Having survived a civil war, security challenges, political and religious upheavals, it is desirable for the country to celebrate its 60thh anniversary, the Federal Government said yesterday.
The activities will be staggered within one year and they will be low-key, Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said.
According to him, the economic situation of the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will not allow elaborate activities.
Mohammed spoke at a news conference in company with Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ali Pantanmi and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq – all members of the media sub-committee of the event.
Mohammed said the Buhari administration is “working assiduously to build a new Nigeria.”
As part of the celebration, the President will launch the “National Ethics and Integrity Policy” and the ”Integrity Award” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The minister said: “The pomp and ceremony that should have marked the celebration will be largely missing but will be celebrated for a whole year, ending September 30, 2021.
“Therefore, there are some activities that may come up after the ones to be announced today. This does not mean there will be daily activities between now and Sept. 30th, 2021, but that there will be staggered events during that period. We will ensure to keep you posted.”
The minister also explained that for surviving a Civil War in its history, Nigeria deserves to mark its Diamond Jubilee.
He added: “Now, some may wonder why Nigeria needs to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee at all, considering the myriad of socio-economic challenges facing the country. And our answer to that is contained in our theme of ‘Together’.
“Also, in certain cultures, the age of 60 is seen as the beginning of a new cycle of life and is usually well marked. For Nigeria as a country, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari offers a new beginning.”
He said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will bequeath a new Nigeria by laying the foundation for industrial and technological development.
Mohammed said: “The Administration is working assiduously to build a new Nigeria, laying the building blocks for industrial and technological development by building massive infrastructure in the areas of power, roads, bridges, rail, etc. and by developing human capital.
“ The Administration is also fighting corruption, tackling insecurity and diversifying the economy by leveraging ICT, Creative Industry, Agriculture and mining, among others.
“And so, I say, let the celebrations begin, and this is wishing all Nigerians a happy 60th independence anniversary.”
The minister re-echoed President Buhari’s explanation of the 60th anniversary logo.
He said: “Please, permit me to quote Mr. President’s explanation of the logo: The neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolizes our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world.
“In the same vein, the pear green and dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land. All these properties make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.’’