The President in a show of support for the third largest film industry in the world on the 2nd of March hosted its stars at an exclusive Presidential dinner at the State House in Marina,Lagos.
The First lady Patience Jonathan, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra State governors and other important personalities were present at the dinner.
The order of the hush-hush dinner was as;
Guest arrival at TBS at which point they were conveyed in buses to the State House.
The main dinner started at 8 pm.
Nollywood stars present at the ceremony included: Genevieve Nnaji, Chidi Mokeme, Aki and Paw Paw, Olu and Joke Jacobs, Segun Arinze, Stephanie Linus, Patience Ozokwor, Zack Orji, Madam Kofo, Desmond Elliot, Chiwetalu Agu, Cynthia Amadi, Amaka Igwe, Dickson Iroegbu, Zeb and Chico Ejiro, Kunle Afolayan, Tunde Kelani, Andy Chukwu and some others.
Highlights of the dinner was when the President unveiled a pictorial book on the “Icons of Nollywood” while he also pledged to support the indutry with a princely sum of 3 billion naira.
The Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State also promised to initiate a N50million ‘Goodluck Jonathan Prize Award’ which will be shared by the best Nollywood actor, actress, film maker and other award categories.
Jonathan the Rastanathan!
President Goodluck yesterday appointed Dr Doyin Okupe(a medical doctor) as his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs.
The president in appointing Dr Okupe as the SSA skipped Dr Reuben Abati who is the SpeciAl Adviser on Media and Publicity to the him.
The medical doctor was the spokesperson for the former president Gen Olusegun Obasanjo,he once contested for the position of the Governor of Ogun State under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) but lost to Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
It is believed that due to the negative media publicity the President and his First Lady has been getting, it was necessary to get someone (dr Okupe)who would redeem their images to the masses.
According to Daily Trust The Federal Government has begun taking delivery of 200 exotics cars ordered for use by guests and officials of the African First Ladies Summit which kicked off in Abuja yesterday, sources involved in the deal told
First Lady Patience Jonathan is the convener of the event, with the theme “The African Woman: A Voice for Peace,” which is expected to be attended by spouses of African leaders.
The cars comprise 80 units of BMW X3 and X5 series with a market value of N13.5 million each, while the remaining 120 are exotic models of Honda, Jaguar and others.
Sources told Daily Trust that the vehicles were supplied by Coscharis Motors, and 180 units have already been delivered to the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Saturday.
The cars are for use during the 7th African First Ladies for Peace Mission (AFLPM) summit scheduled for 24 to 27 July in Abuja. Already, African first ladies have begun arriving in the country since weekend for the four-day event.
There was conflicting information by last night on whether the cars were bought outright or hired, and no government official was ready to speak with our correspondents on the record for this story.
When Daily Trust contacted spokesman for Coscharis Motors, Mr. Ifeanyi Nihe, by telephone on Monday, he said the company had supplied vehicles to the Federal Government but refused to state the number and cost.
“I am not in the position to give out the real value of the transaction,” he said.
When asked which government agency was handling the transaction, Nihe said, “Our company is still talking with some officials of the government. I don’t know whether it is the First Lady’s office or not.”
Nihe also could not confirm to Daily Trust whether the cars were sold or leased out to the government for the event.
Coscharis Motors is the same company that supplied over 3,000 units of BMW series used during the 8th All African Games also known as COJA in 2003.
A source said the transaction for the 200 cars was processed by the office of the Minister of State for Finance.
Attempts to seek explanation from the office were not successful as a spokesman declined comment
while the minister of state, Dr. Yerima Ngama, did not answer calls to his phone on Monday.
Also, attempts to get reaction from the office of the First Lady were not successful. Her
spokesman Ayo Adewuyi could not be reached by telephone on Monday and yesterday.
The Federal Government is supposed to be operating a “monetization” policy under which government officials are paid monies in lieu of official vehicles. Ministries and agencies, including the Presidency, are also supposed to maintain pools of limited numbers of vehicles for official activities.
It is not clear what will happen to the 200 cars after the First Ladies conference, but such vehicles usually end up being auctioned at rock- bottom prices to the well-connected or
government workers take possession of them.
The main objective of the African First Ladies summit, according to the concept paper, is to “facilitate the flow of authentic conversations and ideas that will create powerful new paradigm for the African woman.”
During the conference, the foundation laying ceremony of the secretariat of Mrs. Jonathan’s First Ladies Peace Mission is scheduled be performed in Abuja.
The foundation is to be laid on the disputed land allocated to former first lady Turai Yar’Adua’s Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WAYEF) in February 2010 but revoked by FCT Minister Bala Mohammed in November last year and reallocated to Mrs. Jonathan’s pet project.
The AFLPM was established in 1997 and aims at the prevention and management of conflict as well as the preservation of peace through civil and humanitarian diplomacy.