More trouble brews for the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, as the State House of Assembly on Tuesday set up a committee to probe the purchase of 820 buses for public transportation in the state by his administration.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had few days earlier, raided the former governors home.
The anti-graft commission said it was investigating Ambode on some of his financial dealings during his tenure, ranging from unilateral award of over-inflated contracts, cooking the books of the state and approving many opaque deals that did not go through due process.
During plenary on Tuesday House said it was important to investigate the purchase of the 820 buses out of the 5,000 buses proposed by Ambode for mass transit because the lawmakers objected to the idea originally.
In a motion titled, ‘Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 2, member representing Eti Osa 2, Gbolahan Yishawu, stated 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.
He added that the House was worried that 520 buses were still awaiting clearance from the bonded warehouse and that they were purchased with taxpayers’ money without approval.
The lawmaker added that the Assembly should investigate the cost of the purchase of the buses and other issues surrounding the purchase to prevent a re-occurrence.
He explained that the state government requested waivers for the importation of the buses and that it was not granted, as the value of the buses were overrated, saying that some of the buses were still in the ports and attracting demurrage.
He disclosed that “N45 Billion would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future.”
However, the Assembly set up a committee headed by Hon. Fatal Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki 1) to look into the matter and report to the House in due course.
Members of the committee included Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Hon. Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1), Hon. Olanrewaju Afinni (Lagos Island 2), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye 2), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Hon. Mojisola Miranda (Apapa 1) and others.
The Speaker ordered the committee to invite the Accountant General of the state, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, and others that were involved in the purchase to state what they knew about the purchase.
He also told them to invite the current Commissioner for Finance, the Managing Director of LAMATA and others.
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