Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has come under criticism following reports of significant government spending on various projects ahead of the February 25 Presidential election. According to Daily Trust, among the expenditures approved by Sanwo-Olu is ₦24.5 million for the renovation of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police’s official residence. This information was disclosed in the Public Procurement awards by the Lagos State government for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023.
In addition to the renovation costs, the Governor also allocated ₦20.8 million for the decoration of the venue for a political delegates’ congress. Furthermore, the Lagos State Government approved ₦44.8 million for clearing vegetation within the Epe Mixed Development Scheme.
Controversy also surrounds the approval of ₦2 billion by the state government for “provision of supply items (rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights, and fridge) in the office of the Deputy Governor.” This approval sparked significant public criticism, particularly after an open letter from Funso Doherty, the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) governorship candidate in Lagos, to Governor Sanwo-Olu. Doherty’s letter highlighted various contract awards reported by the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA), including expenditures on bulletproof vehicles, church renovations, and distribution of chickens across local government areas and wards.
In response to these allegations, the Deputy Governor clarified that contrary to the reported ₦2 billion for rechargeable fans, he only received ₦2 million. He addressed a memo to the Director General of the state’s Public Procurement Agency, stating that his wife received ₦2.5 million each for her monthly outreach and empowerment program in Lagos, not the reported ₦30 million. He labeled the agency’s report as untrue, mischievous, fake, and unfounded.
These spending decisions and subsequent clarifications highlight the scrutiny and public interest in government expenditures, particularly in the context of upcoming elections and broader socio-economic challenges.