Exclusive: Six Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) fund Lagos Blue, Red rail lines infrastructure

…Special Police to provide security for rail infrastructure, people

Six Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria have provided the required funding for the on-going Lagos Blue, Red rail lines infrastructure being executed and supervised by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) under the watchful eyes of the regulatory Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The CBN, NewsClick Nigeria gathered under its Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) pooled together six commercial Banks to provide funding for the completion of the first phases of the Blue and Red Rail line projects. Under this Programme, this medium learnt, DMBs may request from the CBN, a release of funds under their CRR to finance the eligible projects subject to DMBs providing evidence that the funds shall be directed at the projects approved by the CBN.

Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), is a percentage of a Bank’s total deposit which it must keep and maintain with the regulatory CBN at all times.

Under the scheme which falls under the larger Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) programme, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank and UBA are providing funding for the Red Line while Sterling Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank are funding the Blue line.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr (Mrs.) Abimbola Akinajo has assured that all fixed infrastructure for the first phases of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue and Red lines would be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022.

She said testing and commissioning of both rail lines would also be completed within the same period.

Speaking during the visit of officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and consortium of commercial Banks funding the completion of first phases of the two rail lines to the projects in Lagos, Mrs. Akinajo stated that the two projects had achieved completion rate of over 60 per cent, noting that the project delivery date was still on target.

On the security of the rail infrastructure and passengers, the LAMATA Boss disclosed that the government was already engaging the Police to have a dedicated Rail Transport Police and other security agencies to ensure that any infractions can be picked up and dealt with timeously to prevent harm to the system and people.

“We would also have cameras around all our stations to pick up any strange activities. It is a multi-faceted approach we are taking to ensure the security of our people; as well as our infrastructure,” Mrs. Akinajo stated.

In his assessment of the state of the two rail lines, CBN’s Director, Development Finance, Mr. Yila Philip Yusuf, said “we are impressed by what my colleagues and I have seen. There has been much progress from what we saw last year. Most importantly, I am impressed with the quantum of jobs that has been created for Nigerians.”

He described the infrastructure being provided as” world class,” adding “sometimes next year, we would come and take a ride and I hope many more states would take a cue from what Lagos State Government is doing to create modal transportation options for the people as well as provide jobs.”

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