N440m bulletproof SUV in Lagos budget not for Chief of Staff – Commissioner
Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Ope George, has clarified that the N440 million Lexus LX bulletproof SUV earmarked in the recently released 2023 Lagos Procurement Budget was not for the state Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde.
He explained that the vehicle was assigned for the transportation of dignitaries visiting Lagos, and not for the Chief of Staff.
George said, “The Lexus Lx 600 SUV was budgeted for the office of the Chief of Staff and not for his personal use. It is meant to receive dignitaries visiting Lagos.
“There are certain specifications that need to be followed when purchasing these vehicles, but we also purchased certain vehicles from Volkswagen in Nigeria, so we do support local vehicles and manufacturers.”
He added that the state government has deliberately been very transparent with its procurement to maintain its policy of accountability and financial openness to the public.
The commissioner assured that the procurement website will remain in the public domain to maintain the state government’s openness and expressed that they are open to opposition criticism to allow effectiveness in their work.
He stated this in a media interview on Tuesday.
Recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu had come under criticism for over bloated spending in the state’s recently published 2023 Lagos Procurement Budget.
Labour Party Guber candidate Gbadegbo Rhodes-Vivor claimed that the governor used funding from the state treasury to pay off his personal legal fees.
But speaking on the development, George stated that the aim of publishing the budget was to strive for accountability and transparency, explaining that each classification was openly explained in a reply to Mr. Funso Doherty.
The commissioner said allegations against the governor concerning the payment of lawyers using funds from the state treasury were false, adding that the aim was total transparency and there was no room for uncalculated spending.
“I say categorically that there was nothing like that. It’s all false, fake, and from incredible sources.
The commissioner stated that focus should be taken off the label of each item and focus should be put on the elaboration of each one, adding that the governor paid more attention to social attention through skill acquisition and other means.
According to him, the majority of funding set aside for renovations was mainly pumped into the renovation and maintenance of tourist attractions such as the Saint Andrews Anglican Church and the Palace of Iduganran.