Government Has Said It Was Guided By Need For Prudent Management Of Resources In Approving N70m For The Nation’s 55Th Independence Celebrations
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the spending of N70million for the celebration of Nigeria’s 55th Independent Anniversary slated to commence on September 25, 2015.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the preparation for the anniversary celebration, explained that the Federal Government decided on a low-key anniversary hence the approval of only N70million for the entire celebration.
Lawal, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary on Political Affairs, Mrs. Ibukun Odusute, further explained that the low key celebration was also because the present administration appreciates impact of economic realities facing the nation.
“To address the situation, the government has adopted a general policy to be very prudent in the management of our financial resources. What the President made clear is that we cannot have Nigerians in pains and unable to do what they are supposed to do by reason of our dwindling resources and then we are spending lavishly on celebrations.
“That has been his philosophy and principles, that it would not be fair to spend Nigeria’s money that can be spent in paying salaries to people, making sure that children are comfortable in their various schools, providing enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country and we will leave all that and spend large amount of money on celebration.
“He felt it was not a wise thing to do and we totally agreed with him. So, the main reason for low key is because of the state of the nation concerning our finances. This year’s celebration is therefore in consonance with the cost-saving policy direction of this administration,” he said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation also stated that four events were approved by President Buhari to mark the event. He listed them as Jumat prayers, interdenominational thanksgiving service, ceremonial change of Guard and children’s party.
“The ceremony will commence with the Jumat Prayers on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 1.30pm, at the National Mosque in Abuja, the interdenominational thanksgiving service will hold on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 4pm, at the National Christian Worship Centre, while the ceremonial change of Guard will hold at the Presidential Villa at 8.00am and the children’s party will take place at the State House conference centre on October 3, 2015 at 3pm,” he said.
Lawal further said that apart from the four events, President Buhari will address the nation at 7am on October 1, 2015. “As we look forward to our independence anniversary with deep and sober reflection, on how we can work together to return our country to prosperity. Let me seize the opportunity to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters and all Nigerians a happy Sallah holiday”, he said.
– Charity Simon, Abuja