- Ambode in Trouble as Lagos Assembly Probes Purchase of N7 Billion Buses
The Former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, may not be out of troubled waters yet as the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday, inaugurated a committee to probe the purchase of 820 buses at the cost of N7 billion by his administration.
The Assembly explained that it was important to investigate the purchase of 820 Mass Transit buses which was a reduction of the 5000 buses originally proposed to be purchased by the Ambode administration; adding that the purchase was made despite protests by the Assembly.
The motion titled, “Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 2” was brought before the House by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti Osa 2 Constituency.
According to him, the House noted that in September 2017, Ambode who was present at the executive/legislative parley held at Golden Tulip in Festac Town told the Law makers that 5,000 buses would be bought by his government.
Yishawu went on to reveal that Ambode proposed a budget of N17 billion for the buses but this proposal was not approved by the assembly.
The lawmaker also said that Ambode, without the consent of the House, went ahead to make the purchases regardless.
He said, “In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24 billion and N7 billion respectively, but these were not approved.
“The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 billion, and out of them, 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports.”
He added that the House was worried that 520 buses purchased with tax payers’ money, were still waiting to be cleared from bonded warehouse.
He suggested that the house should set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate all issues relating to the purchase of the buses, including the real cost of the buses.
“The State Government requested waivers for the importation of buses and it was not granted. The value of the buses overrated. Some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage.
“N45 million would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future,” he said.
In his submission, Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the expenditure had been done already and that the House need to prevent waste.
“The vehicles are still in the ports and they have been there for almost a year. The State will continue to suffer if we allow the buses to stay in the ports.
“We should be the regulators and transporters; the State should not operate the buses.
“How much we are giving out should be addressed. We should get the buses to the roads and save the states from further wastes,” he said.
A committee was eventually set up by the House to address the issue. The committee headed by Hon. Fatai Mojeed, representing Ibeju Lekki 1 Constituency included: Hon. Olarenwaju Afinni, (Lagos Island 2), Hon. Gbolahan Yashiwu,(Eti Osa 2), Hon. Bisi Yusuf (Alimosho 1), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye 2) and Hon. Mojisola Miranda (Apapa 1).