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Independence Day: Nigeria orders 53 gold iPhones for N682m…it's not true, says FG

By The Citizen

Reports emerged on Wednesday that the Federal government ordered 53 gold-plated iPhone 5S mobile handsets from a firm in the United Kingdom as part of the memorabilia for Nigeria's 53rd Independence anniversary on October 1, 2013.

The 53 special phones are to be supplied by Amjad Ali, a Bristol-born owner of Gold and Co. based in Dubai.

The Chief Executive Officer, Gold and Co., United Kingdom, Amjad Ali, told, The Independent (a United Kingdom newspaper) that his firm was 'fulfilling an order from the Nigerian government for 53 gold-plated iPhones, added, 'We will engrave them with the coat of arms, a shield and two horses. '

Each of the gold-plated iPhones the Federal government ordered costs up to £50,000, whereas the minimum cost of basic models of iPhone in gold or rose gold is £3,000.

The total cost gold iPhones are said to worth £2.65m (about N682m)

However, Ali neither disclosed when he received the order for the item nor the Federal Government agency or ministry that contracted him.

Gold and Co supplies royal families, governments, and minted customers across Russia, China and the Middle East with special phones.

Some of its customers include the Saudi royal family, which, Ali said, ordered a gold iPhone studded with hundreds of diamonds, including a giant piece that serves as the device's 'home' button.

He explained that before such phones were delivered, 'We strip them down and then plate them in copper, nickel and then pure gold.'

The company, according to him, has 'limited units per region and each is numbered and placed in a handmade wooden box with a certificate of authenticity and wax seal.'

However, the Federal on Wednesday denied ever ordering 53 iPhones from the businessman or anybody in commemoration of the nation's 53 independence.

The Special Assistant (Media and Communication) to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Sam Nwaobasi, said that the report by the foreign newspaper was a lie.

He said, 'The Federal Government has not ordered for any 53 iPhones from any businessman anywhere. That is my answer to your question; it is not true, the Federal Government did not order, is not ordering for and has not ordered for 53 iPhones from anybody or anywhere,' Nwaobasi said. - Punch.