N70m For Independence Anniversary And Change | Independent Newspapers Limited
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N70m For Independence Anniversary And Change

Posted: Sep 26, 2015 at 12:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

I almost did not want to believe it when the female car radio On Air Personality said it. I almost pulled over because the report jolted me.

President Muhammadu Buhari plans to spend a ‘meager’ N70 million on the forth coming 55th Independence anniversary celebrations slated to commence on September 25!

This in line with its cost-saving policy, government said.

I waited till I got home in the night and went online to confirm the news. It was true. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, the NAN report said, revealed the plans for the anniversary late Tuesday.

 “This year`s celebrations is indeed low-keyed because the present administration appreciates the economic hardship that Nigerians and indeed the nation is confronted with.

“To address the situation, government has adopted a general policy to be very prudent in the management of our financial resources.

“This year`s celebration is, therefore, in consonance with the cost-saving policy of this administration.’’

Lawal said that the Federal Government would rather spend more money on ensuring payment of workers’ salaries, better learning business environment than on anniversary celebrations.

Four events are slated for the anniversary which includes the Jummat prayers billed to hold at the Abuja National Mosque on September 25 and the Inter-denominational Thanksgiving Service holding at the Abuja National Christian Worship Centre on September 27.

Other events are the ceremonial Change of Guards slated for October 1 at the Presidential Villa and children’s party on October 3.

Now to the crux of the issue; N70 million for a whole Independence anniversary celebrations? How much was the cost of a ‘website upgrade’ done by a former Governor the last time?

This Buhari is not a Nigerian. Someone should remind him that his predecessors spent billions of naira annually for this similar event and the nation’s economy had never been so fantastic before now but they never “gave a damn” if workers got their salaries or roads are tarred. This kind of anniversary event is always an avenue to assuage the frayed nerves of some people with bogus contracts to supply toothpicks, table cloths and even event curtains so everyone looked forward to it with so much expectation.

Now, Buhari has come to destroy a once thriving shadow ‘industry’ in Abuja and not so many people would be pleased with him at the moment.

But the beauty of this decision to spend this ‘ridiculous’ amount of money for a ‘whole’ Independence anniversary was the reason many Nigerians voted for Buhari.

Change is here, truly.