President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday read the riot act to his ministers-designate, federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries. He charged them to constantly communicate with one another as well as unite when carrying out their functions diligently. Buhari made this known while declaring open the presidential retreat for ministers-designate on Monday in Abuja. The
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday read the riot act to his ministers-designate, federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries.
He charged them to constantly communicate with one another as well as unite when carrying out their functions diligently.
Buhari made this known while declaring open the presidential retreat for ministers-designate on Monday in Abuja.
The President tasked them to contribute to build upon the road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of Nigerians out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.
He also admonished the appointees to ensure that Agencies under their Ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“As Ministers, I am counting on you together with Advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to build upon our road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.
“Our Administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the World’s Great Nations.
“We must work as a team. Although you have been chosen to represent your states as a constitutional imperative, it is vital for all of you to work as Nigerians.
“Furthermore, working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing. You must open communications with your colleagues. Lack of communication leads to lack of cooperation and sub-optimal performance.”
The President explained that the purpose of the retreat is, firstly, “to familiarize ourselves with our colleagues with whom we shall be working closely for the next four years God willing; secondly, to reflect and assess the country’s position in 2015 and today; and thirdly, to chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future.”
He noted that the participants have been chosen above others to join the first term Ministers whose performance has been outstanding.
According to Buhari, “All of you are appointed to assist and advise the President in running the affairs of our country. At the end of the Retreat, it is hoped that all of you will be in tune with the roles and responsibilities of positions you will occupy in Government. Many national issues require unified decisions.
The President reminded the participants to pay attention to the proposed demographic survey in the Country.
He said: “By average estimates, our population is close to 200 million today. By 2050, UN estimates put Nigeria third globally behind only India and China with our projected population at 411 million.
“This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us.”
According to him, “First – we have rolled back the frontiers of terrorism; we are actively addressing other challenges such as kidnappings, farmer-herder violence, improving the safety of our roads, railways, air traffic and fire control capacities.
“Second – we are steadily turning the economy round through investment in agriculture and manufacturing, shoring up our foreign reserves, curbing inflation and improving the country’s infrastructure.
“Third – on corruption, we have recovered hundreds of billions of stolen assets and are actively pursuing control measures to tackle leakages in public resources. We will not let up in fighting corruption.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in his opening remarks said the call to service requires that all appointees fully share in the President’s vision and agenda for the country.
According to him, “As members of the President’s team, it behoves on us to join him in providing the leadership required to develop Nigeria and lift the bulk of our people out of poverty.
“The presidential retreat is to further prepare us to be able to share in this vision and sense of purpose.”
Mustapha reiterated that as ministers, “You will be required to work with the highest standard of integrity, discipline and dedication that has been set by the President in the service of the country.
“I will like to remain you that of all the functions you will be called upon to perform as ministers, none is more important than to help the President deliver the policies, programmes and projects required to move the nation to the next level.
“As the president said, our legacy will lie on how much we are able to deliver not on how much patronage we are able to extend to associates and supporters”.
But, the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, who was recently invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer to allegations bordering on contract scam to the tune of N3 billion and duty tour allowance falsification and fraud, was conspicuously absent at the opening of the retreat at 10:30 am