Following Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s 2016 declaration of every May 29 as Delta State Thanksgiving Day, information available to SecretReporters has revealed that the administration outrageously spent One Hundred and Twenty-Nine Million Naira (N129,000,000) on 2019 Praise Worship and Thanksgiving.
A sum of One Hundred and Thirty Two Million, Two Hundred and Three Thousand Fourteen Naira (132,203,014.51) was proposed in the proposal addressed to the governor on April 2nd, 2019, through the office of the Secretary to the State Government, as obtained by SecretReporters, for the programme, which featured Gospel Artists such as Chioma Jesus, Travis Green, Mercy Chinwo, Tim Geoffrey, Eben and Solo Urete, as well as support performances by the Mass Choir/Government House Chapel and Delta indigenous Gospel artists from across the Seven Ethnic Groups in the State.
The proposal drew “the Governor’s attention to the letter at pages 96-97 by which a 17-member Praise Worship Committee under the chairmanship of Itiako Ikpokpo was constituted” to organize and execute the May 29, 2019 Praise Worship and Thanksgiving; and make a report to the government.
Following its meeting, the Committee agreed that the Praise Worship event would be held at the Dome Event Centre, Asaba, with an estimated attendance of 7,000 people, while the thanksgiving service would be held at St Philips Anglican Church Anglican Girls Grammar School (AGGS), Asaba.
According to the information gathered, Sub-Committees were formed to handle various aspects of the assignment. Guided by their specific tasks, the Sub Committees drew up necessary estimates for the various aspects of the event on pages 98-106, which were said to have been meticulously scrutinized.
The Committee on Venue/Works proposed a sum of N17,600,000.00, while the Committee on Ministration proposed a sum of N43,470,000.00. Meanwhile, the Secretariat Subcommittee projected N7,850,000.00, while the Mobilization Subcommittee projected N11,091,000.00.
Furthermore, the Protocol subcommittee proposed N7,600,000, the Entertainment subcommittee proposed N13,159,000, the Security subcommittee proposed N5,500,000.00, the Publicity Sub Committee projected N11,833,014.51, Special Duties proposed N4,000,000, and the Church Thanksgiving Service was proposed at N10,100,000.00, for a total of N132,203,014.51.
According to the proposal, the projected “expenditure, if approved, would be accommodated in Head 416A, Sub-Head B11 (ii) -Committees and Commissions in the 2019 approved Budget.”
The document, with the file number SDG 623/T/107, requested that Okowa consider and approve the release of one hundred and thirty-two million, two hundred and three thousand fourteen naira, fifty one kobo (N132,203,014.51) to fund the expenditure estimates of the Praise Worship and Thanksgiving Committee of the 2019 Gubernatorial Inauguration Ceremony.
This led to the approval and release of the One Hundred and Twenty Nine Million Naira (N129,000,000) splashed on the event that is believed to have no significant economic importance to Deltans.