The first phase of a light rail project in Lagos, Nigeria was commissioned this week, China Daily reports.
Speaking at a banquet held before the inauguration ceremony, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari described the project as “historic”, and said the system would reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, and improve the lives of locals.
“It is a line of speed, line of sustainability, line of harmony,” said China’s ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun.
The Lagos Blue Line project runs for 13km between Okokomaiko, a densely populated area in the west of the city, and Marina, a business district on Lagos Island. The first phase will have 15 electro-diesel trainsets supplied by Chinese rolling stock maker CRRC Dalian.
The line is expected to enter service sometime in the first quarter. Around 250,000 million people are expected to use it each day.
The work was carried out by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. During the banquet, a contract was signed with the company to work on the 14km second phase.
The Blue Line is the first of seven planned for the system. Work on the Red Line was said to be 85% complete in December.
The project was originally intended to be complete in 2011, but has suffered lengthy delays caused by shortages of funds and changes of government.