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Ambo Fashola

Lagos gains most from FG as new transmission, rail link to Abuja get underway

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…Silence overshadows Lagos-Calabar railway captured in 2018 budget

Searching for any state that has gained most from both energy and transport infrastructure master plan of the current administration, it can be said to be Lagos State.

This is coming from discoveries that the state has the highest chunk of both allocations from federal government in terms of power, rail and new road schemes when compared to others.

Only recently, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola was in Lagos to inaugurate a massive electricity transmission system constructed in Ejigbo axis of the state.

Details revealed that major components of the transmission system came from the recently released abandoned power components containers numbering over 900 or which about 600 had been delivered to the government.

Industry experts say Lagos was the first state to gain from the release of the abandoned containers carrying power equipment stock at the Apapa ports since the previous administration.

Though it was not clear whether it stemmed from the fact that it was one of the states that gave the highest votes during the 2015 election or because it apparently boosts of making the highest number of high ranking officials of the federal government, statistics show that Lagos has been a road and rail construction sites in the last three years of the present administration ranging from rail from Lagos to Ibadan, extension of rail to ports, ongoing Lagos-Ibadan highway and recent approval for Lagos-Badagry-Seme international expressway.

On Wednesday last week, Business Hilights gathered that work is in the pipeline for a hi-tech transportation system for the Lagos-Abuja route.

It would be recalled that during the consideration of 2018 national budget, there were mild drama on the omission and later inclusion of the Lagos-Calabar rail scheme which about N700bn was approved for.

But even as the financial year is coming to an end, there had not been any mention of the scheme by any government official till date and even Nigerians along the corridor are yet to speak up on why the scheme had been silenced.

Besides, the emerging fast cable light rail project will cover the distance of Lagos and Abuja in 45 minutes at an average speed of 150km per hour but has capacity for 500km per hour.

At a gathering in Lagos to sensitive members of the public to the project, the Regional Head, Skyway String Transport Technology, Mr Arogundade Samson, said the fast transport system had been carefully designed to assist the government in alleviating the sufferings of the people in moving from one point to another.

He added that the company is fully committed; possess the technical knowhow and financial capability to deliver the project in good time, as long as it enjoys support and cooperation of the Lagos and Federal Government.

A top official of the company’s board, Vladimir Maslov, said the company was ready to sign an agreement with the Federal Government and Lagos State to signal the beginning of the fast track transportation project.

Explaining more, the Nigerian partner for the project, Ayodele Adewale, said it would largely assist the government’s drive in boosting infrastructures in the country.

The group was silent on other adjoining cities through which the new light fast rail will traverse before reaching the Federal Capital territory.

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