Ex-commissioners deny indicting Ambode at probe panel
Three former commissioners of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who were interrogated by the nine-man probe panel set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly to probe the controversial purchase of 820 buses, have denied reports that they indicted him when responding to questions from the panel.
The three former commissioners are Mr. Wale Oluwo (Energy), Mr. Toyin Suarau (Agriculture) and Mr. Olusegun Banjo (Budget).
In a statement yesterday, Oluwo stressed that he and his colleagues did not make indicting statement against their former boss, saying that he believes in the principle of collective responsibility.
He said: “I attended the second session of the committee proceedings on October 15, 2019. The former Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau and I were called into the committee room at the same time. So, the questions asked both of us were in the open. Suarau was asked questions on the Lagos State Rice Mill project in Imota while I was asked questions on the LED-UK street light installations (a UK Exim Bank funded project).
“I answered the committee’s questions to the best of the information available to me and at no time was anyone of us asked questions on Oshodi Interchange or any other projects outside the two mentioned above.
Also, Banjo said that his responses to the questions were misrepresented by the media, stressing that no part of his responses indicted Ambode.
Banjo added: “I informed the committee that I was appointed in February 2018 when the issue of bus purchase had already been on the ground. I also explained that the bus issues were not contained in the budget I managed but could have been in earlier budgets.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has commenced the training of 800 chartered accountants in the state’s public sector on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to enhance their capacity, bring them up to date on best practices in accounting, promote the culture of fair reporting and increase efficiency in public service delivery in the state.
The Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, in his keynote address said: “The governor regarded employees as the biggest assets needed to achieve the state’s development agenda.
He said the state had successfully transited from cash-based reporting to a more advanced accrual basis of IPSAS and that the state is passionate about the adoption and continuous application of IPSAS due to numerous embedded advantages, and increasing global demand for transparency.