Eko Hot Blog reports that the former Governorship Candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos State, Funso Doherty, has written an open letter to the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on materials and projects funded with taxpayers’ money.
The former governorship candidate’s letter, which is dated November 17, 2023, was contained in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday.
“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 posted on X.
In the letter, Doherty highlighted some of the procurements that needs “greater scrutiny” from the state government. He also asked the government to explain to the public the structure of the budgetary allocation.
He said he analysed the register of public procurement of the state government for the second and third quarters of 2023.
According to the chartered accountant, the period reviewed was from April to September.
In the open letter, Doherty cited that N18,468,000 was awarded to the Office of the Chief of Staff for the “supply and distribution of 2,000 Noiler chicken across the local government areas and wards in the state”.
“Another sum of N440,750,000 was awarded to the office of the chief of staff for the ‘procurement of a brand new Lexus LX 600 Bullet Proof Sport Utility Vehicle for use in the Pool of Office of Chief’,” Doherty wrote.
“The sum of N7,475,000 also awarded for the ‘replacement of the liquid fragrance in the Office of Mr Governor, Lagos house, Ikeja.’
“The office of deputy governor was awarded the sum of N30,000,000 for ‘monthly outreach of indigent citizens by wife of the deputy governor.
“Another N30,000,000 was awarded for monthly empowerment programmes of the wife of the deputy governor.
“The sum of N2,017,840,000 was awarded for the ‘provision of supply items (rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights and fridge in the office of the deputy governor’.
“Flying hours expenses on Ad-hoc charter plane by Lagos State Government for N400 million in July 2023. Flying hours expenses on Ad-hoc charter plane by Lagos State Government for N112.5 million in August 2023.”
He said the government also awarded the sum of N531,553,559 for the “renovation of Saint Andrews Anglican Church. Oke-Popo, Lagos”.
Doherty said these procurements require “further scrutiny” and public explanation from the Lagos government.
The chartered accountant also demanded that the government account for how it spent the exorbitant sum of N69.9 billion to repair an existing road linking Eti-Osa/Lekki expressway
“N69,936,201,915 allocated for rehabilitation, reconstruction and upgrade of Eti Osa/Lekki Epe Expressway (phase b) from Greensprings to Abraham Adesanya in Eti Osa and Ibeju-Lekki LGA.
“This single award for the repair and upgrade of a section of an already existing road amounts to approximately half of the entire 2023 budget for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. A comprehensive and preferably independent value-for-money should be done for this contract,” he added.
Additionally, Doherty tasked the Lagos government to explain the N70 billion allocated for the construction of Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) commuting from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko in 2008.
According to him, this project was supposed to be completed in 2011, but it was only partially completed until 2023. On that note, he tasked the government to evaluate the N218 billion now allocated for phase 2 of the construction.
He said, “In 2008, N70 billion was approved for the blue line and it was expected to be completed by 2011. Phase 1 of the project, Marina to Mile 2, which is approximately half of the length of the total project, has just recently commenced limited operation in 2023. The overall cost so far has not been disclosed.
“With this award of Phase 2 by the Lagos State Government to the same contractor (China Civil Engineering Construction Company Nigeria Limited), at the cost of N218 billion, what safeguards are in place to prevent a repeated occurrence?”
READ THE FULL OPEN LETTER BELOW:
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. pic.twitter.com/AEulEU64aN
— funsodoherty (@funsodoherty) November 18, 2023
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