The Federal Government on Friday stated that it is budgeting N2billion for the presidential inauguration activities of the in-coming administration on May 29.
A social media message that went viral in April had claimed that during a purported meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the President had said N3 billion would be spent on his transition committee while Buhari was reported to have said that members of his own committee were volunteers who won’t be paid.
But briefing newsmen on the activities lined up for the inauguration on May 29th, the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub- Committee of the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee, Chief Edem Duke, said it was not true that the transitional committee had budgeted N3 billion.
Duke also said that over 50 presidents and heads of government across the globe will attend the inauguration ceremony of the incoming administration of Buhari.
The one week programme started yesterday with Jumaat prayer at the National Central Mosque, Abuja.
According to him, invitation cards have been dispatched to all the 54 countries in the African continent and other countries of the world.
Duke, who is also the Minister of Culture and Tourism, said: “As we speak the 54 countries of the continent of Africa have been invited. Very many of the head of states will be coming.
“There has been a huge interest, especially, from head of countries in Europe to attend this inauguration and at the last count I think we must have in excess of about 50 heads of state and delegation expected at this inauguration.” He added
He also disclosed that a high security strategy is being put in place for a hitch-free inauguration, adding that all invitees for the various segments of the inauguration will be subjected to thorough screening.
He said that some roads in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be blocked on the inauguration day to ensure smooth movement to and from the Eagle Square venue of the inauguration.
He said: “The security agencies are working in close concert to ensure that there is absolutely no threat to the security of this inauguration.”
“Arrangements are been made to screen all the invitees long before the access the perimeters of the location.” He said
He also pointed out that not all residents of the city need to throng the venue of the inauguration as big screens will be stationed at various points of the city to beam live proceedings of the inauguration.
“There is also a plan that in some locations within the city there might be big screens for members of the public to follow the activities of the swearing-in, especially. So people don’t need to come to the Eagle Square if they don’t have invitation cards.”
Co-Chairman of the sub-committee, Chief Pius Akinyelure said that everything is being put in place to achieve the overall objectives of the committee.
On his part, a member of the committee, Senator-elect Dino Malaye said: “We are very ready and we have worked harmoniously with the outgoing government to ensure we have a befitting inauguration.”