Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, is scheduled to get a working light rail system by the end of 2016 that will help ease traffic in the Africa’s most populous city, its governor said on Thursday.
Akinwuni Ambode said the city was inviting bids from contractors to build the network that will serve some 21 million Lagos residents who spend more than five hours every day commuting to and from work.
A previous 27 kilometer Blue Line rail projects awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) five years ago has suffered delays due to poor funding structure, graft and gross mismanagement.
The $2.5 billion project was supposed to be complete with one year but is yet to see the light of day to date.
Ambode told Reuters on Thursday that “by December 2016, the light rail should be delivered”. He said that a new funding arrangements was being made to speed up the CCECC project and have it ready next year.
“This project is driven by commercial loans and bonds leaning on the state’s Internally Generated Revenue. That arrangement cannot be sustained. We are negotiating a better package that will deliver the project by the end of 2016,” PUNCH quoted him as saying.
Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, is following in the footsteps of Ethiopia which last month launched the first light train in sub-Saharan Africa in its capital Addis Ababa.
Ambode said the light rail development tender had been opened and that a total of six lines were planned to connect northern and southern Lagos, a city whose economy is larger than most countries on the continent including Kenya and Ghana.
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