- Obasa says the state must avoid wastage.
- Invites those involved in the transaction of the buses.
A committee has been inaugurated by the Lagos State House of Assembly to probe the administration of ex-Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
At the plenary session held at the Chambers, the Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa recalled that the idea of the procurement of the buses was outrightly rejected when presented before the House.
“There is a need to investigate the purchase of the 820 buses out of the 5,000 buses proposed by Ambode for mass transit which was outrightly objected by the legislative arm.”
In a motion titled ‘Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number II’, a lawmaker representing Eti Osa II, Gbolahan Yishawu also recalled that the executive proposed to spend N17bn to purchase the buses in the 2017 budget, which was not approved by the Assembly.
“In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24bn and N7bn respectively, but these were not approved.
“The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7bn, and out of them, 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports,” he said.
Speaking further, Yishawu asked his colleagues to investigate the cost of the purchase of the buses and other issues surrounding the purchase to prevent a reoccurrence.
“The state government requested waivers for the importation of the buses and it was not granted. The value of the buses was overrated; some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage.
“N45 Billion would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future,” he added.
The Assembly also expressed concern that the awaiting clearance of 520 buses from the bonded warehouse which was purchased with the monetary contribution of Lagosians raised suspicion.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who noted that the vehicles are in the ports and they have been there for almost a year said the state will continue to suffer if the lawmakers allow the buses to stay in the ports.
“We should be the regulators of transporters; the state should not operate the buses. How much we are giving the buses out should be addressed.
“We should get the buses to the roads and save the state from further wastes,” he said.
The House therefore resolved to set up a committee headed by Mr Fatal Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki II) to look into the matter and report to the lawmakers in due course.
The committee chaired by Honorable Fatai Mojeed-led committee is mandated to probe the purchase of 820 buses that had been scheduled for public transport in the state.
Members of the committee include Yishawu, Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho I), Olanrewaju Afinni (Lagos Island II), Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye II), Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II), Mojisola Miranda (Apapa I) and others.
Obasa also directed the committee to invite the Accountant-General of the state, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, and others involved in the purchase to give their account on the purchase of the vehicles.
The present Commissioner for Finance, the Managing Director of LAMATA and others were also invited.