Former governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, has come out to defend the N78.3 m contract awarded to upgrade his website, www.tundefashola.com, The Punch reports.
The former governor had come under heavy criticism when Lagos State Public Procurement Agency released on its website that a contract was awarded to Info Access Plus Limited to carry out an upgrade on Fashola’s website.
READ ALSO: Is Fashola a saint or sinner?
Mr Fashola has admitted that the money was actually awarded to the company for his website. In a letter he signed that was released on Thursday, August 14, the former governor said that the contract followed due process and was approved by the government agency saddled with the responsibility of doing so. He however faulted the fact that the publication did not show the break down which he felt caused the problem.
“As far as the website contract is concerned, yes there was a contract. It went through procurement and was approved by the government agency authorised to do so. One of the services was an upgrade quoted for N12.5m but awarded for N12m.
“There were other services that were new like a handover countdown clock, mobile Apps for Google, for IOS and Ipad, for Microsoft and for Research in Motion (Blackberry), which the existing website did not have, as well as the annual maintenance cost for managing the website.
“It was for all these services that the contract was issued for N78m, which the Lagos State Procurement Agency gave no objection based on the advice of the Ministry of Science and Technology, who are the government’s adviser on ICT matters.
“In publishing this contract award, which was the government tradition under my watch, the procurement agency’s website summarised it as ‘upgrade’ only without detailing the other services and this has been distorted by the agents of hate as their suspected smoking gun.”
He claimed that the absence of the summary in the publication made the truth distorted.
“It is regrettable that a summary of the contract has been deliberately distorted to misinform the public,”
READ ALSO: Firm releases official statement on Fashola's website
He added that the website allowed him to do his work effectively and alleged that some unnamed individuals were plotting to drag his name to the mud. He explained that the allegation that he had children outside wedlock was untrue as the only children he had outside marriage were the two children he adopted after their parents were killed during the Dana plane crash in 2012.
He castigated the Coalition Against Corrupt Leader, a group that had asked the EFCC to probe him and President Muhammadu Buhari not to give him a political appointment. He said he didn’t care if he was given a political appointment or not as he had served Lagos state for more than 12 tears.
Meanwhile, a group, Civil Society Network Against Corruption has petitioned the EFCC over the 'questionable expediture' of the government of Fashola while he was governor.