WASHINGTON – We wish to draw your attention to some vital issues concerning distinguish men and women, that you have assembled to be part of your cabinet with a view of partnering with you, towards realizing your plan for promoting good governance and accountability. We believe that competence; integrity, track record and diligence will no doubt determine the realization of your goals, to birth a new Nigeria in accordance with your avowed commitment towards a socio-political environment in Nigeria, and a rejuvenated, economically virile, peaceful and united country in line with the dreams of our founding forebears. Against this background, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) hereby urge your Excellency to withdraw the nomination of Mr Raji Fashola whose name, unfortunately, featured prominently amongst those to be reappointed as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Our organization, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, is an aggregate of human rights, community based and civil society organizations and individuals with anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectional and non-profit making organization. We set for ourselves the tasks of promoting accountability, openness in governance and using any available means to cause relevant authorities to probe and bring to book, corrupt leaders both in public and private institutions.
We also strive to protect interest of persons or groups found to be victims or potential victims of corrupt practices and processes of manipulation and violation of human rights. This patriotic assignment necessitates the need for us to also beam our searchlight on any government officials, whose dereliction of duties or lack of diligence and competence could jeopardize and frustrate efforts at evolving a society alongside these objectives.
Sequel to the letter sent to you on 9th of April 2019, where we demanded that Mr Fashola should not be reappointed based on the fact that he has failed in carrying out his duty in the three portfolios in terms of Work, Housing and Power.
Suffice it to outline our in-depth analysis on the key portfolios of the outgoing Minister as follows: –
Deplorable conditions of federal roads within Lagos state and Ogun axis
(i) In Lagos, deplorable federal roads include the entire stretch of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, some sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yet to be touched by the ongoing reconstruction of the dual carriageway and where work has been ongoing, the quality of work has not been impressive
(ii) Within the city, some of the affected roads are the Ijora Causeway and Flyover; Funsho Williams Avenue, Alaka, Custain Roundabout to Eko Bridge ramp and Costain to Iganmu bridge.
(iii) Also affected are Carter bridge roundabout to LAWMA Junction inwards Eko Bridge, Herbert Macaulay Way from Jibowu Junction to Adekunle Junction, Outer Marina to Ahmadu Bello Way from Apongbon bridge to Bonny Camp, Falomo roundabout through Kingsway Road to Osborne Road, Apapa Road to Western Avenue, between Iganmu bridge ramp and Western Avenue bridge ramp among others
(iv) Bad portions on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway such as Sango-Ota, Joju, Owode, Ijako, Iyana-Ilogbo and Pakoto have not only become death traps for motorists, but they have made commuters plying the road prone to armed robbery attacks
(v) Many spots on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway are in a deplorable state, which of course have made things very difficult for the commuters and motorists. These spots are the Toll Gate area, the Sango Market area, Under Bridge, Joju junction, Oando Petrol Station junction, Owode-Ijako and Iyana Ilogbo, along Lagos-Abeokuta road. Specifically, on Sango-Idiroko axis, you have bad portions at Iyana Ota, Oju Ore, Fowobi Junction, General Hospital, Ota Junction as well as Ota High Court, Iyana Iyesi and the Bells area
(vi) The deplorable state of the iconic Third Mainland Bridge has left many motorists dumbfounded as they continue to lament the fragility of this all important, connecting bridge. Not only that some portions of the bridge evokes occasional tremor and instability, even on occasions that repairs are done, the quality of work usually leaves much to be desired. The dream of a Fourth Mainland Bridge remains what it is: a dream, as no tangible dateline for its commencement is in sight many years after its official launching. This would have no doubt, ease much of the congestion in movement of people and goods from Lagos hinterland to the surrounding cities
(vii) Apart from the Lagos-Abeokuta and Sango-Idiroko express roads begging for urgent intervention, other federal roads in the state required major intervention such as Ikorodu-Shagamu road, Shagamu-Ijebu Ode road, Ijebu Ode-Ore are equally in terrible conditions and require urgent attention.
Power Holding (Electricity supply) and Nigerians’ Experience
- The experience has been that of continuous epileptic power supply even as the power generation availability hovers around 3, 500 to 4, 500 megawatts with tens of billions of US Dollars expended as shortfalls to Electricity Generation Companies (GENCOS)
- Almost four (4) years in the saddle, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing has demonstrated more of rhetoric and propaganda in protecting electricity consumers from the shylock electricity distributive companies (DISCOS) as more of darkness is supplied as bogus billing system (estimated billings) is enforced with people being hamstrung to pay for power they never enjoyed. The situation remains evenly pathetic, throughout the federation metering of homes and offices remain a pipe dream with different stories of how the exploited Nigerian power utilizing individuals and corporate organizations lick their wound daily, with unimaginable consequences on the entire economy and social activities
- Even with the claim of the power Ministry under Babatunde Fashola that power generation has increased from 4,000 (Four thousand) Megawatts to 7,000 (Seven Thousand Megawatts, Transmission from 5,000 (Five Thousand) Megawatts to 7,000 (Seven Thousand) Megawatts and Distribution from 2,690 (Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety) Megawatts to 5,222 (Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty-two) Megawatts, nothing is on ground to justify this claim as diverse protests rock the nation by frustrated and agonized members of the public who suffer these defects in power supply
- As it is characteristic of Babatunde Fashola’s style of leadership, when confronted with indifference and complacence on deployment of huge quantum of resources on electricity with defaulting companies not brought to book by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and challenged through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts, all that could be extracted was the role of an Abuja based company named POW Technologies Ltd that got paid for 19 (Nineteen) items since 2014 but has remained in default of 6 (six) items while palpable failure of many other procurements and contracts remain sketchy till date.
Housing Policy and Result under Babatunde Fashola’s stewardship
Honourable Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) while commenting on the housing sector hinted that the pilot National Housing Programme which to him is second in the history of the nation, has led to a nationwide housing construction currently at various stages of completion in 34 States of the federation, where landed properties were provided. He also insisted that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation building.
The Works and Housing Boss opined that the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of Consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands, explaining that a total of 1, 216 applications for Consent to Transfer Interest in land and 1, 300 Certificates of Occupancy were approved and signed.
However, unlike what was clearly visible under Lateef Jakande’s administration as Minister of Works under General (rtd) Abacha’s regime, most Nigerians continue to lament lack of adequate and affordable Housing scheme under this regime.
CACOL had written to advice against the appointment of same Babatunde Raji Fashola in concordance with our objective appraisal of his performance whilst he held sway as governor of Lagos state. Today, we have been sufficiently vindicated as his inability to deliver the goods stare us all in the face. It is in view of this noted incompetence that we hereby, express our dissatisfaction of his performance in all those three (3) vital portfolios and call on your leadership to not only relieve him of any future responsibilities, but to probe his office on all supposed contracts given out under him with a view to bring him and others who may be culpable of siphoning and diverting humongous sums of money for work not done.
Please, accept our esteemed regards as we believe you would view this intervention as our little contribution towards assisting in the greater success of this government, especially during your last lap in office.
Yours in the service of Humanity,