By Ajani Okanlawon
Mr Ambode made the statement while addressing thousands of residents, party chieftains, traditional rulers and top government officials at the Abesan Mini Stadium at the maiden edition of the quarterly Town Hall Meeting.
Critics of the governor had interpreted the statement as a knock on his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola.
Rather than accuse Mr Fashola of financial recklessness, Ayorinde explained in a message to an online publication made available to qed.ng that Ambode’s statement was not an indictment of the man he succeeded.
Mr Ayorinde pointed out that without taking anything away from the achievements of their predecessors; governments across the country are now fashioning ways to “run a leaner and more efficient government given the harsh reality of dwindling oil prices and our sluggish economy in general.”
He explained further: “We are now in era where every kobo counts. And I think a state Chief Executive that has this at the back of his mind deserves applause. To have been able to save N3bn, therefore, speaks more about prudence and forthrightness that is desperately needed in these austere times rather than suggest a jab at the way Lagos government was run before him.
“This is a governor that has also paid billions of Naira to pensioners in order to reduce their sufferings. By so doing, Gov. Ambode is only being responsive and dutiful in his calling. It need not call to question why the pension wasn’t paid since 2010.
“That Gov. (Abiola) Ajimobi in Oyo decided to reduce ministries from 23 to 13 in order to run a leaner government and save cost is not an indictment on how he ran Oyo State in his first term.”
With dwindling revenue from oil and the prospect of lower budget projections, Ayorinde pointed out that “Things have changed and it will be foolhardy to think that a new orientation is not required in how public officers dispense state resources.”