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Lagos State integrates rail, road, water transport to ease traffic – Commissioner

The Lagos State Government says work is in
progress to integrate the rail, road and water transport systems to address the
persistent gridlocks in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Transport, Mr Ladi Lawanson, disclosed this
to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.
“In order to get everything right, the state government implementing a
master plan to integrate the major transportation systems to ensure free flow
of traffic and curb incessant gridlocks.
“The transportation master plan involves the three major modes of
transportation: the rail, road and water.
“For the road transport, work is going on to ensure the
transportation sector is transformed to the modern system which is practised
“The road system has the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which we have
been using for a while and the state served as the operator.
“We were running it like that until we found out that the method
was not suitable because government, to be frank, has no business to be in a
“Rather, the government has decided to opt out and now be a
regulator,” he said.
Lawanson also said the state government was committed to ensuring
the safety of the people using the waterways as their means of transportation
within the state.
According to him, to tackle emergencies on the waterways more
efficiently, the Lagos State government is to procure life-saving, quick
response boats.
“The state government is working on bringing ideals and best
practices on water transportation as the sub-sector requires millions dollars
of investment, if we are to do it right.
“We are going to procure life-saving boats, top speed boats and
quick response boats such that, anytime there is an emergency, we will rescue
promptly without recording any casualty,” he told NAN.
Lawanson said, “The government also distributes free life jackets
to jetties periodically to save lives on waterways.
“There is at least a guard in every jetty in the state to properly
kit passengers with life jackets before any journey because safety of life and
property is very important.”
The commissioner said the government would set up a security institution
on water transport, but that the institution would require a lot of training
because water transportation was hazardous.
According to him, the government has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with a French firm, Alstom, to complete the Blue Rail project
after a technical review.
“Before now, what was done was civil works; other components
including signal, electrical and rolling stock have not been covered.
“Alstom is very good in the different aspects of the technology
required to make it a success,’’ he said.
Lawanson said that discussions with potential partners and
financiers had also commenced on the Red Line aspect of the project which was
referred to as ‘Phase Two.’
According to him, it will run from Marina to Agbado on the
northern flank of Lagos.
“Putting a rail project together requires a lot of patience and
resourcefulness in terms of financing, where the financing will come from and
who we are going to use,” the commissioner disclosed.

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