By Janefrances Chibuzor
The Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, France, HE. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, has expressed satisfaction with the level of support France is giving to Lagos State in improving its public transport system.
The Minister who was in Nigeria to represent the French Government at the inauguration of Nigeria’s 16th President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, used the visit to connect with Lagos State Authorities responsible for water and land transportation, which included a deep-dive session in projects supported by the French Development Agency (AFD).
Head Public Affairs
This information was issued by Head Public Affairs of Lagos State Waterways Authority (Laswa), Miss Wuraola Alake which noted in the statement that over this past 12 years, France through AFD has been investing 700 M USD in the development of Lagos State including 350 M USD to develop the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS). “This has contributed to reducing travel time and travel costs for millions of Lagosians and to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to Alake, After a briefing on urban mobility challenges at the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in the presence of the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, the Minister embarked on a boat trip around Lagos island to see major infrastructures to be delivered under two key projects supported by France: the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan (LSTMP) project and the Waterways Investment and Development of the Environment in Lagos State (WIDE-LAG) project.
On the boat trip, the Minister could see Marina interchange hub to be developed under LSTMP from where the Blue Line of the metro system recently commissioned by Lagos State starts, and could observe various ferry terminals to be upgraded by 2028 under the WIDE-LAG project at Ebute Ero, Lekki 1, Falomo and Victoria Island.
Upon return from her field visit, HE. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou witnessed: “I was very impressed by my field visit this morning and I can testify the excellent partnership between France and Lagos State”. She also emphasized that ”France is committed to cutting down its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% between 1990 and 2050 to reach carbon neutrality.
I am therefore very happy to acknowledge that Nigeria and Lagos State in particular, are going into the same direction through the decarbonization of the transport sector”.
The on-going LSTMP project aims to enhance access to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system through the construction of 4 Quality Bus Corridors (QBCs) for a total length of 28km, and to improve inter-modality through the provision of two interchange hubs that will connect metro, bus, ferry and taxis in Marina and Mile 2 to ensure seamless passenger transfer.
This project, financed by AFD through a 178 M€ credit facility, and implemented by LAMATA will run from 2019 to 2025 and it is expected to benefit a total of 1.5 million daily users.
“LSTMP is part of the bold initiatives taken by this administration to tackle urban mobility challenges in Lagos. Lagosians spend an average 30 hours weekly in traffic and spend up to 40% of their monthly incomes in it as against 15% as per international standards.
LSTMP will greatly contribute to reducing travel time and travel costs for millions of Lagosians taking Lagos State’s multi-modal transport system up to the next level” stated Engr. Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, Managing Director of LAMATA, at the briefing session.
The WIDE-LAG project is the new initiative blossomed by Lagos State-AFD partnership. The project’s objective is to develop mass public Inland Waterways Transport in Lagos to transport 24 million commuters by waterways every year.
The project will significantly reduce travel cost, allow great travel time savings and large reduction of CO² emissions. It will include the development of 6 priority ferry routes covering a total length of 129km and the upgrade of 20 ferry terminals and jetties. Lagos will also deploy the first electric vessels in Sub-Saharan Africa, being at the forefront of innovation.
This project implemented by LASWA could run over 2024-2029 and reach a total amount of 300 M€ including 110M€ from AFD.
“Water is a defining feature of Lagos”, said Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, LASWA.
“While it is seen as a challenge today, it should rather be envisioned as an asset for the economic and sustainable development of Lagos State. I am pleased to embark on this ambitious investment to make Lagos Africa’s Model Mega City through an attractive, innovative, and efficient mode of transportation”. He further added that “Lagos can certainly become an international benchmark for Inland Waterways Transit like Bangkok or Sidney”.
In Lagos, 20% of carbon dioxide emissions are generated by the transport sector. With an estimated 22 million inhabitants today, Lagos’ population is expected to grow up to 40 million by 2040.
The Minister has congratulated Lagos State for its past and future achievements, and has assured the State of France’s long-term support in this field.