By Dayo Adesulu
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministers designate to submit any demand meant for him to his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari. Similarly, he added that the incoming ministers should submit all executive matters to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha.
Moreover, Buhari on Tuesday did task the Ministers Designate who are expected to be inaugurated today to work collaboratively and purposefully so as to achieve quicker results.
Besides, Buhari in his closing remarks at the two day Presidential Retreat for the incoming Ministers held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, told the new cabinet members to be conscious of the fact that four years was not a long time.
He enjoined the new Ministers to ensure that they engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet.
Said he: “In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff. All Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am therefore charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.
“You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. “You will agree that our work is just beginning.’’
The retreat creates opportunity to know Ministers
The President said that the last two days of the retreat had been very instructive for him personally, because he had had the opportunity to know many of the new Ministers-Designate better. He further said that he was pleased to see that they have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before them over the next four years.
His words: “Majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. A Nigeria in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare. “Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this Administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few.
Again, Buhari blames past administrations for Nigerian woe
He continues: ‘’A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram; “Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated; “A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports, “Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on.
“In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets. “Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this.
We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialization. Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.”
According to him, while the government has obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead as observed within the two days of the exercise were significant.
President seeks solutions to Nigeria’s problems
Buhari said: “Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated. “We have discussed solutions relating to addressing Insecurity; Macroeconomic Stability; Agriculture and Food Security; Energy Security for Petroleum products and Electricity; Transportation and Critical Infrastructure; Industrialization and SME Development; Human Capital Development; Social Inclusion; Anti-Corruption; Housing Financing and Consumer Credit.’’
. “Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.”