Controversy Trails Cost Of Building Lagos Monorail Project
By Olumidagreaton January 4, 2019
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A technologically driven civil society group specializes in encouraging transparency in government finance has raised issues on the discrepancy in the cost of building a monorail project by the Lagos government.
BudgIT, in a statement on Friday urged the state to come out clean on the actual cost of financing the project awarded to the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC).
CRCC had in a disclosure to its shareholders had put the cost of the project at $182 million, while the Lagos State Government put the project cost at $1.2 billion.
“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 Chinese construction firm said on its website.
BudgeIt said 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.
“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.
The group said aside from the monorail projects, the same opacity also 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 ring fenced public funds around private interests, BudgeIt noted.
It called on the state to put to rest all doubts and concerns, noting that 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.”