LAGOS, Nigeria – Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has mandated all political appointees to declare their assets before relinquishing their offices.
This directive, in compliance with paragraph 11 (1b), part one of the fifth schedule of the Nigerian constitution on end of tenure assets declaration, is aimed at promoting transparency and preventing corruption.
The announcement comes on the eve of Sanwo-Olu’s second-term inauguration, setting a tone of rigorous transparency for his administration.
“Every political officer, from Commissioners to Special Advisers, to the broad category of assistants, must comply with this directive. This extends to everyone, regardless of their ranking or portfolio,” Sanwo-Olu stated in a circular on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, signed by Head of Service, Muri Okunola.
The governor further directed the political appointees to prepare individual handover notes and return any government property, including utility or project vehicles, in their possession to their respective ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.
However, officers whose appointments are by legislation or tenure-based, as well as members of statutory commissions or Governing Councils whose tenure has not lapsed, are exempted unless otherwise formally informed.
The circular emphasized, “This move is not about trust, but rather about instilling a culture of transparency and adherence to the principles of good governance. By openly declaring their assets, our political appointees will reinforce the ethos of integrity within our administration.”
While this step by Governor Sanwo-Olu is seen by many as a critical milestone in the fight against corruption, the effectiveness of this directive will depend on its enforcement and the willingness of officers to comply.
In a final note of gratitude, the governor thanked his team and expressed his best wishes for their future endeavors, “It has been an honor to serve with each one of you. I hope you continue to champion the cause of integrity and transparency wherever your path leads.”
With his second term beginning on Monday, May 29, 2023, after a successful re-election on March 18, 2023, Governor Sanwo-Olu is determined to set a new standard for political accountability in Nigeria.
His first directive in this new term sets a precedent that observers hope will be replicated throughout the country.