- Beneficiaries may face revocation, prosecution
The Lagos State Government has constituted a panel of inquiry to investigate the wrongful sale of government assets and properties whose actual market value runs into billions of naira.
A top official exclusively revealed the state government’s resolve to THISDAY on Monday, citing some unresolved questions which, he said, made the investigation into the sale of the prime assets compelling and imperative.
The official, who spoke privately due to the sensitivity of the issue, said the state government decided to probe the sale of the affected assets because they were sold below market value.
He said beneficiaries are likely to forfeit the assets through revocation and would be prosecuted in addition.
The official lamented the colossal amount of funds running into billions of naira that the state government lost in revenue to the unacceptable process through which the sales were conducted.
According to him, the affected assets “are located in high-profile areas where decision-makers, captains of industries, top government functionaries and political actors, among others, often crave to build their homes or set up their offices.”
He named the high-profile areas to include Ikeja GRA, Magodo, Ikoyi, Lekki and other prime locations where government assets were sold to some very important persons (VIPs) below the market value.
He explained that the assets were disposed of at give-away prices and obviously against public interest. This, he said, aroused the interest of the present administration to investigate and review the process by which the assets were sold.
Aside from the sale of the affected assets below the market value, the official said the the sale of the government assets, which was done between 2006 and 2016, did not follow due process and standard procedure of sale.
He lamented that some of these assets “were then sold for as low as N20 million.”
The official noted that the government and people of Lagos State “have been short-changed considering the abysmal prices the assets were sold. For example we have a situation whereby properties situated in Ikeja GRA was sold as low as N20 million and N30 million in few cases.