We didn’t spend N64bn on independence anniversary – ex-Minister
Former Minister/ Deputy Chairman, National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju Sulaiman, has debunked reports that N64bn was spent by the Goodluck Jonathan administration on independence anniversary celebrations in five years.
He said he was taken aback by the Facebook comment credited to Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday alleging that N13bn was spent in 2011, N15bn in 2012, N14bn in 2013 and N22bn in 2014 for the independence celebrations.
“A breakdown of our anniversary spending between 2012 and 2014 amounted to N332.6million. For the records, a breakdown of our spending for this event between 2012 and 2104 goes thus; 2012, N107.6m; 2013, N45m and 2014 had N180m. We challenge the Office of the Government of the Federation (OSGF) to publish these details for the consumption of the public,” he said in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
He questioned the source of the billions, adding that though that of 2010 and 2011 were not handy, 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 years of independence.
“But even then, no 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 N174.8m budget. We also want to add that the said award investiture could not hold in 2013 and the approved budget rolled over and was utilized to organise the investiture in 2014,” he added.