IT firm denies receiving N78 million for Fashola’s website

Former Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola
Former Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola

The IT firm named by the Lagos State procurement office as receiving N78 million for the upgrade of former Governor Babatunde Fashola’s personal website, has denied being paid the amount.

Info Access Plus Limited said its quotation for the job was N12.5 million, and that the state eventually spent N10 million.

The figure contradicts details released by the Lagos State procurement office, first reported by the budget analytic firm, BudgiT.

The listing shows N78 million was spent on the website.

Curiously, for a company that specialises on building and upgrading websites, a Google search for Info Access Plus, revealed that Info Access Plus Limited has no website of its own.

According to information technology experts, www.tundefashola.com, created by the firm for the former governor, is a WordPress website and an upgrade could not have cost more than N300, 000.

The news of the expenditure has elicited outrage from Nigerians, with many using their social media accounts to lambast Mr. Fashola, widely seen as one of few upright politicians who could be given a cabinet position by President Mohammadu Buhari.

Mr. Fashola’s spokesperson, Hakeem Bello, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ request for comment.

In its reaction, the IT firm, Info Access Plus Limited, questioned the motive of the procurement office in releasing details of the spending.

The firm also denied that the website was for Mr. Fashola as an individual, saying it was for the “governor of Lagos State.”

It also denied receiving N78 million for the job, yet, the firm compared the website with other internet products delivered at millions and even billions of dollars.

Read the statement below:

Our attention is drawn to the twitter campaign alleging that the Lagos State Government (LASG), led by His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN spent Seventy Eight Million Naira (N78M) to upgrade the www.tundefashola.com web site, a site dedicated to giving citizens unfettered access to the Governor’s daily activities and open access to information. It is imperative to state here that, the website in question is not Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola’s personal website but an official website which reports and documents his official activities as a way of socially accounting for his stewardship to the people of Lagos State. This initiative of having an official website for the Governor was to build on the earlier commitment to open access which saw Governor Fashola being the first serving governor to publish his telephone number on the pages of newspapers. As pressure mounted on that number, the website and all of its social media handles became alternative platforms for people to directly engage with their elected governor.

While we do not hold brief for the Lagos State Government, the selective loading of contracts awarded and executed by the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency is itself suspect and aimed at a pre-determined end. The statement of the Contract Line Item and the cost ascribed on the website of the agency are therefore misleading and mischievous.

For avoidance of doubt, we are by this medium therefore laying bare the facts for the public:

Introduction

The former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, set out to streamline easy access to himself, while in office and to document his activities for the citizens.

From 2008 and up till May 29, 2015, the www.tundefashola.com web site has processed thousands of press releases/speeches, more than 6 million pictures, thousands of videos to generate world class, content-rich online information collaterals for the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN.

The same www.tundefashola.com web site provides great opportunities for the Lagos State Government, as it collates all activities of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, and his government during his two terms.

What Did LASG Get For the alleged “N78M”?

  • N12.5m was quoted for the upgrade of the www.tundefashola.com web site, which includes complete re-design of all the hundreds of page templates. Meanwhile, the LASG spent less than N10m on this and not N78M being bandied on the social around.
  • Info Access Plus Limited will provide free technical support for the entire life cycle of the web site.
  • Info Access Plus Limited will manage the contents of the site, which consist of press releases, speeches, photos, videos, etc for one year.
  • Info Access Plus Limited developed and managed the first and only web-based 1-year Countdown Clock to May 29, 2015 on a 24-hourly basis off the back of this same service cost for a period of 1 year from 2014 to May 29, 2015.
  • Info Access Plus Limited developed mobile apps for the top four platforms, namely Apple iOS, Google Play, Microsoft Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry World off the back of this same service cost.
  • Info Access Plus Limited will provide free technical support throughout the life cycles of all these mobile apps also off the back of this same service cost.

For the Records

  • In addition, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, personally paid for the www.brforg.org web site, even when he was the Lagos State Governor. He felt that www.brforg.org is the online presence of his Non-Governmental Organization, BRF Organization. Again, we state for the records, that the website in question is the official website of the Governor of Lagos State and not Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola’s personal website as being disparagingly alleged by the campaigners.

Quality Software Development Takes Serious Effort, Time and Resources

Signed on Behalf of Info Access Plus Limited


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  • March4Buhari

    General Buhari will be disappointed by this news wallahi.

    • Uncle Bee

      @march4buhari:disqus

      A lot of paid griots; like Tunde Fagbemi pretending to be a journalist in The Punch,
      and the like of Jimi Lawal working as a journalist in Classic F.M, were those responsible .
      for covering up most criminal thefts in the history of Nigeria occurring under Fashola.
      President Buhari did not tell Raji Fashola to steal. Raji Fashola stole as second nature.

      • Truth be told

        and who are the journalists responsible for covering Tinubu’s thefts?

  • Edward Imade

    A company that specializes in building websites does not have a website of his own? Ummmmmmm! This is damaging for Fashola and he should take immediate steps to tell Nigerians what happened. His millions of supportersw, including myself, deserve a reasonable explanation.

  • Spoken word

    People must really have sad lives if their mission in life is to bring down other people.this is a tactic to intimidate buhari from picking certain people into his government and to put the typical political jobbers that have ruined Nigerians in the past back in government. anyway I am not surprised Nigerians love failure and that is why some Nigerians still voted to re elect Jonathan.

    • Truth be told

      TINUBU has failed. Fashola will be in Buhari’s cabinet and he will curtail Tinubu’s stealing the way he cut the income of Tinubu’s Alphabeta in 2010.

      • Spoken word

        Alpha beta is definitely a drain pipe on Lagos State’s income.

  • Desmond

    Dear Editor,

    Raji Fashola has low intelligence quotient (I.Q)

    Anybody wants to steal in government office will first put a project in front as disguise.
    The whole idea of stealing by tricks comes from the use of such a deception to steal.
    The original idea here is to steal say about seventy (70) million Naira – very simple!
    To achieve the stealing aim Raji Fashola put up a bogus website inflated by 1000%.
    The theft here is so crude and signals and the low intelligence quotient of Fashola.
    An illiterate knows better than Raji Fashola that 1000% inflated contract is pure evil.

  • Pause

    POOR LAGOSIANS!
    WHO WILL RECOVER LAGOS TAXPAYERS’ FUNDS FROM TINUBU & FASHOLA? Do not count on CORRUPT BUHARI who benefited from the stolen funds during the campaign.

  • Akinlade O. Badesanmi

    I want to praise the Procurement Office for releasing this information to the public.

    Nobody can be in any doubt now on how dark is Raji Fashola’s un-educated mind.

    Poor un-bringing in morals is part of the Raji Fashola’s thievish destruction of Lagos.

    But above all else, a thief is a thief and the prison yard in Kirikiri is built for all thieves.

  • funke

    There is no smoke without fire is all i can say about this post.

  • tayo

    I just believe that truly the devil you know is better than the angels you do not know, even tho certain people might think this is a way to discredit Fashola from getting an appointment from the present government, why not look at it at the possibility that such hands are only revealing the caliber of wolves hidden in sheep’s skin that are the supposed “CHANGE’. These are the kind of things the PDP is revealing to the public and yet its been potrayed as bringing down the government.

  • Tony

    I believe BRF is smart enough to know that a website design company without a website is not credible enough to work with the Lagos government…..so biko BRF tell us the truth about the money.

  • katalyst

    You ve made ur point. You guys got N10m from N12.5m you quoted which means someone other than Fashola pocketed N2.5m while Fashola and Tinubu took N66mill for doing nothing. Stop ur comparison wit Obamacare. Buhari has a lot of work to do.

  • Dele

    No long talk, na! Raji Fashola must first of all be arrested by EFCC and detained in prison.
    Secondly, Raji Fashola must BE CHARGED TO PERSONALLY REFUND the ₦77.3 million.
    I don’t support those saying Raji Fashola be slapped all around. Or that he be badly flogged.
    His parents must have done all that to him as a child, but he’s kept stealing nonetheless.

    • Truth be told

      how much coke did u guys sniff at jaga’ place before hitting the key boards?

  • Proud Yoruba

    This man increased Lagos tax base from 500 million to 23 billion every month during his tenure, and if you look at the website, it scrolls his accomplishments in all sectors nonstop. It seems out of character for him to steal, because you can’t have sweet and bitter water from the same tap, there is more than meets the eye!

    • Dammy

      YOU SOUND LIKE A BORN SLAVE WHO JUST CANNOT BE SAVED,
      UNTIL YOU RESPECT FACTS AND LIBERATE YOUR OWN MIND.

      • Femi Aladeniga

        @proud_yoruba:disqus

        FACTS AND FIGURES OF RAJI FASHOLA’S THEFTS

        Raji Fashola said in May, 2015 that he got a total of 2.42 trillion Naira in cash as revenue
        in his 8-year tenure and spent it. But is there a well-educated Lagosian who can point at
        2.42 trillion Naira of provisions or services in Lagos state today, less overheads and salaries
        – plus the ₦512 billion debt Raji Fashola then incurred and left behind today, unpaid?

        In specifics, Raji Fashola left a debt of 238 billion Naira owed to foreign banks and creditors
        PLUS another 278.8 billion Naira owed to local contractors – totalling 512 billion Naira;
        according to the Debt Management Office.

        What further evidence does EFCC need to draw that simple, commonsense conclusion of theft,
        if there is no single functioning school to show for these oodles of money? Here was a merely
        serendipitous state governor, RAJI FASHOLA, who could not run the Lagos city BRT transport
        (which collapsed in just three years under his incompetent watch), and who also failed
        to run schools to pass.

        Is that not the meaning of INCOMPETENCE, to start with, besides roguery? Or, what else
        is a state governor to do, majorly, other than run a sensible school system and a state bus
        system in an orderly environment?

        • Olusesan Ajenifuja

          RAJI FASHOLA HAS NEITHER KNOWLEDGE NOR UNDERSTANDING OF GOVERNANCE.
          HE MINIMIZED GOVERNANCE TO HIS DWARF LEVEL AS TARRING OF EXISTING ROADS.
          IN EFFECT, LAGOS WORSENED ON GLOBAL RATING AS 4TH WORST CITY IN THE WORLD.

        • damian

          ah, ah….God, this one is daylight robbery…… my people, this Raji Fashola is a real thief!!!

    • tundemash

      But why personalise a website they claimed was meant for the gov. of Lagos state ? And if the govt. said they paid the company N78m and the company said they received N10m, where is the difference ?

    • Otile

      You are a hopeless fellow with no brains at all. Why kind of tax do you pay in Lagos, zakat? The people east of the Niger are the ones who should be complaining that their oil money have gone to corrupt politicians, not only Raji but Rauf Amaechi, Imam Kwankwaso, Alhaji Rochas, Sheik Osho among others.

      • Otile

        What kind of tax… I mean to say.

  • Lanre

    Machiavelli doesn’t want former Governor Fashola appointed as a Minister. So he is using various third parties to fight the battle.

  • Lanre

    -Machiavelli doesn’t want former Governor Fashola appointed as a Minister. So he is using various third parties to fight the battle.

    • humm

      Seriously, even at 10 million naira anyone cannt be that dumb to build a site for that amount. C’mon Fashola created that headache for himself cuz Machiavelli didnt award that contract.

    • olu_kay

      Corrupt drugbaron thiefnubu is trying to slander Fashola so Buhari won’t give him a cabinet post.

    • Gran puba

      Ok let’s agree with your Machiavellian theory. Do you also agree that the website did not cost N78m?.

  • Lanre

    The Machiavelli doesn’t want former Governor Fashola appointed as a Minister. So he is using various third parties to fight the battle.

    • Truth be told

      Machiavelli is the new name for Tinubu? interesting. I know Tinubu does not want Fashola in Buhari’s govt.

  • Lanre

    we knew Machiavelli doesn’t want former Governor Fashola appointed as a Minister. So he is using various third parties to fight the battle.

    • Truth be told

      na Machavelli una dey call Jagaban now? because na only him want to stop Fashola from getting federal appointment.

  • Myson

    It seams the Fashola website designer company is dumb. How can you compare one with one trillion. If you are privileged to enter inside the data center of most of the companies mentioned above, you will know why they cost billions of dollars to maintain. Fashola website can be hosted by one server.

    • Fred Duke

      Of course. That is the point.

    • Truth be told

      Fashola is a lawyer not a tech guy. apparently the tech company swindled Fashola on this one.

  • Fred Duke

    Hahahahaha…do u guys understand the terms you use? Cos of goods sold for building a lifetime system for billions of users compared to a website built for Lagosians for a limited time frame. Is such comparison legitimate? When Twitter, Microsoft, Google or Obaacare said Cost Of Goods. Sold, do you know that so many transnational operations are iinvolved. You should have stopped at where you mentioned what you collected and not dabbling iinto technical areas that will make you seem dumb.

  • Abdalla Mohammed

    Even if they bought a few dedicated servers, the bill is just too much. Hosting, design, backend/frontend and content management for a year should not cost even 5% of the bill. There’s theft here. And the fact that the company is listing facebook and Microsoft (which even offers cloud services via Windows Azure) is proof positive the firm is dubious. You’re listing companies that owned server farms in large datacenters worth hundreds of millions and billions. Na wa o!

    • adolfs01

      The bill is notbtoo much in my opinion as an IT person or developer.

      • Abdalla Mohammed

        well it was my opinion too as an expert. Ive done websites and managed hosting, Domain Controllers/Active Directory for an org with 212 OUs and Exchange, we just did a Hybrid cloud using Azure and on-premises racks in PaaS for an Electricity Disco. i can configure OpenStack in my sleep. Trust me, for a simple personal website, its way too much.

        • socrates

          I am a software developer with upward of Ten Years (10yrs) experience. Although i think the firm that designed and managed the website are quacks, i am pretty sure most Government Entities would not be able to get a Price Quote for less, especially with the amount of content uploaded on the website. It is common knowledge that IT Firms in Nigeria bill clients relative to the measure of their pockets not by a standard billing process, such as per hour or measurable units of work et cetera. I have billed a private client more than Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) over the course of a year and half. The low level of professionalism in the IT Industry is to blame, where contracts in the public sector are won not on merit, but by your ability to influence the out come contract bids.

  • uduakomiri

    It is obvious this Info Access Plus is lying. What is in question is whether the Lagos State government under Fashola paid N78 million for a WordPress website. I have a WordPress website, and it cost me nothing. If I wanted to upgrade my website from a WordPress one to something better it will cost me at most N100-150,000 to upgrade it to a fully functional standard website that definitely looks and runs better than the one Info Access Plus built for Fashola. That again raises more questions, of how any website could cost N10-12,000,000 (£30-40,000 pounds sterling!). There is no doubt, which ever way we look at it, there is some evidence of over-inflated cost. A professionally designed, web-hosted business/government website should not cost more than £10,000 or N3 million naira.
    It is almost impossible to build a state government website which is comparable to the website of a mid-sized blue chip company at $400,000 (N78,000,000). There is obvious corruption and inflation of contract. The question is, why should the Lagos state government outsource an official website to a commercial firm when the state has the personnel and resources to build this in-house using its own personnel at no extra cost to the taxpayer?
    Another question that comes to mind is, why should ordinary Lagosians pay for Fashola’s personal website? If Fashola believes he ought to sell his accomplishments to the people of the state through a channel other than the official Lagos state information websites, then he ought to pay for it himself.
    When we talk about corruption, it involves a lot of things such as a conflict of interest where a public official uses state resources to advance personal and private goals at a cost to taxpayers. Corruption also includes waste. If a public official is unable to justify spending public funds, then questions ought to be asked. Again, incurring avoidable costs at the expense of the taxpayer through contracts that are executed at above the market prices without justification is also corruption.
    In all Tunde Fashola got it wrong on this one, and he has to fully explain the cost to the public. As the past Lagos state government, a public official elected on a specific mandate, he has to fully account for his actions. Any less will suggest he has some skeletons in his cupboard!

  • Okey

    I simply and square beg to differ. This is nothing more than orchestrated campaign to stop President Buhari from appointing Babatunde Fashola as a Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria. Though I have on many occasions drawn flakes from Fashola, I am not unmindful of the fact that the man was under a heavily unbearable crushing weight of a godfather. As far as I am concerned, whatever shortcomings of Babatunde Fashola are attributable and blamable only to that godfather. I am unflinchingly convinced that under a Buhari who gives people unfettered hand to work in government, Fashola will perform excellently well if given the opportunity to serve our nation as a Minister.

    Lest I be mistaken. I am not saying Fashola is a Saint. Far from it. What I am saying and which is obvious to any Nigerian whose mind is open is that Fashola is a Saint compared to those godfathers and the lackeys they now want to project in place of Fashola. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that a sinkhole is incapable of plugging a loophole.

    Therefore, President Buhari should see beyond this shenanigan and plain mischief of persons who parade themselves as owners of power, life and death in Nigeria. We need Fashola to fix The FCT Ministry or the Ministry of works. The President should include Fashola as one of his ministerial appointees. Buhari will be doing himself and our dear nation a huge disservice if he allows himself to be deceived by this stunt, blackmail and mischief being orchestrated against Fashola now in the media.

    Earlier on when Fashola attempt to put paid to Alfa Beta conduit pipe nearly earned him impeachment or cut short his political career. But ironically and shamelessly, those who wanted to impeach him for attempting to save Lagos from irrecoverable hemorrhage are the self-same people now complaining of “stolen” N78 Million. No sane citizen can take that.

    I am so certain that under a free atmosphere i.e. leader that does not insist on collection of “tithe” from political appointees, Fashola will be a better asset than those being recommended in his stead. Most annoying, the people orchestrating this campaign against Fashola are ‘pot’ who call ‘kettle’ “black..” No sane society cannot take sides with them and it is crucial that we ensure that President Buhari is not duped in this regard.

    If President Buhari is genuinely interested about performance and delivery, Babatunde Fashola, Peter Obi and a few others
    will not be omitted in his ministerial list. Even if Sainthood (which certainly does not exist in today’s Nigeria) were the only criteria, those being suggested from Lagos State in place of Fashola are no cleaner than Fashola. We must through the veneer of this orchestrated campaign of calumny being waged against Fashola and call its deserved bluff.

    • Soja

      Well it could be a smear campaign as you said but that doesn’t mean BRF does not have a case to answer. An allegation has been made, he should please come out to defend himself, we are waiting to hear him out.

    • Otile

      Thievery cannot prevent Buhari from appointing Fashola to a plush position. Imam Buhari loves Fashola so much; both of them have many things in common, both are Mohammedans, both belong to APC party, both are forgers, and above all both are Igbo haters. Alhaji Fashola is a natural right-hand man of Imam Buhari, you can tell by the first official trip abroad Imam made after grabbing power, he could not leave home without his partner in crime.

  • Straight Arrow

    @disqus_rz6JmUrzJx:disqus

    Sorry O. You are on your own. Raji Fashola is a thief in his own right.
    Bola Ahmed Tinubu has nothing to do with Raji Fashola’s kleptomania.
    Bola Tinubu has never donated his thievish blood to Raji Fashola before.
    Raji Fashola may look like a stealing dunce but he is actually 52-years old.
    If a 52-year-old man does not know that stealing is not good, what next to say?
    Why should Bola Tinubu be blamed for Raji Fashola’s half-empty life of thefts?
    The long and the short of it is that Raji Fashola is a thief in his own right, simple!

    • Truth be told

      you need to stop taking narcotics, it makes you appear insane.

  • larro ejele

    If this is true, and I hope not, then Nigeria is finished as a country.

  • Comfortkay

    When are we going to have investigating journalist in Nigeria, within 48 hours different report is coming out, our newspapers need to be 100 percent sure of their stories.