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Nigeria at 50: Minister assures of grand celebration

By Kenneth Ehigiator
Minister for State, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), has assured  that Abuja was ready to showcase the country to the world, as Nigeria celebrates her 50th independence anniversary today, and warned government agencies assigned duties for the celebration against doing anything that would embarrass the nation.

Capt. Olubolade, who spoke in an interview with newsmen at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, also said the Ministry had stopped all construction works on Abuja Airport road to stave off the perennial traffic bottleneck and pave way for smooth movement of dignitaries from the airport to the city.

According to him, all that was needed to be done to put the city in top shape for the anniversary had been done.

He said FCT Ministry released money well on time to quicken the pace of preparation of the city for the event, warning that any government agent who defaults in his performance would have his/herself to blame.

The minister said: “FCT is the capital city of Nigeria and we have gone the extra mile to do a few things to showcase Nigeria.

“We have a museum, more or less like cave, where we keep some of the pictures of Nigerian leaders and pictures of how the capital city of Nigeria is run; like Calabar, Lagos and Lokoja, before we found ourselves in Abuja.

“So that exhibition is taking place for outsiders to come and take a look of how Nigeria capital is run.”

We want to showcase Abuja and, by extension Nigeria, seeing the whole city we have been moving round to tidy up and clean up environmental problems that are here and there to ensure that we have a smooth visitation by foreigners and Nigerian alike who will be trooping in large numbers.

“The youth programme is also on to carry the youths along entertainments and the likes, Arts and Culture etc.   Several things have been taking place and the climax will be witnessed on October 1 (today).”

He charged government parastatals assigned responsibilities for the anniversary to be ready to give accounts of their stewardship at the end of the celebration, warning that the federal government would not hesitate to deal with those who failed in this regard.

“All that is needed is in place; money has been released to them and what I am just doing now is to warn that anybody who fail to play his own role, whether you are a parastatal and you have a role to play you must go and play it now, because that is the only way Nigeria can be better.

“The issue of accountability, transparency  and whatever we preach must be practiced, so that alert should be given.   It is left for them to either work hard or face the music, that is the only way I can put it,” Navy Capt. Olubolade warned.


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