The Lagos Light Rail Project: 27 Things You Should Know About This Project

1. In 1983, the idea for a Metroline Project for Lagos state was conceived and proposed. It was proposed by the then governor of Lagos State – Lateef Jakande.

2. Lateef Jakande christened the project the “Metroline Project” and it was to be handled by Interinfra, a French company.

3. The project was estimated to cost N683 million.

4. The first phase of the Metroline Project was expected to be completed in three years. The project commenced, though at a relatively slow pace.

5. A year before the completion date, the Metroline Project was terminated by the Buhari-led Federal Government. The reason given for the cancellation of the project was the unavailability of funds.

6. In December 2003, due to the enormous deficit in mass transit infrastructure, the then Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, announced the plan to revive the Metroline project. The project was renamed the “Lagos Light Rail” Project, also known as the “Eko Rail”.

7. The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), founded a year earlier, was saddled with the responsibility of managing the “Lagos Light Rail” Project.

8. The effort to develop the “Lagos Light Rail” Project involved an initial phase of building 2 lines – the Red and Blue lines, with the intention of extending it to 7 lines.

9. There was a five-year delay before the project kicked off. The contract for the project was awarded to the Chinese firm, Civil Engineering Construction Company (CECC). The project cost was valued at$1.2billion. The completion date was set for 2011.

10. After the project commenced, the Lagos State government began seeking for investors that would operate and maintain these lines after the construction. The plan was to award a concession contract to the potential investors of which would last for 25 – 30 years. The concessionaire would also be involved in the design and construction of the infrastructure relating to the operation and maintenance of the lines.

11. A loan of $200 million was obtained, by the Lagos state government from the World Bank for the completion of the Light Rail Project and other infrastructure projects. 

12. The Blue line of the “Lagos Light Rail” Project is expected to begin at Marina on Lagos Island and extend to Okokomaiko. This particular line was expected to be entirely funded by the Lagos State Government.

13. The total length of the Blue line (Okokomaiko to Marina) is 27km (17 miles). It comprises a total of 13 stations namely Marina, Ebute Ero, Iddo, Iganmu, Alaba, Mile 2, Festac, Alakija, Trade Fair station, Volkswagen station, LASU and the Okokomaiko station.

14. The total length of the Red line is expected to extend from Agbado to Marina via Iddo and Murtala Mohammed International Airport). It will span 31km (20 Miles),

15. A journey along the Blue line is approximated for 35 minutes.

16. The Blue line is expected be constructed at the cost of about N70 billion. 

17. The Blue line shares 3 stations with the Red line. 

18. The Red line runs precisely from Marina to Agbado. Interestingly, the line will share the right-of-way of the Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway.

19. The Red extension (to local and international wings of the Airport) – 6km, Green (Marina to proposed Lekki Airport) – 26km, Yellow (Otta to Iddo) – 34km, Purple (Redemption Camp to Ojo) – 60km, Orange (Redemption Camp to Marina) – 42km and Brown (Mile 12 to Marina) – 20km. 

20. Upon completion, the Blue and Red lines are expected to carry 1.6 million passengers daily.

21. The construction of the other 5 lines will commence after the blue and red lines have been completed. 

22. The other 5 lines are expected to extend to places like the local and international wings of the Muritala Muhammad Airport, Ikeja; the proposed Lekki Airport; Otta; the Redemption Camp and Mile 12.

23. The trains to be initially used for the Lagos Light Rail project were to be acquired from Canada by the Fashola-led administration. These were the controversial “fairly-used” H5 series subway trains formerly used by the Toronto Transport Commission (TTC).


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