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Domestication Of The FOI Law In Lagos: Will The Next Governor Of Lagos State Do The Needful?

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In Nigeria, Lagos state is – unarguably – in a class by itself.

Thanks to its huge IGR, no other state in Nigeria can boast of equal magnitude of construction and the upgrade of public transport infrastructures as Lagos state.

To meet up with the challenges of an exploding population, successive governments in Lagos state is always on to some transport-related project such as the construction of roads, pedestrian bridges, flyover bridges, metroline infrastructure, bus stops and terminals, public transport project, BRT corridors, etc.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, projects to improve the quality of mass transit and transportation principally account for some of the laudable accomplishments of successive governments in Lagos state.





However, one aspect that appears to undermine the efforts of successive governors in Lagos state is the non-transparent nature of the cost of these projects.

Indeed, the cost of executing public projects in Lagos state – especially in the transport sector – is shrouded in cult-like secrecy.

While Lagosians applaud some of  the numerous achievements of the governors of Lagos state – past and present -, it would be much better for the taxpayers to have a knowledge of how much of their monies is used to undertake some of these projects.

It is for this reason that the domestication of the FOI law in Lagos state, by anyone aspiring to become the governor of the state, has become imperative.

In 2011, the Goodluck Jonathan-led government signed the FOI into law.

The Freedom of Information(FOI) laws allows access by the general public to data held by governments.





The emergence of freedom of information legislation was a response to increasing dissatisfaction with the secrecy surrounding government policy development and decision-making.

Since the law was signed into law in 2011,  the Lagos state government is yet to domesticate that law.

In 2013, a pedestrian bridge was constructed by the Fashola-led government of Lagos state.

The pedestrian bridge – the Illasamaja pedestrian bridge – is situated at Sadiku bus-stop at Ilasamaja on the Oshodi- Apapa expressway in Lagos state.

It cost the Lagos state government N400 million to construct the bridge.

Today, in 2019, the Governor Ambode government is constructing a good number of pedestrian bridges across Lagos state.

It would be fair for the taxpayers in Lagos state to have an idea of how much it now cost the the state government  to build pedestrian bridges in the state.

While we must not fail to admit that Lagos state has produced performers as governors, however, it is important that we up the ante by electing governors who are both performers and are transparent in their fiscal expenditures.

As the countdown to the elections ends, one pertinent question that we need to ask our preferred candidate for the governorship of Lagos state is this:

Are you willing to domesticate the Freedom of Information Law in Lagos state?





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