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Independent Day anniversary will be low-key — FG

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Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
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Unlike those before it, Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day observance will not feature a ceremony at the Eagle Square, Abuja, but will be held “low-key,” the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, said Wednesday. ⁣

He said October 1 would be “a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people and the journey forward.”⁣

Akume revealed this to State House Correspondents after he emerged from a closed-door talk with Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. ⁣

The former Minister of Special Duties, who was reluctant to reveal details of the issues discussed, said it bordered on plans for the Independence Day. ⁣

“Independence is a historic event for any country and we Nigerians are no exemptions. ⁣

“We are fully prepared for celebrations and for obvious reasons, it is going to be low-key and we are wishing Nigerians the best of luck and I want to assure them that better days are coming and pretty soon too,” he noted. ⁣

On the modalities of this year’s edition, Akume revealed, “This is going to be low key; we are not going on fantastic jamboree at the Eagle Square and other locations. ⁣

“It’s a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people. This journey is being charted by the captain of the ship.” ⁣

On what the government would do concerning the Labour Unions’ 21-day ultimatum ending Thursday, he said, “Labour leaders are very patriotic Nigerians and we want to believe correctly that nobody will want to cause a strike. ⁣

“It’s not in the interest of the workers; it’s not in the interest of anybody because this government is very determined to ensure a good standard of living for Nigerians and to create prosperity for all. ⁣

“It’s not something that can be done overnight. This government came into being on May 29 and we have a tenure of four years. So, it will be inappropriate for us to begin to judge based on the few months we have spent in the office.”⁣

The organised labour had on September 1 issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the delay in sharing palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.⁣

It said all is set for a total shutdown of the economy, which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum on Friday.⁣

Among other demands, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances for the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.⁣

Though the FG committed to restructuring the framework for engagement with organized labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action.⁣

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