The Federal Government is to expend N70 million for the 55th Independence anniversary celebrations slated to commence on Sept. 25, in line with the its cost-saving policy.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, made this known to newsmen at a briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.
The SGF, represented by Mrs Ibukun Odusote, the Permanent Secretary (Political Affairs), said that government was cutting cost because of the present state of the country’s economy.
“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.’’
He said it took a while to get President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the amount for the entire anniversary programme.
He stressed that the Federal Government would rather spend more money on ensuring payment of workers’ salaries, better learning business environment than on anniversary celebrations.
The SGF, however, said that the president had approved four events for the anniversary which include the Jummat prayers, slated to hold at the Abuja National Mosque on Sept. 25 and the Inter-denominational Thanksgiving Service holding at the Abuja National Christian Worship Centre on Sept. 27.
Other events are the ceremonial Change of Guards slated for Oct. 1 at the Presidential Villa and children’s party on Oct. 3.
He said that the children’s party, which would hold at the Presidential Villa, would be attended by children within the ages of five to 13, including some children from Internally Displaced Camps.
Besides the approved four events, Buhari would address the nation at 7 a.m. on Oct. 1, the SGF said.
According to him, four sub-committees have been constituted to handle preparations for each event, to ensure a successful commemoration.