Information pulled together by societyreelnews.com has revealed the alleged involvement of Skye Bank Plc in the mismanagement and misappropriation of Man power and funds generated from the Lagos Bus Franchise Scheme.
The Lagos Bus Franchise Scheme, an initiative of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) was inaugurated in August 2009 by Governor Babatunde Fashola as a pilot demonstration project in Alimosho local government area, the largest LGA in Lagos. The scheme is a public/private partnership initiative with the objective of providing infrastructure such as bus terminals and bus shelters, and Skye Bank Plc providing finance to Mint Seal Nigeria Limited for the acquisition and maintenance of buses.
Privies to reliable information divulged that Skye bank released funds for Mint Seal Limited at the initial stage of the scheme to purchase fleet of 50 busses with the expectation that income generated from the operation of the busses will be use to purchase more buses. It was gathered that as the fleet manager remits the income to bank, Skye bank failed in its part to supervise regular routine maintenance exercise. The failure of the bank as gathered, have put the current number of functional buses at about 20 with several buses parked at the depot, all in various state of disrepair. Some of the buses no longer have tyres and were supported by wooden or metal materials.
Findings revealed that the bus service only had about one-fifth of its fleet on the road because of a major fuel shortage at its depot because the franchise scheme is heavily indebted to fuel suppliers. Among the fuel suppliers who are not paid by LAMATA and Skye bank are Capital Oil, Jamarah Ventures, KTA Oil and Gas Limited, Two Cee Limited, Deekay Oil and Gas Limited and Lobas Washing Services. As event unfolds in the management of this scheme, Skye Bank Plc is said to have connived with LAMATA to take the company, Mint Seal out of the Picture thereby worked out the removal of the fleet management Director, Mr. Bode Dinyo.
Sources close to the scheme revealed that finances given by World Bank to put the scheme back on track after several failures in management has failed in making the buses operational due to alleged selfish interest of Skye bank management and LAMATA. According to sources, LAMATA has illegally been taking cuts from funds from the World Bank deposited with Skye bank that are meant to improve the scheme.
Recently, it was gathered that World Bank released N100m to refurbish some vehicles, but LAMATA and the Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti led Skye Bank spent less than half of the money on minor repairs, pocketing the rest. Â The source said the fund from the World Bank was to take care of infrastructure and refurbish some buses.
An insider in LAMATA who pleaded anonymity alleged that there are other corporate bodies that had signal interests with the release of funds to Skye bank but the bank has refused to spend a dime claiming that until replacement for Mint Seal Limited has been found to fund will be released. Sources in the know revealed that Skye Bank and LAMATA have been unable to get to a conclusive agreement on who the next fleet manager would be.
In our bid to get the response of Skye bank, Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa, personnel with the corporate communication department of the bank was contacted via mobile phone and email and he promised to get across immediately. We waited for 96hours (4days) without any form of response from Mr. Bolarinwa.
Barely 24hours after the story was posted on our website; Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa reacted on behalf of Skye Bank with an SMS saying:
â€œEven when Moses (Rasheedâ€™s colleague) told you we had none borrowing relationship with LAMATA, all you were interested was to mention my name that you waited 96 hours without response, now that you had done the story, you could file it for CNN for an award thenâ€
We, societyreelnews.com responded:
â€œYou know you lied, Moses never called. Nobody did call from your sideâ€¦
Yea, weâ€™ll file it for the award. Expect more facts to the storyâ€