The Executive Chairman of the 50th Independence Anniversary National Planning Committee, Dr William Conteh has defended their ($25 million) twenty five million dollars proposed budget for the 50th Independence Anniversary celebration saying the chunk of the money is for tangible legacy projects that will always be remembered.
He named the projects as improving on the facilities at the Lungi International Airport, expanding the Presidential Lodge at the Airport, work on the road from Mahera to the airport, providing accommodations for the foreign guests at the Regimanuel Grey apartments at Goderich, upgrading the road at Goderich and buying of furniture for the apartments and also providing transportations for them.
He said they have also projected in the budget to launch a campaign for people to know all the three stanzas of the National Anthem, know what the colours of the country’s flag stand for and also know the meaning of the Coat of Arms and embark on 30 events. Presently he said they have $1.7 Million from pledges. $1 million from African Minerals, $600,000 from a Chinese company and pledges from other institutions.
The Executive Chairman maintained that the Committee was established by President Koroma in May last year, mandated to undertake activities for the celebrations that will rebrand and showcase Sierra Leone in a positive light to the international world.
Dr William Conteh reiterated that a budget was submitted together with their events calendar to the President for approval.
Sierra Leone, he said has been associated with war and corruption.
He added that they have supported key programmes that will portray Sierra Leone to the international world and have organized international and national sensitization programmes to seek the input of Sierra Leoneans of how to celebrate the anniversary.
He said that the celebrations will look at the mistakes made in the past 50 years and correct them.
By Abibatu Kamara