By Prince Justice Faloye
The 23 year atrocious rape of the Lagos commonwealth by Tinubu and his surrogates becomes obvious when you take a look at what was actually budgeted and disbursed from 1999 to date. In a country that ranks 107th out of 113 nations in the Global Food Affordability Index, in a state where Agriculture contributes a mere 1% of Lagos GDP, where nearly 20% of children suffer stunted physical and intellectual growth due to malnourishment, Sanwo-Olus government allocated a mere N12.844b (1.4% of the N920.5 billion 2021 budget, while allocated two and a half times the amount, N29.9 billion, to take care of the Governor and principal members of the cabinet.
This has been the story since 1999, whereby Tinubu is estimated to have wasted around N100 billion between 1999 and 2004. Even when huge amounts are allocate to sectors, there has been no corresponding increase in infrastructure and capital projects. For example, despite the huge budget allocation of N167.801 billion to the health sector in 2020 by the Sanwo-Olu administration, not a single new hospital was constructed. The same thing can be traced to Tinubu from the 2002-2007 periods when Tinubu’s administration allocated a total sum of N9.810 billion to the health; the allocations made to the Health Management Board not included (Lagos State Budgets, 2002-2007).
If Tinubu had utilized the N9.810 billion honestly and credibly, a 120 bed hospital between 2001 and 2006, would cost the state the sum of N1.575 billion to build a standard big hospital. Thus, within that 6 year period, he could have built at least 6 brand new hospitals of 120 bed capacity each, and sited on a 300,000 square feet space. He would still have had N1.375 billion left to maintain the existing hospitals. Not building any hospital automatically translated to at least N6.5 billion being misappropriated in the health sector by the administration between 2002 and 2006 alone
According to a publication by American Initiative for Health and Wellness Africa ( AIHWA), in August, 2020, the sum of $1,567,925 (N653 million) could construct and equip a sophisticated specialist medical center. Ejikeme (2021), reported that Kwara State established the biggest oncology center in West Africa with the sum of N2.5 billion. Based on these submissions, both the oncology center and the infectious disease control center proposed to be built by Sanwo-Olu in 2020, cannot cost more than N5 billion. The Massey children hospital and the upgrading of the e-platform and a few other sundry expenses would take at most another N10 billion to implement the entire capital expenditure. There would still be an extra of N18.27 billion to be accounted for from the capital expenditure projected for the health sector in 2020.
In 2017, Ambode’s capital expenditure allocated to health was N16.870 billion According to the assertions of Brakatu (2018), a 150 bed hospital could be built with the sum of $1 million (N131million) in 2017. Hence, the sum of N10 billion out of the N16.870 billion would have built up to 76 units of 150 bed hospitals across the entire Lagos State. This means that each of the 20 local government areas in Lagos would have had at least 3 model hospitals. But Ambode did not build even one brand new hospital. Rather, he made a promise to build 3 new general hospitals in the same 2017 (Premium Times, 2017). Not building a single hospital means that at least the sum of N10 billion was embezzled
In the area of education, Lagos State budget in 2021 was N146.935 billion out of which about N80.597 billion was for capital expenditure, Sanwo-Olu promised to construct 24 new schools and renovate 134 already existing primary and secondary schools, as well as to provide furniture and science equipments to secondary schools in Lagos State. By 2022, there was no evidence of Sanwo-Olu constructing any new school in Lagos, except the digitized container eight classroom block in Vetland Junior Grammar School, Agege.
In the education sector, Tinubu’s TPA (Ten Point Agenda) on his assumption of assumption promised to build 20 new Millennium secondary schools in the 20 LGAs of the State. For eight years he built only 4 and named one of them (at Agege) after his mother (Salau, 2019). In 2013, Vice President Namadi Sambo claimed that the federal government spent $17.9 million to build four special science secondary schools. At the then exchange rate of N160 per dollar, the four schools gulped a total of N2.864 billion and a school cost N716 million per school. If we assume that each of Tinubu’s 4 Millennium schools cost as much as the federal government’s special science school, then the cost of the 4 Millennium schools would be put at exactly N2.864 billion. That would mean that the total amount Tinubu spent on construction of schools, expansion and or rehabilitation of already existing primary and secondary schools in the state was N6.864 billion. This leaves a whooping sum of N12.308 billion unaccounted for. Even though this amount is outrageous as at then, yet between 2001 and 2007, the $17.9 million could have been converted to N2.508 billion at an average of N140 per dollar. By extrapolation, the N12.308 billion unaccounted for between 2001 and 2007 could have been used to build about 20 special science schools in Lagos State. That would mean that each of the 20 LGAs would have had one special science school. That is the extent Tinubu did not build Lagos.
Between 2001-2006, the total sum of N56.56 billion was earmarked for roads and infrastructural development in Lagos. The said amount could construct at least 558.7 kilometers of roads statewide during the years in question. But the many kilometers of roads Tinubu constructed in those years were not more than 120km cumulatively. So, at least between 2001 and 2006, the State was denied extra 438.7km of good roads. This would amount to about N44.484 billion not accounted for. If we assume that a whooping N10 billion was used for road maintenance and repairs during that 5 year period, there would still have been at least a breath taking sum of N34.484 billion diverted into private accounts. Obviously, this seems more like destroying Lagos, rather than building it. Conclusively, the N8.825 billion claimed to have been spent by the government in 2001 and 2002 alone could actually construct up to 100.5km of road. Yet only a mere 6.8km was verifiably accomplished. Lagos would have benefitted from another 93.7km of roads. Even if there were roads constructed in the period under review that were not captured, obviously, they cannot be more than a total of 30km statewide—going by the evidence on ground.
Corruption and sabotage is not only limited to roads, but the metroline has increased in cost tenfold, and most importantly they are arresting our industrial development as explained in other articles. These breaches could be found in every Lagos government sector or ministry, as articulated in the October 2022 project paper titled, “ANALYZING THE LAGOS STATE BUDGETS (2001-2021): THE DELIVERABLES AND THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCES ON GROUND—A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SECTORS” by Dozie Nnnabuife.
The question is when will Lagosians wake up to cry enough is enough, o to ge! And let new younger hands without Tinubu bondage, like Labours Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour, Lagos State governorship candidate come to set things right.