Due to the economic and financial challenges faced by the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N70 million for the 55th Independence anniversary celebrations, which begin on September 25.
According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who briefed journalists on Tuesday, the President reluctantly approved the money, as he thought it was too much considering the financial crunch the country is in.
“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,” Lawal, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs, Ibukun Odusote.
Lawal said the President would rather that staff salaries were paid than approving money for anniversary celebrations, adding that only four events have been approved for the anniversary.
These are Jummat prayers on September 25 at the National Mosque, Inter-denominational Service on September 27 at the National Christian Centre, Change of Guards on October 1 at the Presidential Villa, and children’s party on October 3 at the Villa.
The children’s party will be attended by children within the ages of five to 13 and will include children from internally displaced persons camps.
President Buhari is also scheduled to address the nation on October 1 at 7am.