BudgiT challenges Lagos govt on Monorail budget controversy

Nigeria’s  civic organisation, BudgiT, has called on the Lagos state Government to come clean on the true cost of its Monorail project, which started nine years ago.

The organisation made the call following trending reports quoting China Railway Construction Corporation, the company in charge of Lagos light rail project, as telling its shareholders in the 2010 report that the value of the contract is $182 million (as published on the company’s website), contrary to the officially acclaimed figure of $1.2 billion project cost by the Lagos government. This represents a difference of $1.018 billion in the value of the project which started by previous administration.

” The value of the Group’s new overseas contracts during the reporting period was RMB9.5568 billion, which involved the following significant overseas projects: light rail project in Lagos, Nigeria (the value of the contracts for blue line and red line was RMB1.256 billion),” the report reads.

A statement signed by Adeniyi Soleye. BudgiT said While being conscious of possible underlying factors that could be responsible for this humongous difference, we say with certitude that ambiguities of this like would have ceased to occur had the state government yielded to our demand and that of the people to put an end to its budget secrecy. Lagosians deserve to know, steadily and accordingly, full details of how state resources are being used without any hesitation on the part of the government.”

Aside from the monorail, the BidgiT  reiterate its concern about the same opacity that plaques toll gates operation and large constructions in Lagos. Same goes to the abject lack of transparency in the procurement process, an impenetrable system which has ringfenced public funds around private interests”

To put to rest all doubts and concerns, BudgIT demands that the Lagos state government should break the silence and come out clean on this matter. What is the overall cost of the Monorail project? Why the discrepancy between the official figure and the contractor’s report? These are key questions that demand an immediate response from the state authority.

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