Growing consensus worldwide favours opinion that high-quality, high-capacity, safe and affordable public transport is the only way for increasingly congested cities to accommodate sustainable economic growth. City transportation projects, in particular, tend to signal where the next property hot spot will be and are considered fundamental to most real estate developments, whether commercial, residential or industrial.
Spanning 156.65 kilometres, the project is a double line, which is the first phase of a new Lagos-Kano standard gauge, designed to ease off the stress of travelling to and from Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan as well as Kano. The rail line is expected to transport people and cargo at a speed of 150 kilometres per hour from Lagos to Ibadan via Abeokuta, in less than an hour.
The new line rail project, when completed, would coexist with the old narrow gauge rail line according to the Managing Director of Nigerian Railways Corporation, Mr. Fidet Okheria who spoke recently with newsmen. Besides the Apapa harbour station, there are nine stations along the main lines of Lagos, Agege, Agbado, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Olodo, Omi Adio, and Ibadan stations.
The project quantities include, 24.26million square meters earth work, four extra-large bridges, eleven large bridges, four medium bridges, two steel structure bridges, ten frame bridges, 207 culverts, 40 railway-crossing bridges, 31 pedestrian overpasses, 314.72km main-line, 60.26 km station rail, 70832m-beams, 168 groups of single drive turnout, four groups of scissor crossover and 1,200,000 cubic meters of ballast.
When the project began in March 2017, not many property investors and prospective land buyers could ever imagine the impact of the railway on values of land in the area asides the benefits of ease of transportation and diversification of the economy that it promised to offer.
Investigations by The Guardian for instance, show that before the project was flagged off, a plot of land in adjoining communities like Ilaro, Onikoko, Asa olowo Itori, ososun, kajola and others in Papalanto, Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State, was sold for about N80, 000 and N350,000. However, with advancement in construction works, many of the landowners in the area are taking advantage of the development.
Thus, land prices have increased rapidly as property sellers anticipate the demand for the resource to continuously rise. Latest findings revealed that a plot of land now sell for over N500, 000.Speaking with The Guardian, a property expert, Mr. Oluwana Supo stated that of July 2018, a plot of land, which was sold for about 350,000, has increased to over one million naira as at the time of filing this report especially in locations considered as conspicuous and closer to the train stations. According to him, the development is not unconnected to Lagos/Ibadan trail infrastructural development that is nearing completion in that location. He disclosed that following the development; the city centres of Lagos might be decongested as people may relocate.
“Along the geographical locations where the railway pass, a half plot of land which was sold for N250, 000 around February last year now goes for 500,000 and above. Even the Railway officials have almost paid for all the lands in the locations. According to what we learnt, they want to use the land to build an estate for their staff, with that, it means that many people will relocate to the area and that would boost the economy of the area”.
An estate surveyor who is based in Itori/papalanto, Mr. Onanuga Michael, said since the inception of the project, land values have increased in the axis, and new estates have also sprung up because of the huge opening up of land mass in preparation for the construction work. This has created a huge awareness and influx of people to the area.
“In Adunbu-Itori-Papalanto area, a land before the inception of project was sold for N100, 000 now sells more than triple of that price now.
So there has been a great impact in terms of social and economic parameters. Considering the services that will be run along the railway terminals like, dry inland ports, container dump depot, ease of getting into the heart of Lagos, people will naturally move to this areas because railway has been know to attract development in their locations especially were stations are tailored toward commercial activities, moving of goods and services and hoteling business will spring up”, he said.