Speaking at the site inspection in Lagos yesterday, Director, Development Finance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yusuf Philip Yila disclosed that the apex bank has through some banks financed railway infrastructure in Lagos to the tune of N60 billion.  

This, the central bank stated, is in a bid to support infrastructure development and create jobs.

The CBN said the banks, which include Access Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc have disbursed N45 billion to fund Lagos Blue line, which is 13.5-kilometer railway situated at the businesses district in Lagos and would be easily connected and assessable to waterways bus stations to critical parts of Lagos which normally are high traffic zones.

Yila said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria, through Some banks, has provided funding on its DCR intervention to ensure that Lagos State has the right funding for this project. So far, I’m quite impressed with what I see on ground Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)and we can see the solid structure that has been put in place in Marina. We are confident based on what we’ve been shown that progress has been made. Remember that disbursement of this fund is being done in tranches.”

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He added that another tranche of 15 billion is due, and central bank felt it’s important to come and see what is on ground. The quality of work is quite impressive. The total amounts that we have made available for this line is N60 billion most disbursed for the N45 billion.

He stated further that “This is just one of many projects on that DCR, if you recall, as part of our response to the COVID 19 pandemic, we released N1 trillion intervention under the DCR. So quite a lot not only infrastructure but you see mostly in Agric in mining. So, we do visit, we do embark on monitor and evaluation just to ensure that you know the funds are used for the purposes they are meant for, and they contribute to output and ultimately economic development impact economic activities.”

He noted that infrastructure is a major contributor to economic growth, adding that with the right infrastructure, growth is certain.

Yila reaffirmed CBN’s commitment to funding not only the blue line, but also providing some funding for the red line and the five other lines that they plan to embark on. This, according to him, will significantly contribute to the ease of business, ease of moving people around and instill more confidence in the economy.