The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, on Thursday delivered a welcome address at the conference organized as part of celebrations for Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.
The conference was held at the State House conference hall and had several dignitaries and top government officials including Vice President Kashim Shettima and Speaker Tajudeen Abbas in attendance.
During his opening speech, Akume disclosed that the anniversary is being held low-key because of the prevailing economic realities.
He also said part of the expectation from the conference is that speakers would be able to make submissions that would address Nigeria’s economic potential as well as the government’s policies and programs that could turn them into vehicles for achieving the aspiration of making the country one of the 20 Largest Economies of the World by 2030.
He assured of the readiness of the President Bola Tinubu-led government to consider and implement suggestions made during the symposium.
He said, “I welcome you all to this Symposium, being the Second of the series of events lined up to commemorate the 63rd independence anniversary of our dear country, Nigeria.
“Let me begin by conveying my appreciation to His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria for graciously approving the events planned for this anniversary and for directing that it should be low-keyed, in line with our current economic realities.
“I similarly wish to recognize and welcome His Excellency, the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, GCON, for personally attending this program. This underscores the significance attached to the outcome of this symposium by the administration.
“Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme for today’s symposium, “Actualizing the Vision of Renewed Hope for Socio- Economic Development Through Effective Leadership” is intended to shed more light on critical areas of Nigeria’s socio-economic potentials that could be explored and developed through policies and programs 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 President Bola Ahmed 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.
“I wish to inform you that eminent Nigerians who are knowledgeable and experienced have been carefully selected to speak to these issues.
“The format for today affords us the opportunity to listen to a lead presentation after which a robust discussion will be done by the panel of discussants.
“It is our expectation, therefore, that eminent Nigerians participating in this program would address these economic potentials as well as government’s policies and programs that could turn them into vehicles for achieving our aspiration of becoming one of the 20 Largest Economies of the World by 2030.
“Let me assure you that beyond the celebration of the 63rd independence anniversary, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, as the coordinating point for implementation of policies and decisions of government, have made full arrangements to document and carry forward the critical outcomes of the symposium to the highest level of political leadership.
“Where necessary, relevant national thinktank 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.
“Similarly, the outcome would be subjected to open discussions by relevant stakeholders including the Civil Societies, the Labour sector and the academia, to enable us harness the best and most viable options.
“Given the foregoing, it is imperative that we all pay rapt attention to both the Presenter and Discussants during the program, for better understanding and comments.
“Your Excellencies, Distinguished invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me at this point commend the members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, for putting this program together and for giving it a strong perspective that would transcend the present celebration.
“Once again, Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all and I wish us a very enriching experience.
“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”