MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – The city of Milwaukee is playing an essential role in helping West Africa achieve its first operational metro system.
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the governor of Lagos State, Nigeria, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Lagos State delegation, visited Milwaukee’s Talgo Incorporated facility to complete the acquisition of two sets of brand new 10-car Metro Trains.
During their visit, the group met with acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, who ushered them through the facility as they inspected the trains.
“I’m proud of the manufacturing skill of Milwaukeeans that will be on display in Africa. I was also happy to greet the governor of Lagos State, his Excellency, Badajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu,” wrote Mayor Johnson.
These trains will reportedly be making their way to Lagos, Nigeria for the Red Line, which is a rail project that was started by Governor Sanwo-Olu when he began his administration in 2019.
According to the Lagos State Government, when the Red Line project is complete it will have 11 stations and will be the first operational metro system in West Africa.
“We hope that this [purchase of the trains] will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Providing source of livelihood for our citizens is all about providing jobs for our people and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring that we can build our economy; people can move from one location to another and businesses can grow,” explained Governor Sanwo-Olu.
Filled with mixed emotions, Mayor Johnson shared, “It is a little bittersweet. I am sending my congratulations to the Governor of Lagos State in Nigeria, but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu hopes to begin the first phase of the Red Line rail project by the last quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.