The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to giving a former Vice President, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, a befitting burial.
Punch reports that Ngige spoke on Sunday, January 28, at Ekwueme’s hometown in Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra state after inspecting facilities for the burial of the late VP.
JUICYLINKS gathered that he said Buhari had committed about N1bn on Ekwueme from the day the federal government took over his medical bills to date.
While saying that road rehabilitation alone in Anambra state and neighbouring communities of Imo and Abia states in preparation for Ekwueme’s burial had gulped about N480m, Ngige said federal government was not leaving anything to chances in ensuring that the Ekwueme family enjoys the role their late patriarch played in building a better Nigeria
He said: “You know that I belong to the Ekwueme family; I’m part of that family.
“I’m in various committees and subcommittees for the burial of this great statesman. I can tell you authoritatively that Mr President (Buhari) is committed and passionate in ensuring a befitting burial for Ekwueme.
“If he doesn’t come for the burial himself, I’m sure the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will be here for the burial as a matter of right.
“So, I’m here to inspect the facilities in preparation for his burial; and I can tell you that I’m satisfied with the progress of work.
“The federal government is doing rehabilitation works on Amawbia/Ekwulobia road, up to Uga and Akokwa in Imo State.
“We’re also doing road rehabilitation on Oko/Umunze road up to Ibinta in Abia State.
“I know the cost of all this, not less than N480m.
“The federal government is building the mausoleum, which will contain a modern library and other facilities and I also know the cost of that too.
“And remember that the federal government took up all the medical bills of flying him abroad and bringing him back to Nigeria from London upon his death.
“The cost of hiring an air ambulance is not a joke. So, Buhari has honoured this Igbo son in all ramifications.
“He has committed not less than a billion naira in this project because he is passionate about it,” Ngige stated.
The minister added that the federal government was considering naming a national monument after Ekwueme to immortalise him.
Similarly, the Anambra state government has commenced works on internal roads in Oko and environs, preparatory for the burial.