do Mile 2 to Okokomaiko later,” he said.
Mobereola added that the first train was purchased this year and that government would bring it on board to test-run the rail system from Mile 2-CMS.
He said his vision as commissioner was to make public transportation safe, reliable, accessible and comfortable.
According to him, there was need to develop mass transit transport scheme for the benefit of the people.
Speaking on the challenges of the State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation Olanrewaju Elegushi said inadequate personnel had been the problem of the outfit.
He said the 2,300 officers of the authority were insufficient to control traffic.
Elegushi said the outfit ran three shifts, adding that the government was working to boost the organisation’s workforce.