The ADC’s candidate for governor of Lagos State in the March 18 election, Funsho Doherty, has voiced opposition to the recently announced cooperation between the Lagos State Government and Oando to provide electronic vehicles for the state.
According to Nairametrics, Doherty claimed that the contract lacked openness since details about the partnership’s specifics were withheld from the public in an open letter to the State’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships.
He claimed that the fact that the partnership did not adhere to state PPP law, which stipulates that such a concession needs to be approved by the State Assembly, also caused him concern.
Doherty also claimed that the partnership thrived without using the State’s legal system. He emphasized the concerns about the agreement, which he referred to as “issues of public concern.”
“Last week, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority and Oando PLC, a private enterprise, revealed that they had begun implementing a Public Private Partnership agreement.
“The governor of Lagos State confirmed this relationship with LASG in a statement on the matter.
These new developments bring up a number of serious public concerns such as:
“The PPP venture has very little transparency. The disclosures made by LASG are obviously insufficient given its projected magnitude, public significance, prospective cost, and potential impact.
“The terms of the MOU that LASG and Oando entered into, including whether it is binding or not, what commitments are being made by or required of either party under the MOU and/or any subsequent and related agreements, have not been disclosed.”
In his third point of concern, the office of Public-Private Partnership is required to “ensure that PPPs for the provision and development of public infrastructure or public assets in the state are in accordance with prevailing Government policy and public interest,” according to some state laws cited by Doherty
He claimed that it is not clear from the information that has been made publicly available thus far that these PPP-related laws and provisions were either followed or not relevant prior to the start of this partnership.
“By virtue of Oando having received certain buses and other running equipment, it is now believed that the collaboration has advanced into a pilot operational phase, which is frightening,” he said.
The governorship candidate also questioned Oando’s corporate governance problem, noting its current Securities and Exchange Commission case.
The PPP, which builds on a Memorandum of Understanding Oando signed with Lagos State last year, allows Oando to deploy an electric vehicle and infrastructure ecosystem that includes electric mass transit buses, charging stations, and other supporting infrastructure, according to Oando’s corporate disclosure document submitted to the Nigerian Exchange Group.
In order to convert the present combustion mass transit buses to electric ones, the company planned to roll out up to 12,000 buses eventually, first in Lagos State and then throughout the whole of Nigeria.
CEO of Oando Group, Adewale Tinubu, stated that “Public Private Partnerships have been critical in moving the project forward to this point and will continue to fuel our expansion across the entire country.”