Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, has refuted claims made by the Public Procurement Agency regarding the allocation of N2 billion for the purchase of rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights, and fridges for his office.
Recall that Parallel Facts reported that Funsho Doherty, the gubernatorial candidate of the ADC, raised concerns through his X handle about Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu approving a substantial N18 million for the distribution of 2000 chickens, N2 billion for rechargeable fans, and N7.4 million for office fragrance in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023, as per the records of the State’s Public Procurement Agency.
Reacting, Hamzat, in a memorandum addressed to the Director General of the procurement agency, signed by the Director of Finance and Account, Tola Ekemode, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the deputy governor’s office, countered the agency’s assertion, stating that the approved budget for the project was only N2 million.
Moreover, he contested the reported disbursement of N30 million for his wife’s monthly outreach to indigents and empowerment program, stating that she received N2.5 million for each initiative.
Criticism has been directed at the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Deputy Governor Hamzat for approving expenditures such as N7.5 million for the replacement of liquid fragrance in Sanwo-Olu’s office and N2 billion for the acquisition of rechargeable fans for Hamzat’s office.
The denial comes amidst growing scrutiny and calls for transparency in public expenditures within the state.
“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 = 2,017,840 (Two Million, Seventeen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Naira) as against the = 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.
He urged the agency to promptly address the issue by providing the general public with an accurate account of the approved actions.
“The Office of the Deputy Governor wishes to state in unequivocal terms, for your immediate action and the attention of millions of readers that the report is untrue, mischievous, fake and unfounded.
“We are compelled to write this letter due to the inaccuracies it conveyed; as the story was completely different and not a true reflection of what we have in our records. Also, we would not allow some individuals and journalists with mischievous inclination to bring the personality and name of the Deputy Governor, his wife and the office to disrepute,” he said.