• Saturday, May 25, 2024
businessday logo


Group faults N5bn Lagos dredging contract, demands procurement violation probe

Lagos targets 500,000 households in Eko Cares initiative

The Coalition of Concerned Lagosians has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to look into possible procurement process breaches in the Mende dredging contract.

Nurudeen Olawale, the group’s president, and Korede Animashaun, secretary, issued a statement on Sunday requesting a forensic audit of the contract’s award.

The statement expressed support for Sanwo-Olu’s administration but raised concerns about procurement procedure breaches in the Ministry of Water Front’s channelisation contracts.

“While we have consistently supported and praised the administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu on its achievements in terms of infrastructural development on land and rail infrastructure in Lagos State, as concerned stakeholders, we would not close our eyes to the allegations of violations of procurement procedures in the award of channelisation contracts happening in the Ministry of Water Front in the state,” the statement reads.

The group urged the governor to audit the contract for the Mende channelisation to the lagoon waterfront, awarded for N5bn to cover 7km by 40 meters wide and four meters deep over one year.

The group noted that despite a N2.5bn mobilisation payment, there is no visible progress, with the dredger remaining stationary under a bridge for six months. They believe Sanwo-Olu would address these allegations to maintain his record.

The group also asked the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to investigate to uphold the organisation’s integrity and mandate, including waterway protection and expansion.

The organisation said it is prepared to assist the Economic and Financial Crime Commission with information to prosecute any procurement process violations.

“As stakeholders, we are also calling on NIWA to conduct an investigation into the allegation with a view to ensuring the protection, integrity and credibility of the organisation as regards its core mandate, which also includes protection and expansion of our waterways, while we continue to monitor the development with a view to ensuring that the right thing is done.

“We would not hesitate to provide the Economic and Financial Crime Commission with the necessary information, if need be, to enable them to prosecute whoever is culpable in any allegation of violation of procurement processes as regards the referenced job, including account details of relevant recipients of contract sum,” the group said

The coalition claimed to have conducted pre-dredging depth measurements using an echo sounder. They offered to repeat the measurements and share findings publicly.

The group requested a thorough investigation and potentially new consultants to oversee the project and report back within a set timeframe.