.Lai, Fashola, Malami, 9 others retain portfolios .You must build on my achievements, says President
.Consolidate on progress made in various sectors, APC charges new ministers
As President Muhammadu Buhari swore–in members of his cabinet on Wednesday, assigning the position of the minister of Petroleum Resources to himself, those who presumably performed well in his last administration retained their portfolios.
Whereas the President retained the petroleum ministry, Lai Mohammed returned as the minister of Information, Culture and Tourism while Abubakar Malami retained his position as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
In addition, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed would still manage the Ministry of Finance; Mallam Adamu Adamu (Education); Chris Ngige, (Labour) and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu would retain his old position at the Ministry of Science and Technology.
While the burden of Babatunde Fashola (SAN) was reduced as the Federal Government unbundled the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, which he superintended over during Buhari’s first term in office, he now oversees the Works and Housing ministry while Geoffrey Onyeama retained the Foreign Affairs ministry and Rotimi Amaechi retains the Transportation ministry.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has tasked the new ministers to improve the economy, fight corruption and create a Nigeria that would engage its 20 million unemployed and unemployable people into productive ventures.
While challenging them to build on the achievements recorded by his administration in the last four years, the President emphasised the need for adequate security to promote peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians.
“We have a challenge to build a country where everyone can maximise his or her potential. We must build a country where opportunities abound for everyone. Work has started; we must all get down to action.
“We must make everyone productive. We must make everyone an asset to the country. Everyone must be fully engaged,” he said.
He said that key economic indicators would be used to assess the ministers’ performances, urging them to work hard to give Nigerians the good governance they deserve.
Buhari, who admitted that there had been challenges, however, asked Nigerians to also recognise the achievements recorded so far by his administration.
He directed the ministers to work closely with the permanent secretaries and heads of parastatals and agencies under their ministries, and emphasised the need for collective efforts toward success.
He also emphasised the need for closer and constant communication and coordination among the officials, adding that all communications requiring his attention must be routed through the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
‘’I must emphasise the importance of communication and harmony within our government. You must work in harmony with your fellow ministers. Communication – vertical and horizontal can only be ignored at a price.
‘’We can only make meaningful progress in our national restoration efforts if we all commit ourselves to addressing the challenges confronting our nation in the best interest of our people and posterity.
“We must not allow such issues as political affiliation, sectional interests, and primordial loyalties to blind us against our patriotic obligation to drive our nation’s growth, development, and prosperity in an atmosphere of enduring peace, security and stability,” Buhari advised.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has charged the new ministers to drive the change agenda of the Buhari administration while congratulating them and President Muhammadu Buhari over the inauguration.
The party admonished the ministers to consolidate on progress made in the various sectors of the country and build upon achievements made by the government in the past four years.
While noting with utmost satisfaction, the painstaking efforts the President made in picking the new ministers, their speedy screening and confirmation by the Senate, the APC said they should live up to expectation in the onerous task of assisting the President fulfill his promises of repositioning the economy, ensuring security of lives and property and fighting corruption.
The party posited that while the APC-led administration has recorded remarkable milestones in the first term, it aligns with the position of the President that there is more work to be done.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa- Onilu, in a statement on Wednesday, said: “There are challenges to build on the foundations that have been laid in the last four years.
“To state a few, the APC-led government has an urgent task to lift Nigerians out of poverty, secure lives and property, grow our economy, build infrastructure, bring back discipline to our private and public conducts and mobilize Nigerians through personal examples towards evolving a Nigeria we all can be proud of.
“We therefore, urge the new ministers to justify the confidence reposed in them by the President and, indeed, all Nigerians, by settling down to work quickly, and hit the ground running and consolidate on the progress that have been made in the various sectors.
“We join the President in calling on the newly-inaugurated ministers to ensure teamwork amongst themselves, so as to create harmony in the governance system. This is the only way we can achieve synergy in our policy implementation and overall implementation of our Next Level manifesto for the country.
“It is important that our newly-inaugurated ministers understand they are ministers of APC administration, hence, they should reflect the best and progressive ideals of the party in their conduct and actions.”
The party wished the newly-inaugurated ministers best of luck as President Buhari works towards taking the country to the Next Level while assuring the ministers of the party’s maximum cooperation and support to make them succeed.