Sanwo-Olu Orders Cleanup along Lagos Red Line Corridor
By Yemi Olakitan
As the Lagos Red Line Rail Project approaches completion, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered a thorough cleaning of the Lagos Red Line Corridor to prepare for its eventual opening.
The 37-kilometer-long Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line infrastructure is nearly finished, but Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized that it will not be made accessible to the public until all stations are fully equipped and safety measures are in place.
Accompanied by Deputy Governor Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and members of the State cabinet, Governor Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, conducted an inspection of the Red Line’s infrastructure and oversaw the environmental cleanup during a visit to the project’s main stations.
The Governor examined the retrofitting work being carried out on Talgo train cars, which are awaiting deployment for the Red Line service. These trains are being equipped at the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) facility, Mobolaji Johnson Station, in Ebute Metta.
The Red Line project, conceptualized and initiated by the Sanwo-Olu government, spans from Agbado to Oyingbo.
The Governor’s tour began with a stop in Agbado, which shares a border with Ogun State, where progress on the train terminal was assessed. The terminal is situated hundreds of meters away from the Lateef Jakande Station, owned by the NRC.
The inspection continued at the Red Line’s Iju and Agege terminals, where platforms and furniture were already installed to finalize the stations and make them operational.
The remaining tasks at the Ikeja mega station included interior building demarcations and cleaning, as turnstiles, escalators, cooling systems, lighting fixtures, and other auxiliary features had already been installed.
At the Red Line’s Yaba Station, Governor Sanwo-Olu was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd of locals who accompanied him as he inspected the infrastructure.
Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that the project would be completed by the end of the year and expressed his satisfaction with the project’s progress and the quality of work being done.
Prior to the project’s completion, the Governor directed a comprehensive cleanup of the Red Line corridor and ordered the prompt removal of trespassers and unauthorized individuals from the area.
“We took advantage of the holiday to inspect the Red Line infrastructure construction, which is nearing completion,” he remarked. We could see the condition of the stations and their platforms at every stop we made. We discovered that there is still some work to be done, particularly in regards to clearing up all erroneous operations that are taking place on the train line. Additionally, we are making our last approach around all of the remaining pedestrian bridges on the route.
“Based on what I have seen, I can say that I am really impressed with the calibre of work being done by all contractors on the Red Line project. We should be able to complete the project before the end of the year, in my opinion. The contractors will be pushed to work nonstop to determine if they can complete on time. We will police the law strictly and remove trespassers from the rail route. All traders discovered on the corridor have been given notice to leave, and when the operation begins, we will wall off the whole corridor to allow for passenger flow.
“The Red Line is being built as planned, and many people can’t wait for it to be finished and for people to start utilising it. However, we cannot take security precautions for granted. Before launching it, everything needs to be in order. This is the reason I came out today and urged the contractors to finish the cleanup, testing, and other tasks. The bare least that my government owes to its citizens is what we want to provide for them as best we can.
Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of the Red Line rails, which are at ground level, by fully barricading the corridor to prevent interference with the tracks and potential accidents.
He also announced plans to improve traffic flow on flyovers constructed to facilitate rail crossings, including the Ikeja Along, Yaba, and Ebute Metta flyovers.
The Yaba Bridge is expected to open to traffic in October, with additional completed flyovers along the Red Line track being opened one at a time starting next month.
The Governor reaffirmed the government’s commitment to building two rail lines, with the Blue Line already operational and work progressing on the second phase.