THE Federal Government has been challenged to proof allegation that the immediate past Government led by ex President, Goodluck Jonathan spent a whopping N64bn on the county’s Independence anniversary celebrations in five years.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had noted in a Facebook post on Thursday that the Federal Government had spent N64 billion celebrating Independence Day between 2011 and 2014.
Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman was a former Minister/Deputy Chairman, National Planning, and he said in a statement on Sunday, saying that the Jonathan administration spent N332.6m on Nigeria’s Independence anniversary celebrations from 2012 to 2014.
‘’We challenge the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to publish these details for the consumption of the public,’’ Sulaiman said.
He explained how the monies were spent.
“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?
He however, said that figures for 2010 and 2011 were ‘’not handy now,’’ but he noted 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.”