The Lagos State Government under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu approved N24.5m for the renovation of the official residence of the Commissioner of Police in the state.
The approval for the project executed by Omay Engineering Services Ltd was dated February 6, which was a few days before the February 25 general election.
The main opposition parties in the state accused security agencies of colluding with non-state actors to intimidate their supporters and suppress votes in some areas of the state.
This was seen in the Public Procurement awards carried by the state government in 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023.
Aside the money spent on renovation, the state Ministry of Justice paid N200m to four Senior lawyers to represent Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat in pre-election matters.
The state also released N20.8m for the decoration of the venue for political delegates’ congress.
However, the money was approved on June 26, more than three months after the 2023 general elections.
The sum of N6.1m was approved in July for the provision of furniture items at the Campaign office, GRA, Ikeja. Political commentators said it is wrong for taxpayers’ money to be used to fund political activities.
The government also approved N152 million for the restoration of water supply at Iduganran palace, the official residence of the Oba of Lagos.
These revelations come at a time when Nigerians are struggling to cope with economic realities.
Meanwhile, the deputy governor has reacted to the controversy, saying he got N2 million for rechargeable fans, not N2 billion.
In a memo addressed to the Director General of the procurement agency, Hamzat also claimed that his wife got N2.5m each for her monthly outreach to indigents and empowerment programme as against the N30m captured by the agency.
Hamzat, in the memo signed by Director, Finance and Account, Tola Ekemode, on behalf the Permanent Secretary in the office of the deputy governor, said the report by the agency was untrue, mischievous, fake and unfounded.
“It is important to state that truly, the office did get approval and awarded the provision of supply items (rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights and fridges) for the sum of =N=2,017,840 (Two Million, Seventeen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Naira) as against the =N=2,017,840,000 (Two Billion, Seventeen Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira as reported by Doherty in his purported letter.”
“In addition, the report that the office through the Wife of the Deputy Governor spent =N=30,000,000 monthly for outreach to indigents is inaccurate as the amount stated covered the whole year. It is =N=2,500,000 per month. Same for the Empowerment programme by the Wife of the Deputy Governor which also =N=2,500,000 per month as against =N=30,000,000 monthly reported,” read the memo.
Daily Trust reports that Sanwo-Olu, and Hamzat, have come under criticism over the controversial approval amid the nationwide hardship.
Lagos state government approved the sum of N44.8m for the clearing of vegetables within the Epe Mixed Development Scheme.
According to records from the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA), the project was awarded in May to M/S Obak Nigeria Enterprises by the Lagos State New Towns Development Authority.
According to a report by Daily Trust, the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been criticised over the approval of N7.5 million to replace liquid fragrance in his office and N3 billion to purchase rechargeable fans for the office of his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.
Public affairs analysts, according to the report, had described the actions as insensitive to the plight of the people, especially coming at a time the government was encouraging the citizens to endure the economic hardship in the land.
However, further checks showed that some questionable spending was approved by the state government.
According to the document, N73.1m was approved for the production of the official portraits of President Bola Tinubu and the state governor, Sanwo-Olu.
The project, which was executed by the office of the Chief of Staff, was awarded to Flolizvi Connect.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, was sworn-in as President on May 29 after defeating his main rivals- Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
Sanwo-Olu also started his second term tenure on the same date.
According to available information on the website of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, there are less than 150 MDAs in Lagos.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST