*Fashola pledges to deliver budget in two weeks
By Doosuur Iwambe, Ukpono Ukpong, Abuja
Following the unbundling of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said that in the next two weeks he will ensure that the budget for his ministry is ready.
He gave the assurance at his assumption of office yesterday in Abuja.
“The first thing we have to do is to forge out the budget for the Ministry of Works and Housing and we have to do that in the next two weeks. Once we get that part right, then we are good to go,” he said.
On his part, the returning Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige assured workers that the controversy surrounding the implementation of the new national minimum wage would soon be a thing of the past.
While reaffirming the commitment of the federal government towards ensuring that workers begin to enjoy the new wage, Ngige disclosed that he hopes to receive the brief of the progress so far made on the consequential adjustment from the permanent secretary on today.
“We have so many outstanding issues to be addressed, some of them urgently too. As we speak, SSANU, NASU are on strike and the university system is not bubbling, but going comatose. So, we have to address that issue urgently.
“We also have the issue of minimum wage consequential adjustment. My permanent secretary is handling it and they have made some progress. By tomorrow, we will get the hand over notes from him and myself and the minister of state will study it and know how to key in.
“The important thing is that we want to make sure that matter is addressed as quickly as possible and put a smile on the faces of Nigerian workers,” Ngige added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie has expressed his readiness to expand the health coverage, particularly the primary health sector.
The minister in a brief meeting with the media said that his desire is to key into the agenda of the President for the health sector, adding that improvement in quality of medicare in hospitals as well as indices in health security in the country are his top most agenda.
On his part, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, reaffirmed his commitment to work with aviation unions to advance the sector and position it to meet emerging challenges.
“I promise that there will be good understanding between you and me to drive the activities of our industry towards enhancing national development.
“I will do everything possible to make the ministry grow up. This task, I think, is for you as well; not for me alone. It is for all of us.
“We will continue to hold stakeholders meetings with the unions, staff and the management. We will make what you are doing better. The roadmap is there; we will make things better including your welfare,’’ he said.