The Deputy Chairman, National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, has debunked claims made by Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai that Goodluck Jonathan'sadministration spent N64bn on Nigeria’s Independence celebrations in five years.
He said el-Rufai is a favour seeker.Dr Sulaiman described it as a tissue of lies, adding that el-Rufai's recent comment, is a proof that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was right, when he called the Governor a liar, in his book-My Watch play.
A statement released by Sulaiman reads: “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 spending 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 the 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 and 2014 amounted to N332.6m. We challenge the Office of 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 had N107.6m; 2013 was 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 fell 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.”