Nigerians Set Target As Ministers Get Portfolios

(file photo).
22 August 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday swore in the 43 ministers to serve in his cabinet, even as he retained himself as the substantive Minister of Petroleum.

At the event which took place at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, ministers were assigned portfolios. (See table).

First to be sworn in was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha. The swearing-in of the ministers was done in groups.

Three new ministries were created, while two old ones were unbundled. The new ones are: Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Humanitarian and Disaster Management and Police Affairs. Aviation and Power were separated from Transportation and Works and Housing respectively.

Our correspondent reports that 27 out of the 43 ministers are substantive while the remaining 16 are ministers of state. Out of the 14 ministers that served in Buhari's first tenure, only Mustapha Baba Shehuri was not returned to his former ministry. He was named as Minister of State Agriculture.

I remain substantive petroleum minister - Buhari

President Buhari told the ministers that "You were chosen from each of the 36 States of the Federation, and most importantly, you share my commitment to working tirelessly for the people of this country and to achieving a future where every Nigerian can reach his/her full potential.

"I am convinced that we can build a buoyant economy that supports inclusive growth and creates broad-based prosperity for every Nigerian - one that will absorb the two million Nigerians entering the labour market each year, as well as reduce the backlog of over 20 million unemployed or underemployed Nigerians," he said.

The president said they must also intensify efforts to reduce internal security threats and eliminate corruption at all levels so as to ensure that Nigerians have a safe and corruption-free environment where they can live and conduct their businesses, without fear and intimidation.

He said their primary business over the next four years was to work together towards delivering the results that the people of Nigeria expect from them.

"We have a great opportunity as an Administration to build on the progress already made in order to fundamentally shift Nigeria's trajectory on the path of steady growth and development."

Buhari said, "As heads of your respective ministries, and for effective implementation of your mandates, you are required to work closely with the Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers of Agencies under your purview. This has become necessary considering the fact that the task of moving the country to the Next Level requires dedication, focus, and collective efforts."

He urged the ministers to work in harmony with their colleagues, saying communication - vertical and horizontal can only be ignored at a price.

"As I said yesterday, in terms of coordinating communication, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff. While all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in order to speed up the process of decision-making.

"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 interest, 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.

To ensure effective delivery on priorities, he said he has directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to track the progress against what they outlined to achieve.

"He is therefore expected to report the process of implementation and outcome to the Federal Executive Council."

2020 budget to be presented September - SGF

The Secretary to the Government of the Boss Mustapha urged the ministers to immediately commence work on the 2020 budget.

Mustapha said they have assured the National Assembly that the 2020 budget would be presented when the lawmakers resume from their annual recess next month.

"You are expected to familiarise yourselves with the permanent secretaries of various ministries and within this period, set out to work particularly on the budget, and taking cognizance of the fact that we have assured the National Assembly that we are sending the budget immediately they return from the recess.

"We will send out the ministerial mandate for you to review within two weeks with the permanent secretaries assigned to your ministries and attach your signatures and return for the purposes of safe keep and also monitoring and co-ordination.

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