Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has broken his silence since some items in records released by the state’s Public Procurement Agency indicted him and started causing public stir.
Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday during the inauguration of the Lagos State Building Control Agency building, PWD Ikeja, admitted that “we can make mistakes on some items” and “we are open to criticisms.”
The governor, while reacting to the released procurement records, welcomed the open letter by the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, Funso Doherty, and assured him that the government would continue to publish its spending and keep it open for public scrutiny.
SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that Governor Sanwo-Olu was presently in the eye of the storm after state procurement records showed he approved 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.
Other contracts awarded by the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA) in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2023 had included approval of over N440 million for the purchase of a new Lexus LX 600 Bulletproof Sport Utility Vehicle for use in the pool of the 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 Noiler chickens across the local government areas and wards in the state.
On Tuesday, PUNCH quoted Governor Sanwo-Olu as saying, “We are committed, responsible and transparent. We don’t have a problem with anybody, or any individual. We acknowledge that these are ways we should be doing things.
“We appreciate criticism. We appreciate the fact that people can look at us in the face that we need to do well in the state.
“So we don’t have a problem with the originator of an open letter. In fact, we like it and we want to thank him, and that’s to say that indeed, to be a government that’s firm and responsible, we should not shy away from criticism.
“But it is only when criticism is malicious, unintended and it is to misrepresent the truth and that’s where there’s a problem. Some officers in Lagos have all come out to say that indeed we can make mistakes on some lines of items. I heard of a particular one that an item was meant to be N2million but it was written as N2billion.
“For me, I’m leading a team of very dedicated public officials; I’m leading a team of committed civil servants. I’m leading a team of self-motivated public officials who want to stand and say that they can be well recognised.
“All we want to do is to serve the people of Lagos, and serve the state with every iota of strength and commitment we have, and believing Lagosians can truly see the benefit of our service.
“I just want to make this point, and put it to rest. The website will continue to work. We’ll put all our numbers there and we’ll continue to pride ourselves at all times that indeed we can make mistakes but it is not any intention for us to be unmindful of what public goods are, and to ensure that public goods is what will continue to be respected.”