Outrage Mounts as Public Questions Priorities in Recent Public Procurement Approvals
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is facing intense criticism following revelations of exorbitant expenditures, including the approval of N7.5 million for the replacement of liquid fragrance in his office and a staggering N3 billion allocated for rechargeable fans for the office of Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat. These disclosures, part of the contracts awarded by the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA) in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023, have sparked widespread outrage and calls for accountability.
I just wrote an open letter to the Governor on Public Procurement awards reported by LASG for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023, highlighting a number of issues for further scrutiny and remedial action. Judicious use of public funds is always important, and is especially so now. pic.twitter.com/AEulEU64aN— funsodoherty (@funsodoherty) November 18, 2023
Among the controversial contracts is the approval of over N440 million for the acquisition of a new Lexus LX 600 Bulletproof Sport Utility Vehicle for use in the Chief of Staff’s pool. The same office received N18.5 million for the supply and distribution of 2,000 Noiler chickens across local government areas and wards in the state.
Further scrutiny of the contracts reveals an allocation of N152 million for the restoration of water supply at the Iduganran palace, the official residence of the Oba of Lagos. Additionally, the state is set to spend N581 million on the renovation of Saint Andrews Anglican Church in the Oke-Popo area.
The office of the deputy governor secured N30 million for a monthly outreach program targeting indigent citizens, while another N30 million was allocated for an empowerment program.
Funsho Doherty, the 2023 governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, has raised questions about the contracts and has written an open letter to Governor Sanwo-Olu, urging a review of some of the projects. Doherty emphasized the importance of judicious use of public funds, especially in challenging times.
Public policy expert Dr. Abimbola Oyarinu expressed concern over the government’s apparent disregard for the economic challenges facing the populace. He emphasized the need for accountability and criticized the apathy of the public, asserting that citizens must hold their leaders responsible for their actions.
Social crusader Olufemi Ajayi condemned the contracts as evidence of the government’s insensitivity to the plight of the people. Ajayi questioned the allocation of over N7 million for air fresheners at a time when citizens are grappling with basic necessities.
As public discontent grows, repeated attempts to reach Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, and Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akoshile, for comments have gone unanswered as of the time of filing this report.
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