October 1, 2015, Nigeria will mark its 55th independence anniversary.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal briefed reporters in Abuja yesterday.

He was represented by the Permanent Secretary (Political) in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (OSGF), Ibukun Odusote.

He said President Buhari approved the N70 million although he would have preferred the money to go for the payment of workers’ salaries.

President Buhari, he said, maintained that the money was too much to be spent on frivolities, such as celebrations, when Nigerians were grappling to survive the present-day economic stress.

He said: “Let me emphasise, that this year’s celebration is indeed low-key. This is because the present administration appreciates the economic hardship that Nigerians and indeed the nation is confronted with today.

“To address the situation, government has adopted a general policy to be prudent in the management of our financial resources. This year’s celebration is therefore, in consonance with the cost saving policy direction of this administration,” he said.

According to him, four events were approved by the President.

He said: “The events are: Jumat prayers, international thanksgiving service, ceremonial change of guards and a children’s party.”

The independence anniversary will begin with Jumat prayers on Friday, September 25, at the National Mosque, Abuja. This will be followed by an interdenominational thanksgiving service on Sunday, September 27, at the National Christian Worship Centre, Abuja.

There will be ceremonial change of guards at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on October 1, 2015.

The Children’s party will be held on Saturday, October 3, at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.

He added: “Apart from these four events the President will address the nation on Oct 1.

“To ensure a successful commemoration, four sub-committees have been constituted to handle the preparations for each of the four events,” he added.

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