By Prince Osuagwu There are reports that the Nigerian government has ordered 53 units of gold plated version of the newly launched Apple iPhone 5S, to celebrate the country’s 53rd independence anniversary next month.
The gold plated phones are said to cost approximately £50,000 per unit if it is studded with hundreds of diamonds, including a giant piece that serves as “home” button or £3,000 if it is basic models in gold or rose gold.
These would translate to over twelve million naira (N12.3 million) par unit for the gold with diamond or N738, 000 for the basic models in gold. So, on a rough estimate, the independence phones could cost Nigeria a whopping N651m (six hundred and fifty one million naira) or N39.11 million, respectively, (depending on which was ordered) at N246 exchange rate with the Pound.
The ordered phones, according to sources would be engraved with the symbols of the country’s coat of arms, a shield and two horses and delivered before the Independence Day. If this story is true, the problem Mr President may face is who gets one of the 53 phones and what qualifies the recipients.
FG debunks plans to buy 53 gold-plated iPhones
Abuja – The Federal Government on Thursday in Abuja debunked media report alleging that it ordered 53 gold-plated iPhones to mark the country’s 53rd independence anniversary.
A statement signed by Mr Joseph Mutah, the Press Secretary to the Minister of Information, said the reports were ‘mere’ fabrications.
The statement said the story “is false in its entirety and nothing but a figment of the warped imagination of the authors’’.
It said that neither the Federal Government of Nigeria nor any of its agencies contemplated or placed order for gold-plated iPhones for the celebration.
“We, therefore, call on Nigerians and the international community to disregard the story linking the Federal Government with the importation of the gold-plated iPhones.
“The blatant falsehood in the story is one of those mischievous attempts at tarnishing the image of the Federal Government.
“Nigerians are hereby advised to watch out for people intent on blackmailing the government for political reasons,’’ the statement stated.
It advised individuals who have enough resources to contemplate importation of such luxury items to invest their wealth in the country for job creation and economic growth.