Lagos deputy gov denies N2bn budget for fans, others

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The Office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State has refuted a claim made on the website of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, stating that a budget of N2,017,840,000 was allocated for the provision of items, including rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights, and fridges for the deputy governor’s office. In contrast, the correct amount, as asserted by a leaked internal memo dated November 20, signed by Director of Finance and Account, Tola Ekemode, is N2,017,840.

The internal memo, described the procurement agency’s assertion as a “total misrepresentation of facts.” Addressed to the Director General of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, the memo labeled the online story with the headline “Open letter on selected public procurement by LASG in the period April – Sept 2023” as “untrue, mischievous, fake, and unfounded.”

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The Deputy Governor’s office emphasized the urgency for the procurement agency to rectify the issue promptly by providing the general public with an accurate account of what was approved for the Deputy Governor’s office.

The memo highlighted, “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, the Office of the Deputy Governor 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.”

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The Deputy Governor’s Office clarified that the reported amounts were inaccurate. The approved budget for supply items was N2,017,840, not N2,017,840,000. Additionally, the reported monthly expenses for outreach and empowerment programs were contested, stating that the amounts covered the entire year, with N2,500,000 per month for each program.

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The memo expressed concern about the potential credibility risks associated with the inaccuracies and requested the procurement agency to review and confirm the correctness of all details reported on their website concerning the Deputy Governor’s Office. The Deputy Governor expressed dissatisfaction with the discrepancies and urged the agency to present the true picture of events to the public to uphold credibility.

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