Group wants end to secrecy in budget, urges clarity on monorail contract
A civic startup, BudgIT Nigeria has tasked the Lagos state government on the need to ensure greater openness in its budgeting process rather than maintaining secrecy in the system.
The firm declared that Lagosians deserve to know steadily and accordingly, full details of how state resources are being used without any hesitation on the part of government.
BudgIT also charged the Lagos government to clarify its position on controversy surrounding the Lagos monorail budget.
In a statement by its communication Lead, Adeniyi Soleye to The Guardian, he said, just as taxpayers, BudgIT is seriously concerned about the discrepancy between the figure contained in the 2010 report delivered by China Railway Construction Corporation to its shareholders on the cost of Lagos Monorail project which it put at $182m, as published on the company’s website, and the officially acclaimed figure by the Lagos State government, which puts the project cost at $1.2billion.
It states, “There has been trending report by China Railway Construction Corporation, the company in charge of Lagos light rail project otherwise known as Lagos monorail, has yet again piqued our curiosity and unrelenting demand for the openness of Lagos State budget”.
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, the value of the contracts for blue line and red line was RMB1.256 billion,” the report reads.
In a statement by the company, it explains that while being conscious of possible underlying factors that could be responsible for the 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 reiterates concerns about the same opacity that plaques toll gates operation and large constructions in Lagos.
It posited that the situation shows the abject lack of transparency in the procurement process, an impenetrable system that has ring-fenced public funds around private interests.
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