By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has addressed the controversy surrounding a letter written by an opposition politician, which raised concerns about the procurement process in the State.
The Governor noted the controversy generated by the letter was unnecessary, stressing that the State had nothing to hide in its public expenditure.
Sanwo-Olu spoke on Tuesday, while commissioning the newly built operational headquarters of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) in Ikeja.
He said his administration would continue to value objective criticism, but added that some critics hid their “malicious intentions” under the guise of playing political opposition to misrepresent the truth.
The Governor pointed out discrepancies in the figures quoted on the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA) website, which, he said, misled the public and generated controversy.
He said: “Over the weekend, we saw on social media how some people can politically turn around all of our attempts to be responsible, transparent and committed to good governance. We don’t have a problem with any individual. We, indeed, acknowledged that this is the way it should be. We appreciate the fact that people can look at us in the face and say you need to do well in this area.
“We don’t have a problem with the originator of the open letter; in short, we like him and we thank him. Indeed, if we are seen as the Government that is transparent and responsible, we should not be shy of criticism. But, it is only when criticism is malicious and is misrepresenting the truth, that is when there will be a problem.
“Officers in Lagos State have come out to show that there could be mistakes on some lines of items. There was a particular issue where an item was meant to be N2 million, but was written as N2 billion. There are many discrepancies which have been corrected by PPA. We are not going to join issues with anyone on social media. All we are committed to is continuous service to the people of Lagos.”
Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had maintained open books for check and balances, pointing out that the State had judiciously appropriated funds to projects and services that benefited the residents.
“I lead a team of dedicated public officers, civil servants and a self-motivated team of officials that will always stand tall with anyone across the world. The building we are opening today is a testament to our commitment to responsible public service. This is a building that has been built on time within the budget and judicious expenditure. This is what we stand for in Lagos,” the Governor said.