FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan said there was no truth in the allegation by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State that his administration spent N64 billion to organise Nigeria’s independence celebrations for three years.
While el-Rufai claimed that the Jonathan administration spent N64 billion for celebrations for three years, the former president said only N332.6 million was spent. He, therefore, accused el-Rufai of deliberately lying to confuse the public and give his administration a bad name.
In a statement issued by Abubakar Sulaiman, former minister of National Planning, in Abuja on Sunday, October 4, Jonathan said that the huge figure was a figment of el-Rufai’s imagination and a fabricated lie by a favour-seeker.
The statement said in part: “A breakdown of our spending for this event between 2012 and 2104 goes thus: 2012, N107.6 million; 2013, N45 million and 2014, N180 million. So, the question here is where did the billions, as claimed by el-Rufai, emanate from?”
Jonathan, therefore, challenged the office of the government of the federation to publish the details of the spending for public consumption.
The former president said though he did not have the figures for 2010 and 2011, expenditure for the two years fell within the threshold of what was spent in the last three years and there was no attempt to overspend the country’s resources as claimed by the governor.
He said his administration never budgeted nor spent the outrageous amount alleged by el-Rufai, pointing out that the increment in the 2010 celebration budget was caused by the fact that the nation celebrated its golden anniversary that year.
Besides, Jonathan claimed that the increase in the 2013 anniversary spending to N174.8 million was caused by the incorporation of the national honours award nvestiture into the event, making it a two-in-one celebration, which was actually done in 2014.
El-Rufai had alleged that the Jonathan administration spent N13 billion in 2011, N15 billion in 2012 and N14 billion in 2013 and N22 billion in 2011, bringing the total to N64 billion.
— Oct 5, 2015 @ 12:50 GMT