‘It’s mischievous’, Hamzat writes procurement DG over N2bn for rechargeable fans

Obafemi Hamzat

Lagos State Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat has debunked claims that his office received about N2 billion to purchase rechargeable fans, rechargeable lights and fridge.

This comes after the 2023 governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, Funsho Doherty, on Sunday asked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for explanation on some contract awards as reported by the state’s procurement agency.

Hamzat’s office was also said to have gotten N30 million for “monthly outreach of indigent citizens by the wife of the deputy governor,” and another N30 million for “monthly empowerment programmes of the wife of the deputy governor.”

The contracts, according to the documents, were carried out in the second and third quarters of 2023.

Premium Times said on Monday that it obtained a copy of the letter which Hamzat’s office wrote the procurement agency, seeking clarification on information it described as “untrue, mischievous, fake and unfounded.”

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The letter, it said, was dated November 20 and addressed to the office of the director general of the procurement agency, with reference: ODG/154/T/212 and titled: “Re: Open Letter on Selected Public Procurement by LASG in the Period April to September 2023.”

The letter, signed on behalf of the permanent secretary in the deputy governor’s office by the director of finance and accounts in the office, Tola Ekemode, said: “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 =N=2,017,840 (Two Million, Seventeen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Naira) and not the =N=2,017,840,000 (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 =N=30,000,000 monthly for outreach to indigents is inaccurate as the amount stated covered the whole year. It is =N=2,500,000 per month. Same for the Empowerment programme by the Wife of the Deputy Governor which is also =N=2,500,000 per month and not =N=30,000,000 monthly reported.”

The letter added that Hamzat “expressed his displeasure to this happening and will want your office to kindly address this by giving the public the true picture of events.”