PRESIDENT TINUBU INAUGURATES LAGOS RED LINE RAIL PROJECT, SAYS VALUE OF DEMOCRACY IS MEASURED IN PEOPLE-ORIENTED OUTCOMES.

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President Bola Tinubu on Thursday inaugurated the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project, a 37km project expected to reduce travel time and improve transportation and logistics in the state.

The President also witnessed the signing of the contract for Phase 2 of the LRMT Red Line project by the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, and the Chairman of CCECC Nigeria Limited, Jason Zhang.

The President, before departing for a state visit to Qatar, embarked on an inaugural train ride from the Ikeja station to the Agege station, accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; some state governors; members of the Federal and State Executive Councils; members of the Federal and State Legislative Assemblies; Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, and a select group of journalists.

Addressing a gathering of Nigerians at the train station in Ikeja, President Tinubu directed the Minister of Transportation, Senator Sa’idu Alkali, to ensure that the federal and subnational governments strengthen their collaboration to provide reliable, efficient, and affordable transportation systems for all Nigerians across the country.

”It is my singular pleasure to inaugurate the first phase of the LRMT Red Line to the glory of God Almighty and for the benefit of the people.

”Today, I am seriously honoured that I am a Lagosian and the first to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

”My promise is not to let you down. We will arrive at the destination with joy, happiness, and prosperity; God willing,” he said.

Reflecting on his tenure as the former governor of Lagos State, when the vision of a modern and effective public transportation system in the state was conceived, President Tinubu described the project as a dream realized and a fulfillment of years of hard work and dedication by successive governments.

”I am very happy indeed that today is a day to remember in Nigeria’s infrastructural history, particularly Lagos, the center of excellence. Today is evidence that it is good to dream, and it is a serious validation of democracy as a form of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

”When you put people at the center of your vision and planning, you will realize the value of democracy.

”Twenty-five years ago, I was elected to lead Nigeria’s most populous state. From the very beginning, my team and I toiled day and night with a very bare cupboard and amidst pervasive deficiency to implement a developmental vision that would transform Lagos into an economic powerhouse. Today, we are realizing that dream.

”The momentum of greatness we kickstarted a quarter of a century ago has become unstoppable progress. It is not a crime to dream and dream big. Just stay focused and make development a central focus,’’ he said.

President Tinubu commended the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the urban transport agency he established over 20 years ago, for its exemplary performance and implored LAMATA to sustain the momentum in completing all other phases of the Red Line project, as well as the full execution of the broader rail blueprint of the state.

He called on Nigerians to embrace change and work towards national progress.

He reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to eradicating corruption and called on labour unions to refrain from disruptive actions.

”Some labour unions should understand that no matter how we cling to our freedom and rights, to call for strikes within the first nine months of a new administration is unacceptable.

”If you want to directly participate in the electoral process, wait until 2027, if not, maintain the peace. Labour is not the only voice of Nigeria,” the President affirmed.

Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that the first phase of the project, executed by the State Government, spans 37 kilometers and shares the track of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Lagos-Ibadan modernization project from Ebute Metta to Agbado with stations at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege, and Iju.

According to the governor, phase one of the project will transport 750,000 passengers daily at inception and 1.1 million passengers daily once it is fully operational.

”All the stations are live and ready to receive passengers,” Governor Sanwo-Olu announced.

While speaking to reporters aboard the train during the inaugural ride, President Tinubu assured Nigerians that their lives will only become more enjoyable as modern amenities are built across the entire nation under his progressive leadership.

‘‘This is very efficient and comfortable, and I am happy. Our transportation system must be all about the people. We have cut down imports on PMS by almost 50 percent. We need mass transit to complement the daily efforts of citizens and make things easier for our people. And this is what this is all about. It is about the people. It is about democracy. We are happy about it,’’ President Tinubu stated.

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