The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday summoned the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Omotayo Bamgbose Martins, over alleged disregard for due process.
Also summoned are the Special Adviser on Public Private Partnership, Ope George, and ENL NOVAL, the benefiting contract firm, over what the lawmakers described as award of contract between the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and the Office of the Public Private Partnership, PPP, without recourse to law.
The lawmakers further directed that all such agreements and contracts by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development without regards to the law be put on hold.
Raising the issue under ‘Matters of Urgent Public Importance’, the Chairman of the Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Nureni Akinsanya, cited Section 26 of the PPP Law, which he said was not followed.
“The trend of not passing through the House in PPP agreements needs to be stopped and discouraged and the law of this State, as passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly, must be duly complied with and enforced,” he said at a sitting presided by Deputy Speaker Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, who stood in for Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.
In his contribution, Hon. Sa’ad Olumoh, who chairs the committee on Public Private Partnership at the House, noted that the committee on PPP was created by Speaker Obasa to look into all the private partnership agreements entered into in the State.
“I observed in the course of our meetings with the Special Adviser in charge of PPP that a lot of MDAs have not met up with the due process as it involves PPP agreement.
“Section 8, 9 and 10 are very clear and the House of Assembly is not a rubber stamp. Due process must be followed and agreements should be ratified by the House of Assembly. We need to protect the interest of the State Government as well as that of private investors.”
Speaking on the issue, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, said there was need to determine the financial implications of such contract.
Hon. Temitope Adewale, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, noted that ratification of such agreements by the House is in the interest of people and the State because of “unforeseen circumstances that could lead to litigation.
“PPP is a brilliant idea; laws made to direct the process need to be followed.
“Contracts been signed and not brought before the house for ratification is a flagrant disregard for the rule of law,” he said.
Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Abiodun Tobun, noted that the House of Assembly enacted laws to guide procedures and the laws were assented to by the Governor.
“It is wrong for government to enter into partnership with private organisations without recourse to the legislative House. It is an aberration,” he said.