The Lagos state government is proceeding with plans for a multi-billion dollar investment in the construction of an integrated light rail system designed to link various locations in the greater Lagos area including Agege, Alimosho and Ikorodu.

The scheme provides for seven light rail lines, with work on one of them, the Blue Line, having already begun. The other six routes are also colour-coded: Red, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange, and Lagos State is said to be seeking private investment from local entrepeneurs for the construction of these lines.

Due for completion in 2013, the contract for the Blue line was awarded to a Chinese firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCCEC) who entered into a public-private partnership with Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).

The Blue line runs 27km from Okokomaiko to Marina and is being developed alongside the Badagry Expressway project, a toll road planned between Lagos and Badagry. It will have 13 stations and requires the construction of two bridges, one of which will connect the mainland with the island while the second will span Badagry Creek at Mile 2.

Some 2,000 Nigerians are currently working on the scheme which by next year will employ 3,000. It is expected that the project will employ 8,000 when at its peak.

The metropolis of Lagos has long been blighted with an ineffective and often extensively gridlocked transport system. It has an average of 7 million commuters daily.