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El-Rufai Wrong On Jonathan’s Oct 1 Spending — FG

Nasir el-Rufai
Nasir el-Rufai
The Federal Government has countered a claim by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan spent ₦64bn on Independence Day celebrations between 2011 and 2015.

El-Rufai, in a Facebook post on October 1, had hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly budgeting ₦70m for this year’s Independence Day anniversary celebration.

In 2010, Jonathan spent ₦10bn for Nigeria’s golden jubilee celebration, el-Rufai had said.

He added, “This is the APC/PMB change we voted for. Independence anniversary expenditure for the past five years: 2011 – ₦13bn; 2012 – ₦15bn; 2013 – ₦14bn; 2014 – ₦22bn and 2015 -₦70m coming from present administration.”

But in contrast to el-Rufai’s claim, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in response to a Freedom of Information request by BudgIT Nigeria, noted that the Jonathan administration had spent ₦332.6m for the anniversary celebrations.

It further noted that ₦1.7bn was spent on the country’s 2010 golden jubilee celebration and ₦138,138,000 on the centenary honours awards in 2014.

In the letter titled ‘Independence Day celebration/centenary actual expenditure from 2010 to 2015,’ the Director, Finance and Accounts, in the Permanent Secretary’s office, Mohammed Garba, said, “With reference to your letter dated 2nd October, 2015 on the above subject matter, it is stated as follows:

“2010 (Golden Jubilee) – ₦1.7bn; 2011 (No release of funds); 2012 (53rd Independence Anniversary) – ₦107,600,000; 2013 (53rd Independence Anniversary) – ₦45,000,000; 2014 (54th Independence Anniversary) – ₦180,000,000; 2015 (55th Independence Anniversary) – ₦70,000,000).

“Please note that in 2013, Mr President approved the sum of ₦223,800,000 for the 53rd Independence Celebration, only ₦45,000,000 was released to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The sum of ₦138,138,000 was released for centenary honours awards.”

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