Lagos deputy gov: I didn’t get N2bn approval to buy fans, fridges, others

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The deputy governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, has denied getting approval of N2,017,840,000 for the procurement of several items, including rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights, and fridges in his office.

The Lagos State Public Procurement Agency had in a report shared on its website said N2 billion was approved for the purchase of the items.

Reacting to the report which has since been eliciting reactions from Nigerians, the Office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, in a memo, faulted the publication, noting that the correct amount for the items was N2,017,840.

The deputy governor, in the internal memo signed by the Director, Finance and Account, Tola Ekemode, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the office of the deputy governor, described the publication as untrue, mischievous, and fake.

The memo read: “Our attention has been drawn to an online story with the Headline, ‘Open Letter on Selected Public Procurement by LASG in the Period April to September 2023.’

“According to the news item as reported on X (formerly Twitter), the Office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State was reported to have awarded the sum of N2,017,840,000 for the provision of supply items (rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights, and fridges).

“It was also reported that the office spent N30,000,000 monthly for outreach to indigents by the Wife of the Deputy Governor and the same amount for a monthly empowerment programme by the Wife of the Deputy Governor.

“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.

“It is important to state that, the office did get approval and awarded the provision of supply items (rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights, and fridges) for the sum of N2,017,840 (Two Million, Seventeen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Naira) and not the N2,017,840,000 (Two Billion, Seventeen Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira as reported on the website of your agency, Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Lagos MEPB Q3 Budget Performance Review referenced by the X (formerly Twitter) account.

“In addition, the report that the office through the Wife of the Deputy Governor spent N30,000,000 monthly for outreach to indigents is inaccurate as the amount stated covered the whole year. It is N2,500,000 per month. Same for the empowerment programme by the Wife of the Deputy Governor which is also N2,500,000 per month as against N30,000,000 monthly reported.

“The above narrative is exactly what we have in our records and please, kindly find attached the approvals, and the Letters of Award of the contract for your further necessary action.

“Truth must be said, this is very sad, and Mr Deputy Governor has expressed his displeasure to this happening and will want your office to kindly address this by giving the public the true picture of events. These errors or inaccuracies exhibited by your data are capable of putting credibility at stake. One then wonders about the accuracy of the overall content on the site if the items concerning the Deputy Governor’s Office can be inaccurate.

“It is, therefore, important that you look through the data and confirm the correctness or otherwise of all the details of the report as displayed on the website.”

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