Light rail: Lagos shops for fresh funding package

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By Monsuru Olowoopejo

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, yesterday, said the current source of funding for the Lagos light rail project cannot be relied upon if it must be delivered quickly.

Ambode, who disclosed this during an interactive session with residents on social media, through the tagJJmeetsAmbode, said that the state government was negotiating another package to help fund the project.

The governor lamented that the contractor handling the project was on site battling with the project, but not as fast as expected.

According to him, “this project is driven by commercial loans and bonds leaning on the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR. That arrangement cannot be sustained. We are negotiating a better package that will deliver the project by the end of 2016.”

My greatest challenge

— Ambode

Ambode, on the forum, said: “The most challenging aspect of my job has been managing the resources of the state to meet expectations of Lagosians. It is challenging meeting expectations of Lagos residents, at a time we are experiencing dwindling resource.

“We have road construction, unemployment and others to take care of with limited resources. It is a challenge to choose which projects to embark upon and which to keep in view. The consideration is always which project would benefit the generality of the people more.”

The governor noted that the challenges had been with governing the state, considering its population of over 20 million residents.

On traffic

Admitting the current gridlock across the state, Ambode explained: “There are some new projects going on in Victoria Island and other parts of the state. These are contributing to the traffic situation. We will try to finish the constructions on time and fix the pot-holes to ease traffic across the state.”

The governor, however, added that human attitude also contribute to the gridlock.

He said: “A lot of it is caused by human attitude; those disobeying traffic laws and those patronizing street hawkers.”

He also accused men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, of not being effective in managing the traffic, noting “some traffic officers are not doing their job.

“We will deploy more traffic officers to the roads to direct traffic and enforce the road traffic law.”

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