10 Billion Naira Budget for 50th Independence Celebration waiting for Assembly approval

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Nigeria flag with crest
Nigeria flag with crest

Less than three months to the celebration of the nation’s 50th anniversary Independence in October, the Presidency has sent a budget of N10Billion (Ten Billion Naira) to the Assembly for approval.

The nation has July, August and September to plan for the landmark celebration which would definitely attract many International dignitaries.

It is Naira windfall extravaganza, the Nigerian style, as the questions have arisen as to how the huge amount would be disbursed and expended only less than three months to the event proper.

Already, Nigerians are questioning the reason why the budget and preparation for the event had been left to the last minutes adding that plans for the  celebration of such magnitude should have commenced at least six months to one year ago.

“It is a situation that gives way for serious and high level corruption and embezzlement. By the nation’s corruption standard, only a paltry of the budgeted amount are likely to be expended while the biggest share could be lining various private pockets.

A highlight of the N639 billion naira Supplementary Appropriation Bill that President Goodluck Jonathan sent to the National Assembly for approval yesterday out of the budgeted N10Billion Naira is as follows:

Goodluck Jonathan
Goodluck Jonathan

A breakdown of the expenditure shows that N950 million is budgeted for anniversary parade including march past, fleet review and aerial display, while another N350 million will be expended on national unity torch and tour.

First Lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan will spend N50 million for a special visit to special homes, orphanages, prisons and selected hospitals, while N20 million will be used to sponsor a special session of the National Children Parliament. Another N20 million will used to organise a party for 1000 children.

The government will further spend N40 million to organise a Presidential banquet, N50 million for calisthenics performance, N310 million for cultural, historical and military exhibitions while another N40 million will go for what the government called “food week.”

Other monies to be gulped by the 50th anniversary birthday bash include N320 million on secretariat equipment, accommodation, logistics and utilities while N30 million is budgeted for the designing and unveiling of the 50th anniversary logo.

Similarly, the Ministry of Information and Communications will spend N1.2 billion for insertion of special reports on Nigeria in both local and international media, another N320 million will be spent on jingles, adverts, billboards, documentary and publicity, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will receive N105 million for an undisclosed expenditure.

To mark the 50th independence anniversary, the government has also budgeted N700 million to accommodate and transport special guests both from within and outside the country.

Another N450 million will be used to finance the production of branded souvenirs and gift items for foreign heads of state and to erect a coat of arms on Aso Rock.

Also as part of the bash, a variety gala night and fireworks will gulp N210 million naira; an international friendly football match and local competition will gulp N200 million while event managers and producers will take home N120 million naira.

Designing and publication of a compendium on Nigeria will cost N400 million, while a similar one on the legislature will cost N150 million and a compendium on the judiciary will cost N50 million.
Commissioning of the golden jubilee plaza will cost N10 million naira; while designing, construction and mounting of

Tower of Unity in the 36 states of the Federation will gulp another N540 million.

Debates, essays, conferences, lectures, and a colloquium will gulp yet another N150 million; musical concerts and carnivals in the 6 geo-political zones will cost N60 million; durbar, masquerades and cultural dances will consume N100 million and designing and construction of 10 symbolic monuments of founding fathers of Nigeria will swallow up N80 million naira.

Dora Akunyili
Dora Akunyili

A memory tomb at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos will consume N40 million, security and protocol will cost N500 million naira while N25 million has been budgeted for medicals during the same anniversary.
However, a call has gone to the Presidency to set up a high powered monitoring committee to monitor the disbursement and all projects handled from the spot of the budget approval
By the national Aseembly.

By Fatai Ogunribido,London with NBF News report..

9 COMMENTS

  1. Here we are again budgetting a whopping some of TEN MILLION NAIRA to celebrate 50th Independence is simply a waste. I wonder why will like to waste our resources like this when thousands of our schools and hospitals are in bad shapes!

  2. So there has been 10 billion naira to spend all these while? It’s so sad, schools are in bad shape, hospitals don’t have drugs, roads are dilapidated, refineries are incapacitated, children are destitute on our streets, youths are out there wasting without jobs, cos even the jobs that are available, some people have seized it as their birth right for themselves and their posterity. Even the ones with bright ideas have been suppressed by people who are not interested in bright ideas but just to loot. It’s really bad beyond what words can say. And here we are: what are we celebrating if we can’t provide all these things. Yes we thank God for sustaining us thus far, but He expects us to have advanced beyond this.
    This is not the only thing that we have spent stupidly on, but we can’t continue keeping quiet and fold our arms. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with budgeting such an amount of money for celebrating a Golden Jubilee. But what about the celebrants? What do they have to write home about their quality of life. You kill a cow for a poor man’s birthday, but he has never even eating beef all his life. It doesn’t make sense. Pump money into infrastructure, amenities and see to it with a watchful eye that the money is used for what it was budgeted for. But this is not the case in this country, that is why it won’t be a surprise if only a small percentage of that money will be utilized and the rest like some one said, will rest into the private accounts of some people.
    Let’s re-think the course of this nation. Despite all these, I believe in the future of Nigeria and the Nigerian people. 50 years is something to celebrate about, but let’s do it with lots of reflection and passion for change.

  3. that is how our leaders waste our resources, this is not for every citizen of
    Nigeria but the selected few will comsume all this money. one thing i will say let us see the physican evidance that such money was spent to celebrate our great Nation.

  4. @Ita Akpan: Its Billion not million!!!

    This is really disastrous.Its really a very big shame. Instead of the people standing up against the entire celebration, since there is really nothing to celebrate, people are questioning why the celebration is late. THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED BY ALL MEANS POSSIBLE!!!!

  5. @ Mark Allen, what the hell you talking about here mr? So you meant it’s good to spend such money on a party while millions of Nigeria can not even feed their family? I guess you are one of them people on Govt payroll!

  6. Can anybody explain what this madness is all about? In a country where child poverty thrives, it beggars belief that a supposedly sensible and caring govt has budgeted 10 billion naira to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a nation that has very little to be proud of since its independence almost 50 years. Invest this money into the the lives and future of the young, hungry, starving and deprived children of Nigeria and perhaps in a few years time, we would truly have something worth celebrating! I do not know if Jonathan Goodluck would ever get to read this – however, if anyone is able to pass on to him as quickly as they can, please do so!

  7. This is the highest level of political fraud perpetrated by the puppet of OBJ , Jonathan istead of you to think and rationalised on programme that will be of immense benefit to the downtrodden masses of the people, programme that will address the poverty of our people, programme that will elevate Nigeria to the pedestal, programme that will address the insecurity. you are wasting the resources of the nation for just mere jamboree and even involving your wife in the fraud. You will give account ok. what do we have to celebrate. You and your cohorts are celebrating the failure of 50 years, the retrogrssion of 50 years, the political quagmire of 50 years, the economic impotency of 50 years.. celebrating 50 years of electoral debacle. Jonathan you are a big shame and disgrace to the people of Niger Delta, a big shame to Nigeria and a big shame to International community…
    In due course you must give account of your administration..wily nilly..
    You are a big shame.This is new wine in old bottle