The National Economic Council, NEC, on Thursday at the end of its monthly meeting concluded that former President Goodluck Jonathan discriminated against non-PDP states in the sharing of the nation’s ecological funds.
The council said that the friendly PDP states received over N2bn at the expense of the states ruled by the then main opposition party.
The NEC meeting which had all the thirty-six state governors in attendance was chaired by Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Kaduna State Governor and Chairman of the 11 man Committee charged to look into the management of the fund said he has presented their report to the council.
He said that the committee which has some governors, minister of finance and some permanent secretaries as members, realised that a lot of the deployment of the funds was based on the discretion of the President.
He said, “The committee established beyond all doubts that in 2013, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan gave N2bn to certain states of the federation but excluded other states.
“The states that got it were all PDP states and states of other parties that were sympathetic to the PDP like Labour Party in Ondo and APGA in Anambra State.
“Nineteen states and the FCT did not get the N2bn from the Ecological Fund. These states are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, and Lagos.
“Others are Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.
“So, essentially, what President Goodluck Jonathan did was to take N2bn each from the Ecological Fund and gave to some PDP states. Any PDP state that was not his friend, like Kano and Kwara, didn’t get; and all the other opposition parties, like no ACN state got anything, no ANPP state got anything.”
Shedding more light on the issue, El-Rufai said, “It was given to favoured states based on no criteria or any request based on emergency. It was just a handout to favoured states and other states that were not so favoured were discriminated against.
“My state got because my state was governed by the PDP and was very friendly with Jonathan. In my state, the amount was used to do some ecological projects but in some states, the money simply vanished.
“But in my state, it did not vanish. The projects were done. We are looking into those projects because the prices did not look right, the quality in one or two cases is not the best but some projects were done.
“So we are saying in fairness, the other states that did not get this N2bn on discretionary basis should get. This is why President Buhari is here to right the wrongs of the past.”
The governor stated that the committee considered the development as discriminatory and recommended that the 19 states and the FCT that did not get the N2bn in 2013 be given N2bn each to level the playing field.