We didn’t spend N64bn on Independence anniversary – Jonathan Administration

By 11:06 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 Comments

The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied reports attributed to the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-rufai, that the former government spent over N64bn on county’s Independence anniversary celebrations in five years.

The former administration said in a statement on Sunday by the immediate past Minister/Deputy Chairman, National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, that the administration spent N332.6m on the nation’s Independence anniversary celebrations from 2012 to 2014.

Sulaiman, who described the claim as tissue of lies, challenged the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to publish the amount spent on the Independence anniversary ceremonies from 2012 to 2014.

According to him, the Federal Government under Jonathan spent N107.6m in 2012; N45m in 2013; and N180m in 2014.

He added that while the amounts spent on the anniversary celebrations in 2010 and 2011 were not immediately available; they were in the same bracket with the other years.

He explained that there was an increase in the total sum spent on the celebrations in 2010 because of the Golden Jubilee celebration, adding that the sum budgeted was not the outrageous amount quoted by the governor.

Sulaiman wondered where El-Rufai got the billions, which he said was spent on the anniversary celebrations in five years.

The ex-minister stated, “We were taken aback by the recent comment reportedly credited to His Excellency, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, where he claimed that the immediate past President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration spent N64bn to cover the country’s independence anniversary spendings in five years.

“This tissue of lies was contained on his Facebook comment on Thursday. Ordinarily, we would have allowed this to go as just the ranting of a favour-seeker, but for the sake of ordinary Nigerians, who were abreast of happenings under the administration and also those who never did, we will like to set the record straight.

“It is important to correct the misinformation so that the unsuspecting public would not be misled. For the record, a breakdown of our anniversary spending between 2012 to 2014 amounted to N332.6m. We challenge the Office of the (Secretary to the) Government of the Federation to publish these details for the consumption of the public.

“For the record, a breakdown of our spending for this event between 2012 and 2104 goes thus: 2012-N107.6m; 2013-N45m and 2014 had N180m. So, the question here is where did the billions as claimed by El-Rufai emanate from?

“Even though, those of 2010 and 2011 are not handy now, it should be known that they all fall within the same bracket as the one stated, except that the 2010 anniversary was a golden one when the country marked her 50 year of independence. But even then, not such outrageous sum was either budgeted or expended.

“Again, it is germane to explain the increase in the 2013 anniversary spending for the purpose of accountability. The National Honours Award Investiture was incorporated into the celebration, thus making it two events in one, hence the N174,800,000.00 budget.

“We also want to add that the said award investiture could not hold in 2013 and the approved budget rolled over and was utilised to organise the investiture in 2014.”



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