September 2, 2013
Debo Adeniran, human rights activist and chairman, Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has condemned the method of governance in Lagos State. The CACOL chairman faulted the outrageous cost at which various projects are being executed in the state. For instance, Adeniran questioned the N2 billion allotted for the construction of a ramp from Ozumba Mbadiwe to Falomo and the N29 billion for Lekki Cable bridge. The human rights activist said a check with experts showed that the ramp is less than N200 million and the cable bridge would not cost more than N400 million.
Adeniran wondered why the state government concentrated so much resources in areas that are already developed and only needed a little facelift, at the expense of the densely populated and underdeveloped areas. “How many goods roads are in Ajeromi, Agege, Mushin, Ajangbadi, Aboru, Ipaja, Alimosho among others? Expending such huge amount on glorified staircase, whereas roads in other areas of the state are begging for attention is a height of profligacy for any responsible government”, he added.
The CACOL chairman also alleged that Lagos State government disregarded the Freedom of Information, FOI, Act, by denying CACOL access to the state’s budgetary reports from 2009 to 2011. When it was gathering the materials for the publication ‘Lagos Open Parliament: The True State of Lagos by Lagosians,’ a book that was recently presented to the media on public evaluation of Lagos State government. According to him, the state government claimed that it “has not domesticated the FOI Act”.
Dissatisfied with the development, CACOL went further by referring the matter to Adeola Ipaye, Lagos State attorney-general and commissioner for justice,” but he too corroborated the earlier position of the state government.” Adeniran argued that any law passed at the federal level “supersedes any other law on the same subject by other federating unit, person or group in Nigeria”.
The magazine got in touch with Lateef Ibirogba, commissioner for information and strategy, on telephone to comment on the matter, but he neither refuted nor denied the claim. Rather, he urged the reporter to come to his office in Ikeja, the following day. Following this development, the reporter spent several hours in his office last Thursday, but he could not reach him, as he was said to be on an assignment.