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Chartered Accountant Urges Governor Sanwo-Olu to Reimburse Lagos State for “Unjustifiable” Grenada Trip

January 27, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a letter dated January 26, 2024, chartered accountant and politician Funso Doherty has strongly advised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reimburse Lagos State for the expenses incurred during his recent trip to Grenada. Doherty argues that the trip, deemed unjustifiable, contributes to public waste, especially considering Grenada’s comparatively smaller GDP and the absence of an apparent trade partnership between the two regions.

Highlighting Lagos’s current budget deficit of N400 billion, Doherty underscores the additional strain the governor’s trip imposes on the state’s financial situation.

Doherty stressed that with Lagos currently facing a budget deficit of N400 billion naira, the governor’s recent trip significantly exacerbates the financial challenges burdening the state.

Writing to the governor, he said, 

  • “Grenada is a distant Island nation with a very small population of approximately 130,000 people and National GDP of just over $1 billion, both of which are small fraction of those of Lagos State. Its economy is largely tourism-based and has very little complementarity, trade volume and potential with Lagos.  
  • “In an unfortunate event that the trip was funded by LASG, you should consider making a refund of the costs of the trip to the State purse, as we do not consider that this expenditure is justifiable in the circumstances. 
  • “As you are aware, despite concerns we raised, the State House of Assembly has passed and you have signed into law, a greatly increased expenditure budget of N2.27 trillion for 2024 with a projected budget deficit of over N400 billion which ultimately be borne by the already over-stretched average Lagosian,” Doherty said. 

Backstory 

Earlier, it was widely reported in the news that the governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, flew in a private aircraft to the Caribbean Island and took residency in one of the most expensive resorts in the world. 

Premium Times had reported that Sanwo-Olu attended a party at Grenada and stayed in an 80-acre private and exquisite location which costs about $132,000 per night. 

The online paper also quoted that Mr Sanwo-Olu and other participants alternated between Calivigny Island and Silversand Grenada, an exotic five-year-old seven-star luxury resort located in Grand Anse beach, where some events of the posh celebration were held. 

Those familiar with the governor’s itinerary said he left Nigeria on Wednesday, 17 January for Mrs Achimugu’s birthday carnival which began with “a scrumptious welcome breakfast” and “a spectacular dinner with an explosive finish” that day. Other guests had arrived in Grenada on 16 January.

The Lagos State Government had responded to the report by Premium Times with photos of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s meeting with Grenadian Prime Minister in Grenada. 

The government, on its X handle said the presentation was made after talks on bilateral relations between Grenada and Lagos State in St. George at the weekend. 

  • The government wrote: “The two leaders exchanged ideas on tourism, agriculture and other economic interests. Mr Sanwo-Olu also attended some social engagements during his visit. Michelle spoke about Granada’s 50th anniversary coming up in February.” 

 

Credit: Nairametrics

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