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Independence : Jonathan ministers fault el-Rufai, say N332.6m spent not N64b

By The Rainbow
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A few days after the incumbent of Kaduna State Malam Nasir el-Rufai  made a shocking revelation that the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration blew a whooping N64 billion on celebration of independence anniversary between 2011 and 2014, the ministers who served in the administration have  dismissed as untrue  the figure bandied in the public by the governor.

While cautioning the governor “against making statements that had no bearing with the truth,” the former ministers  challenged the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, to immediately publish the details of the expenditure made by Jonathan's government during the celebration of independence anniversaries within the period of that administration.

Their position is contained in a statement signed by the immediate past Minister for National Planning, Abubakar Sulaiman.

El-Rufai had disclosed last Thursday that former President Goodluck Jonathan spent N64 billion on independence anniversary celebrations.

Suleiman's statement, which was issued on behalf of the former government and all ministers who served under it reads:

“We were taken aback by the recent comment reportedly credited to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, where he claimed that the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's administration spent N64 billion to celebrate the country's independence anniversary in five years.

“The breakdown, according to the governor showed that N13 billion was spent in 2011, N15 billion in 2012, and N14 billion in 2013 and N22 billion was allegedly spent in 2014.

“This was contained in Governor El-Rufai's Facebook comment of Thursday, October 1. Ordinarily, we would have allowed this to go as just the ranting of a favour-seeker, but for the benefit of ordinary Nigerians who were fully abreast of happenings during the Jonathan administration and also those who were not, we will like to set the record straight.

“For record purposes, a breakdown of our anniversary spending between 2012 to 2014 amounted to N332.6 million. We challenge the Office of the Government of the Federation (OSGF) to publish these details for the consumption of the public.

“The breakdown of our spending for this event between 2012 and 2014 is as follows: 2012- 107.6 million; 2013- 45 million and 2014 -180 million. So, the question here is: Where did the billions as claimed by El-Rufai emanate from? Even though the figures for 2010 and 2011 are not handy now, it should be known that they all fall within the same bracket as the ones stated, except that in 2010, the country marked her 50 years of independence. Nonetheless, no such outrageous sum as claimed by El-Rufai was either budgeted or expended.”

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