ABOUT 28 world leaders are expected to be guests of President Goodluck Jonathan during the activities marking the Centenary anniversary of the country, which kicked off in January 25.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) devoted its entire session on Wednesday to fine-tune final preparations for the celebration, which will be climaxed by an international conference on human security and sustainable development in Africa.
According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Ayim, who joined other ministers to brief State House
correspondents after the meeting, the president would present the lead paper at the conference.
Anyim said the celebration would be funded wholly by the private sector, though the government was expected to cater for international guests.
“For the first time in our history, we are embarking on a celebration funded by the private sector,” he said, adding that the centenary celebration was aimed at highlighting the achievements of Nigeria as a nation in the past 100 years.
Anyim disclosed that each of the states had been mandated to sponsor 200 persons, including one traditional ruler, to the Abuja event as a way to carry along every segment of the country.
He also revealed that about 70 per cent of the award to be given out to 100 deserving persons during the celebration would be posthumous.
Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, allayed security fears during the event, in view of the ongoing activities of insurgent in the North-East.
The Information minister dispelled the insinuation that the occasion would be an opportunity for Jonathan to kick off his presidential campaign, adding that “what is being presented has nothing to do with campaign or politics, but policy reforms and their impact on the people.”
The Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, said the main musical concert scheduled for the National Stadium, Abuja, would involve multimedia presentation of the progress of Nigeria in the last 100 years, adding that the concert was expected to attract 25,000 people.
He said the event would be handled by the same group responsible for the opening ceremony of London Olympics.
Speaking on the awards, the Minister of Mines and Steel, Musa Sada, said heroes of Independence, major contributors, pioneers in professional callings, commerce and industry, civil servants, internationally acclaimed artists, journalists, academics, among others would be honoured at the event.
Meanwhile, former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, has been appointed the chairman of the committee to oversee fundraising at the gala night scheduled for Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, next Tuesday.