Vice President Kashim Shettima on Thursday assured Nigerians that their sacrifices for the peace, unity and development of the country would not be in vain.
Shettima gave the assurance at a public lecture to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary, held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
The vice president also pledged that the promises made by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration would be fulfilled for the benefit of every citizen.
He said the Tinubu’s administration was committed to building a country where the economic independence of each citizen was guaranteed.
“Over the past 63 years, we have not only survived but thrived because of our collective resolve, commitment to progress, and the enduring spirit of unity that binds us together.’’
He said that the anniversary offers Nigeria another opportunity to acknowledge the cross-regional bonds that have kept the country standing as Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy.
He noted that the future of a great nation was not determined by the occurrence of a socio-economic challenge, but by the intention, sincerity, and innovative ideas of its leaders, and their commitment to implementing them.
“We cannot renew the hope of the nation unless we deliver on our promise to drive food security and eradicate poverty.
“We cannot foster economic growth and nurture job creation unless we facilitate access to capital, enhance national security, and optimize the business environment for our enterprises.
“We are going to uphold the rule of law and fight corruption to design the Nigeria of our dream. We can’t achieve any of these unless each citizen remains a strategic partner in pursuit of our ultimate national interests.”
Shettima, who recognised the sacrifices made by Nigerians over the years, noted that such solidarity has inspired the government to focus on diverse sectors, from agriculture to digital technology, from healthcare to education.
“We knew from the starting point of this race to serve the people that the track would not be without its holes and thorns.
“We knew that challenges would arise, and obstacles will test our resolve. But, as our history has shown, Nigerians are too ambitious to be broken by a temporary setback.
“We are going to emerge from this phase of our reforms stronger; each of us with renewed hope. These sacrifices are investments in a brighter future, one that will secure the well-being of current and future generations.
“As we work together towards a future where opportunity knows no bounds, let’s remember that our most potent weapon is the overriding resolve of the majority to choose unity over chaos and democracy over anarchy.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume, explained that the symposium was intended to shed more light on critical areas of Nigeria’s socio-economic potential.
“These areas could be explored and developed through policies and programmes enunciated by this administration. This process is critical because of the dynamic nature of our socio-economic environment and the global systems.
“It is also significant because Tinubu had, during his recent address at the United Nations General Assembly, beckoned on the world leaders to partner with Nigeria for business and development.”
He said the Office of the SGF had made full arrangements that the critical outcomes of the symposium were made available to the highest level of political leadership.
“Where necessary, relevant national think tank institutions such as the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NIPSS) and the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) would be engaged to deepen the articulation.”
Earlier, the guest speaker, Dr Goke Adegoroye, commended Tinubu for the steps taken so far in repositioning governance and resetting the economy.
Adegoroye, in a lecture themed “Actualising the vision of Renewed Hope for socio-economic development through effective leadership”, urged the administration to prioritise key aspects of the ‘Renewed Hope’.
He said this would ensure that the impact of the agenda was felt across different sectors of the economy for the benefits of the citizens.