11th September, 2013
Profligate Nigeria never ceases to amaze about its debauchery.
When the leadership is not procuring jets or armoured cars, or golden cutlery, it is wasting scarce resources on frills that have no impact on reducing one of the world’s worst poverty levels.
The latest act in fund misapplication is about the order that Nigeria has placed 53 customized gold plated iphones to mark the country’s 53rd independence anniversary.
The anniversary is scheduled for 1 October.
The order by the Goodluck Jonathan administration will dent the National treasury by a princely sum of N662m.
Reports said the government has placed the order with Gold and Co, a British luxury products company.
Reports quoting 42-year-old Amjad Ali, a Bristol-born businessman based in Dubai said each of the gold-plated phones costs between £3,000 and £50,000, the sum of which comes to about N662m.
“We will engrave them with the coat of arms, a shield and two horses,” he said, while referring to the Nigerian orders.
In subsequent reactions, the company has denied that the order came from the Nigerian government.
In a twitter exchange between the company and a Nigerian social activist, Henry Okelue (@4eyedmonk), the Dubai-based company denied its earlier claim that it got the order directly from the government, saying the order came from a private individual.
“These have been ordered not by the government but by an individual who is gifting them to people there to celebrate the [53rd Anniversary],” the company’s twitter handle (@goldandco) tweeted at Mr. Okelue.
The Federal Government has also reportedly come out to deny it ordered the phones.
The President’s social media aide, Reno Omokri, tweeted that “Be advised that the story that the Nigerian Government has ordered 53 Gold iPhones is false. There is no truth to the story whatsoever.”
The Press Secretary to the Minister of Information, Joseph Mutah, also denied government made the order.
“We have never heard of anything like that. The story is utterly false and mischievous, there is no any order like that at least by this government,” he told Premium Times online.