Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima on Thursday assured Nigerians that their sacrifices will not be in vain, saying the promises made by the Tinubu administration will be fulfilled.
According to a statement by a media aide to the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha, Shettima made the remarks at a public lecture to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
He said President Bola Tinubu’s administration is committed to building a country where the economic independence of each citizen is guaranteed, and where none of them has to depend on unspecified handouts to earn a living.
“Today, we gather to honour Nigeria’s journey to redefine its destiny. Today, we stand on the precipice of history to reflect upon a nation that has defied the predictions of doomsayers, a nation that has become the metaphor of resilience.
“Over the past 63 years, we have not only survived but thrived because of our collective resolve, our commitment to progress, and the enduring spirit of unity that binds us together from Aba, down through Ogbomosho to Zaria, despite the conspiracies of minor vested interests,” the Vice President said.
According to him, while this 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, “we are here to remind ourselves that the future we promised Nigerians isn’t an empty performance for electoral favours.”
The Vice President noted that the future of a great nation is 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.
He said, “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.”
Reflecting on the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President Shettima pointed out that “the tragedy reminded us that viruses do not discriminate based on ethnicity or religion, and that our strength as a nation is driven by our collective faith in the ideals that define us and in the moral character of our leaders.”
The VP then emphasized the crucial role of leadership in shaping a nation’s destiny, stating that “the future of a great nation rests on the intention, sincerity, and innovative ideas of its leaders and their commitment to implementing them.”
The Vice President also recognized the sacrifices made by Nigerians over the years, noting that such solidarity has inspired the government to focus on diverse sectors, from agriculture to digital technology, from healthcare to education.
He said: “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 would 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.”
With unwavering determination, Sen. Shettima asserted, “at 63, we recognize that what has sustained us and propelled us forward is our collective belief that overcoming the challenges we’ve inherited necessitates sacrifices.”
He reiterated that these sacrifices are investments in a brighter future, one that will secure the well-being of current and future generations.
VP Shettima reminded the nation: “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.”
Earlier in his address, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, called on the Federal Government to consider increasing the salary of workers to mitigate the current economic situation in the country.
He advised the administration to build on the existing synergy among the different arms of government to provide the much needed democracy dividends to Nigerians.
Also speaking on Tinubu administration’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda in a lecture themed, “Actualizig the vision of Renewed Hope for socio-economic development through effective leadership”, the guest speaker, Dr Goke Adegoroye, commended President Tinubu for the steps taken so far in repositioning governance and resetting the economy.
He, however, urged the administration to prioritise key aspects of the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda with a view to ensuring that the impact is felt across different sectors of the economy.
Present at the event were Secretary to Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume; Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Esan; Ministers of Information, Mr Mohammed Idris; Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev; FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike; Budget and Economic Planning, Alh. Atiku Bagudu; Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar; Solid Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake; Police Affairs, Alh Ibrahim Gaidam; Steel Development, Mr Shuaibu Audu, and Transportation, Sa’idu Alkali, among others.
Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as some members of the diplomatic community also attended the event.