By JADAKU WALTER
Lagos State Government has entered into a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support the development of two bus corridors to increase access to public transportation and reduce vehicle emissions in the Lagos metropolis.
Through the partnership, IFC is providing a $50 million loan to help the state develop, finance, upgrade and operate two bus corridors, measuring eight kilometres in the AbuleEgba-Command and Ile-Iwe, Ile-Epo neighborhoods, two of the most densely populated and congested parts of the city.
The projects are expected to benefit over 150,000 passengers per day, as well as reduce commuting times for residents. Speaking on the development, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, explained that the partnership would drive economic opportu nities and social development, as well as connect people to social services through the state’s vast transportation network.
“As governments continue to increase transportation capacity to meet the critical transport challenges, well-structured Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) under the right circumstances are one approach that will scale-up our deliverables in the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda,” he said.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, expressed confidence that the partnership with IFC on the two bus corridors, would provide safe, efficient, cost-effective transportation in Lagos, as well as reduce travel time and noise along the corridors.
On his part the IFC’s Senior Country Manager for Nigeria, Kalim Shah, said as urbanisation accelerates in the South West and other parts of the country, it is important that people have access to affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation, The Trumpet gathered.
He said the partnership with Lagos State would help to strengthen the economic growth, improve access to transportation, address environmental pollution and ultimately improve the lives of Lagos residents. The bus corridor development is part of Lagos State’s Bus Reform Initiative, which aims to provide world-class, affordable public transport for residents.
“The local currency financing, which will help Lagos to minimise currency fluctuation risks, was made possible through the International Development Association Private Sector Window (IDA PSW) Local Currency Facility.
“Its financing is IFC’s first sub-national engagement in Nigeria and the first to use the IDA PSW Local Currency Facility to support a sub-national engagement. “It is in consonance with IFC’s strategy to support sustainable urban growth, targeted at providing IFC’s advisory services to support Lagos State in the public transportation sector and other infrastructure services,” he explained.