By Aisha Cole
The Lagos State Government has said it is determined to ensure that the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line becomes operational latest by the fourth quarter of 2022.
The Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, disclosed this in statement on Tuesday in Lagos after the presentation of cheques to some employees of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
Akinajo presented cheques to 21 NRC employees whose residential quarters at Ikeja would be pulled down because they were in the way of the rail project.
She said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had resolved to provide the workers with cash to hire temporary accommodation pending the construction of new residential quarters for them by the Lagos State Government.
“In other areas to be impacted by the rail project, we are currently carrying out verification exercises to determine the quantum of compensation to be paid.
“We do not wish to remove any building without paying compensation to both the house owners and the tenant.
“The contractors to implement the rail project had been mobilised and had promised that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Red line rail project will commence passenger operations by the last quarter of next year.
She disclosed that the drawing of new staff quarters for the affected staff members had been submitted to the NRC management for consideration.
The Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, who was represented by the Director, Administration and Human Resource, Dr Monsurat Omotayo, described the Red line rail project as part of the state government’s vision for development.
According to her, this is a project that will bring greater good for Lagos residents.
Omotayo said that the project was in tandem with the Federal Government’s vision of providing transport infrastructure that best supported the aspiration of the citizenry.
The Director of Rail Transport, Mr Olasunkanmi Okusaga, who was present at the presentation of the cheques said that Gov. Sanwo-Olu was concerned about the likely effect the impending demolition of the building would have on the wellbeing of the current occupants.