FG Chooses Low-Key Independence Anniversary, Citing Economic Realities

A low-key celebration of Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary is planned by the Federal Government (FG) for October 1, 2023.

This was announced by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

He also stated that no world leaders were invited for the occasion, in accordance with the government’s preference for a modest commemoration.

“Low-key celebration has nothing to do with whether we are not doing well. Economic times are hard; we are looking at it not just at the national level but also as a family,” he said.

“We have not invited world leaders. During the inauguration of the president, 53 world leaders were invited, so we have not invited any world leaders. The report of the investigator for CBN will soon be ready for the public.

“As you are aware, the President has given his approval for this 63rd anniversary to be low-key in line with the present economic realities. The theme of the anniversary is “Nigeria @ 63: Renewed Hope for Unity & Prosperity.”

The SGF, Akume, stated that the national interest is paramount and that Nigerians have chosen to coexist in harmony, unity and prosperity despite our differences.

He further said that these are the essential conditions for any nation to progress and that the federal government is ensuring that our national interest is protected.

He noted that the 63rd independence anniversary celebration is very significant at this moment, as we have enjoyed uninterrupted democracy since 1999 and also witnessed a smooth, successful and peaceful presidential transition process from one administration to another.

“Despite political tremors and a wave of coups in some parts of the ECOWAS sub-region, Nigerians have fully embraced democracy with its core values and practices as the best form of governance,” Akume stated.

“Democracy affords the citizens the opportunity through elective structures and processes to effectively participate in the affairs of their country.

“The relationship between the people and government in representative democracy is symbiotic: while the citizens support the government, the government provides security, protects, and enhances their interests.

“The government is fully aware of the economic challenges that Nigerians are confronted with since the removal of the fuel subsidy as well as the impact of the global economic downturn.”

He said that the government is working assiduously to provide the necessary palliatives so as to mitigate such challenges and also the provision of buses to ease hardship on transportation, among others.

At the same time, the government is engaging with labour in order to address areas of concern for the well-being of all Nigerian workers and Nigerians generally.

“It is for this reason that this government led by His Excellency, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, is anchoring on the Renewed Hope Agenda, which will improve food security, guarantee end to poverty, improve security, economic growth and job creation, access to capital, improve the playing field on which people and particularly companies operate, respect for the rule of law, and fight against corruption,” Akumi said.

The event will feature various programmes, such as anniversary symposium/public lecture on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at the State House Conference Center, starting from 10 am. On Friday, September 29, 2023, there will be a lecture at the National Mosque Conference Center at 10 am, followed by a Juma’at Prayer at the National Mosque at 1 pm. On Sunday, October 1, the president will address the nation at 7 am.

There will also be an inter-denominational church service at the National Christian Center at 10 am. The event will conclude with a military parade on Monday, October 2 at the Presidential Villa, at 9 am.