The Lagos Rail Mass Transit Blue Line System in Nigeria has finally commenced commercial operations after four decades.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, marked the occasion by becoming the first passenger to ride the train during its inaugural journey, which took place on Monday.
The train’s route took it from the Marina terminal to Mile 2, and then it made a return trip from Mile 2 to Marina.
The Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, had earlier announced that commercial operations for the Lagos Blue Line Rail would start on Monday, September 4, with Governor Sanwo-Olu as the first passenger.
The concept of a metro line for Lagos State was first introduced in 1983 during the administration of the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the state’s first civilian governor. Despite initial preparations, the project was halted due to a military coup led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.
The project was revived in 2003 by former Governor Bola Tinubu, two decades after its initial proposal. The Blue Line rail construction, spanning 27 kilometers, began during the tenure of former Governor Babatunde Fashola. The project was planned in phases, with the first phase covering the Marina to Mile 2 section.
Subsequent administrations, including that of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, promised completion dates for the project, which were not met.
However, in January 2023, former President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the first phase, and it was announced that commercial operations would begin in March 2023, with the date later postponed to September 4, 2023.
Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed his excitement at the launch of the Blue Line rail and emphasized that it was a promise fulfilled. He announced that the Red Line rail was nearly complete and would be unveiled by the end of the year.
The governor also highlighted plans for the commissioning of various bridges and stations, as well as the opening of key transportation links in the coming months.