Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has come under intense criticism 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.
Other contracts awarded by the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA) in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023 include approval of over N440 million for the purchase of a new Lexus LX 600 Bulletproof Sport Utility Vehicle for use in the pool of Office of Chief of Staff, reports Daily Trust.
The office of the Chief of Staff also got N18.5 million for the supply and distribution of 2,000 Boiler chickens across the local government areas and wards in the state.
The government also approved N152 million for the restoration of water supply at Iduganran palace, the official residence of the Oba of Lagos.
Records also showed that the state will spend N581 million to renovate Saint Andrews Anglican Church in the Oke-Popo area of the state.
The office of the deputy governor was awarded N30m for monthly outreach of indigent citizens by the wife of the deputy governor. The office also got another N30m for empowerment programme.
The 2023 governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, Funsho Doherty, who raised questions about some of the contracts, said he has written an open letter to Governor Sanwo-Olu to review some of the projects.
“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,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Public policy expert, Dr Abimbola Oyarinu, said it is sad that the government is enjoying jumbo packages while asking the people to endure the suffering in the land.
He, however, said Nigerians are living with the consequences of their actions.
“The truth is, I don’t blame the government, I blame the people. The people will always get the leaders they deserve. In spite of the inflation and the fact that an average Nigerian can no longer eat as a human any more, our government has refused to adapt to reality.
“You can no longer blame the government; the people are culpable. It will be business as usual because people don’t realise the implication of this mismanagement.
“Rather than hold the government accountable for lack of basic amenities, we have chosen to blame the devil because religion and government are in the marriage of defrauding Nigerians.
“The next election will come, these same people will wipe up ethnic and religious sentiments,” he said.
A social crusader, Olufemi Ajayi, said the contracts showed the insensitivity of the government to the plight of the people.
“How can you budget over N7m to buy air fresheners at a time when the people you are leading are struggling to eat?” he queried.
Repeated phone calls and messages to Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho and the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akoshile were unattended as of the time of filing this report.