The governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode, has promised that the Lagos state light rail project will be ready by December 2016.

The project, which is being run by China’s China Civil Engineering Construction Corp (CCECC), started in 2010 under Babatude Fashola, the immediate past governor of the state. The N500bn ($2.5 billion) rail system was to be opened in 2011, but the project suffered delays, which have lasted over four years.

However, Ambode told Reuters on Friday that the rail system would be ready in just 13 months. “By December 2016, that should be delivered,” he said, adding that a tender for an expansion had been opened, and that a total of six lines were planned to connect northern and southern parts of the state. The state, which has the fifth largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa, if it were a country, has midday population of over 21 million people, with difficult traffic situations.

Lateef Jakande, one-time civilian governor of Lagos state, had conceived the idea of developing rapid transit in the state with his “Lagos Metroline network”, but was truncated by military rule in the 1980

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