By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State government on Wednesday announced the completion of the Lagos Blue Line Rail, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu taking the first trip aboard the electric-powered rail infrastructure.
The Governor led his Deputy, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, members of the state cabinet, reporters and members of the public on a ride from the National Theatre Station to the iconic station in Marina. The trip took approximately 10 minutes.
This marked the completion of civil infrastructure work on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) being constructed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
The completed tracks, spanning 13 kilometres in the first phase, extend from Mile 2 to Marina, covering five stations. The construction started in 2010 under the administration of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. It experienced some delays in the succeeding administration before the current Government continued from 2019.
Mr Sanwo-Olu declared the end of construction on the Blue Rail Line project and lauded his administration and the contractors for keeping to the December 2022 deadline. The rail infrastructure, he said, is now ready for commissioning in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor said the milestone was a culmination of “impactful reforms” initiated in the State’s transport ecosystem, which started at the beginning of the fourth republic under the administration of one of his predecessors, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He described the moment as “historic”, saying Lagos became the first sub-national government in Africa to fund and deliver a rail system from the state’s balance sheet.
The Governor said the construction of the second phase of the Blue Line rail project, which covers 14-kilometre from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko, will be launched immediately after the completion and inauguration of the first phase next month.
He said: “The completion of the infrastructure for the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line rail is a strong testimony of our commitment to building on the legacies of past administrations and the pioneering vision of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This milestone in the development of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) is the culmination of several impactful reforms in the transport ecosystem of Lagos, starting in 1999.”
After commissioning, Mr Sanwo-Olu said passenger operations would not commence until the project undergoes necessary test-running and proper security measures are put in place along the rail corridor.
The Governor said the state had already taken the delivery of the three sets of wagons that would be used for passenger operations. The completed rail infrastructure, he said, has the capacity to move 250,000 passengers daily. When the second phase is completed, he said the entire project would take 500,000 people daily.
Wakanow, ValueJet to Boost Local Flight Inventory
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A partnership aimed to boost local flight inventory has been entered into between Wakanow and ValueJet.
According to a statement from the foremost travel tech company, the deal allows Wakanow to host ValueJet’s inventory on its website and increase local flight inventory available to local travellers.
ValueJet is the latest airline to partner with Wakanow, joining its network and enabling Wakanow-connected customers to find and use bespoke solutions to support their specific travel needs and requirements.
The deal aligns with Wakanow’s aim of delivering access to all local flight inventory in real time and an all-year-round flight schedule. It also showcases its continuous commitment to the development of the domestic travel industry in Nigeria.
“As the foremost travel tech company in Nigeria and West Africa, this partnership for us is a reinforcement of our commitment to give our customers the best and to remain the number one distribution partner to our Nigerian Airlines.
“We are constantly innovating around our customers’ travel needs and partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that our customers enjoy a robust and seamless service offering.
“Partnering with ValueJet, who share in our vision of delivering a unique travel experience at a great value to our joint customers, was certain,” the chief executive of Wakanow Nigeria, Mrs Adenike Macaulay, said.
While corroborating the CEO, the Group Chief Technology Officer of Wakanow Group, Mr Oyedeji Ojo, said, “Wakanow, as a leader in the Nigerian travel industry, has continued to bring value to air travellers through collaborations.
“We’re delighted to welcome ValueJet as a Partner, and together, we will serve our customers with great flight inventories and concentrate on creating enhanced traveller experiences across all customer touchpoints.”
On his part, the Chief Commercial Officer of Value Jet, Mr Trevor Henry, said, “We are happy to announce our strategic partnership with Wakanow, making history as the first travel company to provide ValueJet’s Live Inventory bookable in real-time, thus enabling the delivery of a seamless booking experience for Wakanow and ValueJet’s customers.”
Wakanow, Africa’s foremost travel tech agency, offers the best travel deals and experiences within the global travel industry to corporate and individual air travellers.
Normalcy Restored at Lagos Airport as Aviation Workers Suspend Strike
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Normalcy was restored at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos on Monday afternoon after workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc disrupted flight operations this morning.
The aviation workers had embarked on an indefinite strike action to ask for a better welfare package from the management of the company.
Their action left many air passengers stranded on Monday morning, with operators suspending their flights in the process.
But the industrial action was later called off by the leaders of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, which promised to enter into talks with NAHCO, with a view to resolving the matter.
The aggrieved employees of NAHCO asked the management to increase their salaries after hike air fares by 100 per cent. They claimed that the company was being insensitive to their welfare.
NAHCO Workers’ Strike Paralyses Flight Operations At Lagos Airport
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Activities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, were paralysed on Monday after some employees of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc embarked on an industrial action.
The NAHCO workers protested the failure of the management of the company to heed their demands, including an increase in salaries and better welfare packages.
Air passengers who were at the Lagos airport were left frustrated today due to the demonstration by the aviation workers, with a few international flights disrupted.
It was gathered that most airline operators were caught unawares as they did not have prior notice that the NAHCO staff members were planning to down tools on the first working day of the week.
This led to the abrupt suspension of flight operations by most operators this morning while efforts were being made to resolve this issue in order to reduce the losses that could arise from the action of the workers.
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