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Lagos intra-city rail is West Africa’s second urban rail line

Claim: A Facebook user posted that the recently commissioned intra-city rail in Lagos state is the second to be operational in West Africa after the Abuja Rail Mass Transit.

Verdict: TRUE. The urban rail transit in Lagos is the second to commence commercial operation in West Africa. The Abuja Light Rail is the first in West Africa.

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Traffic congestion is one core problem in an urban environment due to the large rate of human activities carried out daily. In mega-cities with lots of economic development, the situation is dire.

To resolve this crisis in Lagos state, the governor -Babajide Sanwoolu- finally completed the 27-km Blue Line Rail 40 years after conception. The first phase will cover Marina to Mile 2, while the second phase will include Mile 2 to Okokomaiko. Meanwhile, the light rail project was colour-coded into four sections when it was inaugurated in 2003 by the then governor Bola Tinubu –now Nigeria’s president.

A Facebook user named Okodoro Oro recently claimed that the intra-city rail line is the second in West Africa to commence full operation. 

He said, “Lagos Blueline Rail begins full operations today in Lagos, Nigeria. This is the second intra-city rail transport in West Africa after the Abuja Rail Mass Transit.”

As of September 5, about 85 users have reacted to the post, while six people shared it. Further checks by DUBAWA found related posts by Anambra Current News having 261 reactions and 101 comments with 21 reshares, and Beautiful Nigeria gaining 487 reactions, 36 comments, and 37 reshares.

The novelty of the claim prompted DUBAWA to run a fact check.


We found more details about the Abuja Rail Mass Transit using a keyword search on our first attempt. We discovered that it was commissioned on July 12, 2018, by the immediate president, Muhammadu Buhari. No West African country had such infrastructure before its commissioning.

However, the $824 million project has stopped functioning after the COVID-19 lockdown forced a suspension of passenger services. The operation is yet to commence three years after the lockdown was lifted.

Within the period, the Ivorian government had signed a contract with the Abidjan Rail Transport Company consortium. It was led by Bouygues Travaux Publics in 2019, to construct a 37 km metro line in Abidjan -Cote D’Ivoire’s capital city. However, the construction process only began in March 2023, as seen on International Rail Journals.

Other cities yet to commence urban rail construction are Lome (Togo) and Kumasi (Ghana). No other country in West Africa has a city or state with exclusive urban rail transit.

This made the Lagos Blue Line rail the second in West Africa to commence operation on September 4. Meanwhile, it is the first electrified rail line in West Africa, which means it will be run by electricity. 


Though it is the first electrified urban rail line in West Africa, it is actually the second intra-city rail transport. The Abuja Rail Mass Transit is the first. Therefore, the claim is true.

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