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Lagos Red Line Train Will Be Flagged Off By End Of February, Says Governor Sanwo-Olu

“We have started doing some bit of testing and if the President is able to check his calendar and give us last week in February, we are waiting for him.”

The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the Lagos Red line Train will be flagged off soon, as he said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has set the end of February for the flagging off of the project.

Sanwo-Olu said this while he concluded transactional talks with the senior management of the China Railway Rolling Equipment Corporation headquarters in Dalian, China, on Sunday when he visited about the procurement of rolling equipment for the State’s Blue and Red rail lines.

The governor revealed that based on expectations, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will flag off the Red Line in last week of February as he said, “We are ready for the flag off of the Red Line. We are waiting for Mr. President. The President is still promising us this month February for us to formally flag it off. We have started doing a lot of testing.

“We have some rolling stocks already. We have started doing some bit of testing and if the President is able to check his calendar and give us last week in February, we are waiting for him. And thereafter, we would probably cross the ‘t’ and dot the ‘i’ to ensure that we have enough safety to begin to carry passengers.”

While on a business tour to China with a few high-ranking government officials, Governor Sanwo-Olu stated Lagos will make sure that cutting-edge technology is used in infrastructure development.

The governor said, “We are at the Dalian train manufacturing plant. They are manufacturers of the existing Blue Line trains. We have also come here to order new rolling stock for both the Red Line and additional rolling stock for the Blue Line.

“It is a very impressive facility. They have been in this business for over 100 years. And they are indeed one of the foremost and known train coaches’ manufacturers in the world. As you can see, these are all finished products that have been done for other cities. And I am sure, like you have seen the red ones, the ones for Lagos too, will be on this track very soon.

“We are indeed excited that we are also bringing the technology back to us in Lagos. They have agreed with us and given the number of rolling stock we are procuring, there is a need for us to have a joint maintenance conversation. And we have seen that indeed, when we collaborate like this, we are not just doing procurement, we are actually doing knowledge and skill transfer. Lagos still expects a whole lot more.

“A train is not something you just buy off the shelf. We were not as lucky as when we were in Milwaukee, which was produced for a particular city, but we had to just pay the premium and take it off. It usually takes between two to three years for you to finish the manufacturing because each one of them has its specifications, the platform and the load that you require.

“They have done the Blue line before. So, in less than a year, we are going to still have a tough discussion with them. Before the end of the year, we are expecting that some of the rolling stock will start coming in. And the final bid should come in early next year. We are ready for them. This is the best we can get in terms of delivery time.”

Sanwo-Olu also said at the meeting that in accordance with Traffic Management and Transportation, the first pillar of the THEMES+ developmental plan, his administration will lessen traffic congestion in Lagos.

The Governor urged the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation to provide more rolling stock for the Red and Blue lines by the end of the year, after they had supplied that for the Blue Line train.

In response to the governor’s request, the organisation promised that the extra rolling stock for the Blue and Red lines—which the Lagos State Government had purchased from China—would arrive in December.

Additionally, they reaffirmed their commitment to an ongoing collaboration and engagement in the field of rail transport with the Lagos State administration.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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