Monrovia – The cost of festivities for the inaugural ceremony of President-elect George Weah and Vice President-elect Jewel Howard Taylor is US$900,000 with entertainment alone accounting for US$278,250.00.
Entertainment, according to the budget ranges from the Inaugural Ball, luncheon, cultural performances, musical, VIP and VVIP luncheon at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex (SKD) in Paynesville, where the ceremony would be held.
There would also be entertainment from the 15 counties of Liberia which takes US$75,000 of the budget while US$90,000 would be used for “feeding for the masses”.
The Inaugural Ball at the Executive Pavilion accounts for US$16,000 and the VVIP Luncheon at the SKD takes US$15,000.
A sumptuous US$40,000 would be used for VIP Luncheon at the SKD.
The SKD is a very rare venue for these kinds of ceremonies. In fact, hosting the event at the SKD was made possible through a Joint Resolution signed by members of the Legislature.
The grounds of the Capitol, where the seat of the Legislature is, is the official venue for the inaugural ceremony.
Changing the venue to the SKD was necessitated by an ongoing construction at the Capitol (the construction of two annexes to the building) by the Chinese government.
More besides, there have been popular demand from the public (President-elect Weah and his supporters) requesting that the historic be held at a bigger venue where more people can attend.
Preparing the SKD for the inauguration does not come cheap. US$43,000.00 was allocated for stage preparation, US$12,000 for interior decoration only for the entertainment aspect of the program.
The venue preparation for the main event has been put at US$66,000 while stage preparation is US$56,000.00.
The inaugural committee is also spending US$36,000 on infrastructure cleanup.
At the same time, Monrovia City Corporation and Paynesville City Corporation are receiving a separate US$14,000 each for decoration and infrastructure.
US$14,000 has also been budgeted in the inaugural budget for the Ministry of Public Works for decoration and infrastructure.
Transportation rentals and charters take US$24,000 while GSA Special (not clarified) under transportation also takes US$16,000.00.
For media, the inaugural committee apportioned US$15,000 for media while another US$15,000 has been set aside for communications.