Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has come under criticism for reportedly approving the sums 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 as well as a hefty N18 million for Christmas chickens.
This criticism came on Monday from the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), which asserted that revelations from Funsho Doherty, a chartered accountant and African Democratic Congress (ADC) governorship candidate in the 18th of March gubernatorial election in Lagos gave the state government away as “irresponsible, irrational, insensitive and absolutely outrageous”.
The candidate had disclosed that other contracts purportedly awarded by the Lagos State’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA) in the second and third 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. The office of the Chief of Staff also got N18.5 million for the supply and distribution of 2,000 Broiler chickens across the local government areas and wards in the state.
Reacting in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA condemned the Lagos state government for “the profligacy of purchasing multimillion Naira chickens for politicians at a time a greater percentage of the good people of Lagos state are confronted by mass poverty given that the National Bureau of Statistics had said over 133 million Nigerian households are multidimensionally poor”.
Blasts Tinubu Over N5bn Budget For Presidential Yacht
The civil society organization also berated the President Bola Tinubu-led government over the attempted budgeting of N5 billion for a presidential yacht, stressing that the push for the procurement of the yacht and the admission by Senator Ali Ndume that the presidential yacht was already in the possession of the Nigerian Navy even before the budgetary proposal was tabled, makes the matter shady, suspicious and absolutely ludicrous.
The rights group stated that it had waited for days to see if some characters in the last administration had authorized the delivery of the Yacht even before a legally permissible payment approval from Parliament had been made, and expressed shock that the central government has decided to let the matter slide.
According to it, “the decision on the Presidential Yacht has an incurably inherent corruption motive because the procurement process failed the test of transparency in such a way that it was never implemented in compliance with the 6 principles of public procurement under the extant procurement Act of 2007 which are accountability, fairness, reliability transparency, ethical standards and economy”.
HURIWA called on Tinubu to identify, arrest and prosecute government officials who authorized the acceptance of the Yacht worth N5 billion in which a part is to be paid in dollars, stressing that such transaction is absolutely unconstitutional since Nigeria’s national currency is the Naira.
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