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Minister replies critics, says Nigeria’s 60th anniversary worth celebrating for 365 days

My ministry will create over two million jobs in three years —Minister Lai

Nigerian government on Thursday reiterated that it would celebrate the country’s 60th October 1, Independence anniversary for one year.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the emphasis during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, also said that the fact Nigeria had remained one entity in the face of different challenges made the anniversary worth celebrating.

Many Nigerians have criticised government’s plan of a line up of activities to celebrate the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary for one year.

But Mohammed said, “Before I announce the activities that have been lined-up for the Diamond Jubilee, let me say here that the 60th anniversary celebration will be celebrated for a whole year, ending September 30th 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 September 30, 2021, but that there will be staggered events during that period. We will ensure to keep you posted.”

He, meanwhile, said that the celebration would be low-key due to COVID-19 pandemic ravaging globe.

Speaking on the theme of the celebration, “Together”, which according to him reflected Nigeria’s unity amid many challenges, Mohammed said:

“For a country that has gone through a bitter, internecine civil war, years of political crisis, daunting security challenges, including religious and ethnic crisis, etc, our unity and our resilience (which by the way is what diamond represents) are worth celebrating.

“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.

“The Administration is working assiduously to build a new Nigeria, laying the building blocks for industrial and technological development by building massive infrastructures in the areas of power, roads, bridges, rail etc. and by developing human capital.

READ ALSO: OCTOBER 1: Buhari unveils Nigeria at 60 logo

“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.”

He listed some of the activities lined up for the celebration to include:

– Public Lecture

Date: Friday September 25th 2020

Venue: National Mosque Conference Hall, Abuja National Mosque

Time: 10.00am

– Special Jumat Prayers

Date: Friday September 25th 2020

Venue: National Mosque, Abuja

Time: 1pm

– Inter-denominational Church Service

Date: Sunday, September 27th 2020

Venue: National Christian Centre, Abuja

Time: 3pm

NOTE: Members of the public can join the church service virtually by logging on to the Youtube Channel of the OSGF at OFFICIALOSGFNG

– Launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy as well as Integrity Award by Mr. President to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ICPC

Date: Monday September 28th 2020

Venue: State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja

Time: 10.00am

– Historical Exhibition

Date: Monday, September 28th 2020

Venue: National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja

Time: 3pm

– Presidential Broadcast

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2020

Venue: From the Presidential Villa

– Guard of Honour/Anniversary Parade

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2020

Venue: Eagle Square, Abuja

Time: 10am

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