Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday inaugurated the boards of the State’s Public Procurement Agency and the Audit Service Commission saying his administration was committed to leaving a legacy of action government where government would henceforth run irrespective of who is there. The State Audit Service Commission, consisting of six members, is chaired by a former Accountant-General of the State, Mrs. Modupe Akinwolemiwa while the State Public Procurement Agency, also consisting of six members, is headed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaiye. In his remarks after the short ceremony at the Lagos House, Governor Fashola said the inauguration was intended to reinforce the commitment of his administration to build strong and dependable institutions managed by people with character, experience and integrity. The Governor described the two bodies as the strongest indices to the commitment of his Government “to a more open Government, a more inclusive Government, a more accountable Government and an institutionalized approach to Governance”. “As I have said repeatedly, we are steadily moving from the era of Action Governors in Lagos to the era of Action Government where government will run irrespective of who is there”, the Governor said adding that the two agencies have quite an impactful role to play in terms of increasing accountability of Government with members of the public. According to him, the role will be not only in terms of audit reports but much more emphasis on value for money of taxpayers because that will really continuously be the benchmark”. “It is not whether the taxpayers get value for money because they do; it is whether we can do more because we will continue to raise the pole and the bar against ourselves”, he said. The Governor, who said the determination and focus of Government was to get more value for the citizenry, declared, “Can we get more? And this will be our continuing commitment; and so will the Public Procurement Agency be helping to make public procurement more inclusive, more participatory and more open. I am sure that Lagos and Lagosians can truly be better for this”. Counseling some of the members of the new boards who are doing public service work for the first time to endeavour to learn the language of the Public Service, Governor Fashola, who pointed out that the language is different from what they are used to in the private sector, however, assured them that some experienced people have been put around to guide them. “Let me say to those of you who are, as it were, taking your first great leap towards some measure of public service, what we have sought to do is to put some experience around to guide you. The language in this side of the fence is different from the language in the private side of the fence and some of us who have come from that side had to learn the language”, he said. Describing the task as both “a challenging responsibility and also a big opportunity”, Governor Fashola, however, expressed confidence that with the kind of experience the members have, they would quickly adapt and settle down adding that it was a privilege for them to be singled out to serve the State and people of Lagos. The Governor, who urged them to discharge the responsibility with all the seriousness and sense of commitment that endeared them to be recommended for the appointment, declared, “In a State of over 21 million people, which can boast of easily the highest quality of human resource in any part of this county and indeed in many parts of Africa, you are indeed a privileged few to be nominated to serve”. “At this point, I cannot congratulate you. I can only wish you the best and say probably some day, may be towards the end of my tenure or at the end of my tenure, I will be able to congratulate you. But indeed the biggest congratulation you should expect is not the one that comes from me but from the people that you and I serve; the people and taxpayers of Lagos”, the Governor said. Speaking on behalf of members of the Board of Audit Service Commission, its Chairperson, Mrs. Modupe Akinwolemiwa, thanked the Governor and the Government of Lagos State for the opportunity given them to serve the people of Lagos saying Lagos has always taken the lead among the governments in the country.
She pledged that her Commission would do its level best in ensuring that they justify the confidence reposed in them by the State Government adding, “By the grace of God we will put in our best; we will deliver”. Also responding on behalf of members of the State Public Procurement Agency, its Chairman, Mr. Ade Ipaiye, thanked the State Government for reposing in them the confidence to carry out the assignment describing Public Procurement as a very serious work. Assuring the Governor that his Board would deliver according to expectation of Government and people of Lagos State, the Attorney General declared, “What this Government is known for is being able to deliver quality public service to the people at all times. We will always get value for money and we will give opportunities to honest businesses to access Government business”. Also present at the occasion were the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Commissioners for Finance, Commerce and Industry, Budget and Economic Planning and Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, Mrs. Sola Oworu, Mr. Ben Akabueze and Hon. Oyinlomo Danmole, among other members of the State Executive Council and members of the new Boards.