The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, is facing severe backlash for reportedly approving extravagant expenditures, raising eyebrows amid the economic challenges faced by the public. Critics have pointed to the approval of a staggering N7.5 million for the replacement of liquid fragrance in the governor’s office and a jaw dropping N3 billion for rechargeable fans in the deputy governor’s office.
According to a report by New Telegraph, other controversial contracts awarded by the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA) in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023 include a whopping N152 million for the restoration of water supply at Iduganran palace, the official residence of the Oba of Lagos. Furthermore, records indicate an approval of over N440 million for the purchase of a new Lexus LX 600 Bulletproof Sport Utility Vehicle for the Chief of Staff’s office and a substantial N581 million allocated for the renovation of Saint Andrews Anglican Church in the Oke-Popo area of the state.
The governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, Funsho Doherty, has raised concerns about these contracts and has penned an open letter to Governor Sanwo-Olu, urging a review of the projects. Doherty emphasized the importance of judicious use of public funds, especially in the current economic climate.
In response to the revelations, public policy expert Dr. Abimbola Oyarinu expressed dismay, stating that it is unfortunate that the government appears to be enjoying luxurious expenditures while urging the people to endure economic hardships. Oyarinu placed responsibility on the citizens, suggesting that they bear accountability for the leaders they elect.
A social crusader, Olufemi Ajayi, echoed the sentiments of many, denouncing the government’s apparent insensitivity to the plight of the people. He questioned the allocation of over N7 million for air fresheners at a time when citizens are struggling to meet basic needs.
Efforts to obtain comments from the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, and the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akoshile, have been unsuccessful as of the time of filing this report.
The controversy has sparked discussions about the responsible use of public funds and is likely to fuel public discontent as citizens grapple with economic challenges.