Exposing Waste and Corruption in Lagos State Blue Line Railway Project

In 2009, during the tenure of Governor Babatunde Fashola, the Lagos state government commenced the Blue Line railway project. On paper, the railway line is supposed to run from Okokomiko to inner Marina (CMS), a distance of 27 Kilometre, with 13 stations and an end-end journey time of 35 minutes. The project is costing the Lagos government 1.5 billion dollars

The reality however, is that the railway line runs from Miles 2 to CMS, a distance of 14.2 Kilometre. Also, it is light weight, having the ability to carry only passengers not cargo. Even with this lowered distance and quality, the railway line is yet to be completed till this very day.

The reason this rail line is yet to be complete for over 13 years is mainly due to corruption and waste by the Lagos government through successive governors from 2009 till date.

To put it in context, in 2011 the government of Ethiopia began the construction of a heavy railway line capable of carrying cargo and passengers from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, the capital of the republic of Djibouti.

That railway line is 759 Kilometres in distance and its main of objective was to connect Ethiopia to the sea ports of Djibouti. The cost for executing the project was 4.5 billion dollars.

That 759 Kilometres railway line was largely completed in 2016 when testing began. It was commissioned for operations by the President of Ethiopia in 2018.

When you divide the 4.5 billion dollars which the railway line cost Ethiopia by 759 Kilometre, it amounts to 5.2 million dollars per kilometre.

The government of Lagos on the other hand is spending over 54 million dollars per kilometre in constructing their railway line, yet till now it is still to be completed.

This goes to show how far inefficiency, corruption and waste can go in stalling a project whose completion otherwise would have been beneficial to the citizens of Lagos state.

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