Buhari President hasn’t paid Jonathan, Obasanjo, others for 10 months

Former presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo and others haven’t been paid due to unavailability of funds.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

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The Federal Government has not paid allowances to any of the country’s former presidents since January 2016, an official has said.

According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, former presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo and others haven’t been paid due to unavailability of funds.

Lawal made the disclosure on Thursday, November 17, during a meeting with members of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs.

“There is a department responsible for the payment of former Presidents. Presently, funds are not available in service-wide vote to do that,” the SGF said.

“We are aware there was a protest in Bayelsa State that the former President (Jonathan) was not paid and we have explained that he is not the only one affected.

“Others affected are the interreligious council, traditional rulers’ council and so on. For some reasons, we have been writing and writing but there has been no response. And there is presently no money to pay them.

“The budget for this year’s Democracy Day was N33m and we had to do it on credit; we have yet to pay. There are lots of retreats which ought to be organised but there’s no money to do any. The last time we got any release was in August,” he added.

The lack of funds to pay the former presidents is believed to be connected to the current economic crisis in the country.

ALSO READ: 'I almost ran away from doing this job,' Buhari says

The shortage of funds has led President Muhammadu Buhari to request permission from the National Assembly to borrow $30 billion to fund the 2016 budget.

The request was rejected by the legislators but is currently being reconsidered.

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