By Aluta News
Nov. 5, 2023
The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Ali Muhammad Ali, says the Lagos Blue Light Rail operations in Lagos State will boost productivity and reduce traffic congestion.
Muhammad spoke after boarding the train to other stations of the train in Lagos on Sunday.
The managing director commended the state government on the platform Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s for investing on first-class transportation to ease the time of doing business in the state.
He said: “My impression on the Blue Light Rail is that it is a money-spilling.
“I thought it is a cash-cow that is properly utilised but from what have seen, every step of the road is organised from embarkment to disembarkment and the timeliness of the departure at the rail stations.
“The 13-kilometre stretch from Marina to Mile 2, I saw five station along the rail corridor such as Marina, National Theatre, Orile Iganmu, Alaba and Mile 2.
“At every train station, I discovered that passenger get there on time, time management is excellent, it gets to it various destination from Marina to Mile 2 on time.
“So, when you have this consistency, by the time you perfect it with time, giving the volume of people that patronise the train, I say in no-time, they will recover whatever investment they made.
“The Blue Light Rail which is powered by electricity is a welcome investment that would have been there long time a go. Giving the mega city status of Lagos.”
The managing director said such establishment was a win-win situation for both the investors and the commuters.
He, however, urged other statesmen to borrow a leaf from the state government to enable them to establish such state-owned rail in their respective states.
Muhammad said that the establishment of such light rail, especially in the mega city where they had a lot of commuters, would ease traffic as it had done in Lagos State.
“Am sure other mega cities such as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will enjoy the same facility.
“The ambience of the train is nice, and it is fully air conditioned and and the journey that will tale you hours if you go by road from Marina to Mile 2, will take you less than 20 minutes.
“On a good day you spent up to two hours but with the train, in 20 minutes, you are at work,” Muhammad said
Muhammad also said that effective utilisation of the state-owned train would reduce stress, accident and the job of traffic management authorities would be minimal.
He said that the Blue Light Rail project should have come a long time ago, adding that it was, however, better late than never.
Muhammad urged Lagos residents to utilise the Blue Light Rail facility which he said was cost effective.
A passenger, Chidera Dim, a student, said that since he had been boarding the train, he spent less time on road.
“The train will come by 6.30 a.m, I wake up in the morning dress up, take my tea and I will get to schools by 7 a.m.
“The government should make student free because we are still students but if government does not want to subsidise, it should the fee for student,” Dim said.
An economist, Mr Allen Williams, said that he appreciated the coming onboard of the Blue Light Rail service.
He pleaded with the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority to specify the number of passengers onboard each coach to reduce crowd.
Williams pleaded with the train management to collaborate with other stakeholders to see how commuters could have easy movement from the station to their destinations.
Another passenger, simply identified as Nathanie, advised the management of the rail service to create a desk where passengers who lost things could be advised.
A French entrepreneur, Mrs Cecilia Evezi, commended the government and President Bola Tinubu, for establishing a first-class train in Lagos State.
She said that she boarded the train to take video shots with a daughter to show people in France that Nigeria is moving forward.