The Lagos State government is set to establish an anti-corruption agency following the signing of the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill of 2021 into law.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, assented to the bill at a brief ceremony held at Alausa, Ikeja, the state capital, on Monday.
The legislation, sponsored by the executive arm of the Government, was signed into law days after it was passed by the House of Assembly.
According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, with the legislation coming into force, the anti-corruption commission will be formally set up in the coming days.
He stated that the action was a testimony to the state government’s effort towards entrenching accountability in governance and checking malfeasance among officers entrusted with public resources.
He said: “The bill establishing Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is an important legislation critical to the delivery of quality services to the citizens. When we came in, we had said we would be accountable and responsible in the appropriation of the State’s resources. We want to stand in front of the citizens to give account on how public funds are being spent.
“To give credence to this promise, the executive arm initiated the bill and sent to the Assembly for approval. We believe that this law would not only ensure accountability of public funds, responsibility of public office, but also promote dialogue among public officers to keep the trust of the people in the discharge of their duties in line with transparency. The anti-corruption commission will ensure that all approved activities are implemented in accordance with budgetary allocation.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the anti-corruption commission would be independent in its operations and functions, pointing out that the agency would complement efforts of similar agencies in the police and federal establishment.
The governor also assented to the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill of 2021, initiated by the executive arm.
He disclosed that the law was drafted in order to coordinate activities of lotteries agencies operating within the state, as well as to simplify and incorporate technological innovations in the gaming sector.
The law harmonises five gaming and lottery formats, such as casino, jackpot, pool, lotto and sports betting, thereby regulating the sector and checking fraudulent activities of unregistered game centres within the state.
According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, the former lottery law of the state did not meet the contemporary needs in the industry, which was why the executive initiated the bill to accommodate technology in regulating the business.
“As a forward-looking government, we are doing the needful to ensure fair play, regulation and monitoring is brought back into the gaming industry. The law is not in any form to stifle investment, but to offer better platform for lottery companies to enhance equity, transparency and make their investment more rewarding,” he said.