CACOL Writes Buhari, Seeks Withdrawal of Fashola’s Nomination

  • Says ex-minister failed in his three portfolios
  • Urges the president to probe his tenure

Solomon Elusoji

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) at the weekend urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to reappoint former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

CACOL, an anti-corruption civil society organisation, also justified its position on the ground that he failed in carrying out his duty in the three portfolios – work, housing and power the president appointed him to oversee between 2015 and 2019.

It frowned at Fashola’s nomination in a letter its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran addressed to the President on Friday, citing deplorable conditions of federal roads in Lagos and Ogun State the minister failed to fix during his first term.

In Lagos, the letter listed deplorable federal roads Fashola failed “to fix Oshodi-Apapa expressway, Lagos-Badagry expressway, some sections of 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.”

Across the state, the letter noted that 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.”

It, also, cited 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

It added that 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
“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.”

The letter said 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.”

Apart from the Lagos-Abeokuta and Sango-Idiroko express roads begging for urgent intervention, the letter noted that 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.”

On the power sector, the letter read in part that 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 years in the saddle, Fashola 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 that power generation has increased from 4,000 mw to 7,000 mw, transmission from 5,000 mw to 7,000 mw and distribution from 2,690 mw to 5,222 mw, nothing is on ground to justify this claim as diverse protests rock the nation by frustrated and agonised members of the public who suffer these defects in power supply.”

On these grounds, the letter urged the president “not to appoint Fashola in concordance with our objective appraisal of his performance whilst he held sway as governor of Lagos state.

“We have been sufficiently vindicated as his inability to deliver the goods stare us all in the face. We hereby express dissatisfaction of his performance in all those three vital portfolios,” the letter noted.

It, also, called the president not only “to relieve him of any future responsibilities, but 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.”