The Lagos State House Assembly has launched a probe into the purchase of 820 buses during the administration of former Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
According to the lawmakers, they decided to investigate the purchase of the 820 of the 5,000 buses since Ambode proposed an estimated N45b for the state’s mass transit project, in spite of the lawmakers’ objection.
In a motion titled: Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 2, Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2), during the 2017 Executive/ Legislative parley that Ambode informed the lawmakers that the state government would buy 5,000 buses.
Ambode was said to have proposed to spend N17b to purchase the buses in the 2017 budget, which the House did not approve.
“In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24b and N7b respectively, which were not also approved, but the state government went ahead to import 820 buses at N7b and out of them 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports,” he said.
He added that the House was concerned that the 520 buses, which were purchased by Ambode with taxpayers’ money without approval, were awaiting clearance at the bonded warehouse and the Port.
Responding, Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa stressed the need to prevent future occurrence because the money had been spent.
“The vehicles are 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 at the ports. We should get the buses to the roads and prevent the state from further waste,” he said.
Consequently, the House set up a committee headed by Fatal Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki 1) to look into the matter and report to the House in due course.
Obasa directed the committee to invite Accountant General of the state, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, the Commissioner for Finance, Managing Director of LAMATA and others involved in the purchase.
Other lawmakers, including Makinde and Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) argued that purchase of the buses flouted section 120 of the 1999 Constitution.