Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has charged ministers designate to submit all requests and favours to him through his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, while official matters are to be communicated via Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha. President Buhari also urged the incoming ministers to work in synergy in order to achieve quicker results, reminding them of the shortness of time with which to achieve a lot.
Speaking further President Buhari added that “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.
For the new Ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet.
After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat. However, you will agree that our work is just beginning.”
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.
Acknowledging the level of poverty in the country, President Buhari said leaders owe their followers a great responsibility, “Ladies & Gentlemen, majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. 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:
a) A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram;
b) Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated;
c) A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports;
d) Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts.
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.”
President Buhari commended the SGF for ensuring the success of yhe retreat “I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the Governors Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and contributions.”
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha summarized the objective of the retreat, what was discussed and agreements reached to include “Consolidate and accelerate on the agricultural agenda to achieve full food sufficiency Increase revenue, implement measures to reduce leakages and drive cost optimisation. Ensure effective coordination between monetary and fiscal policy.
Invest in human capital development with strong focus on early education and health insurance facilitate investment in oil and gas sector by ensuring speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and Deep Offshore Oil and Exploration & Production Bill Resolve the liquidity challenge in power sector and facilitate private sector investment.
Furthermore, it was emphasized that we need to work effectively with all other arms of government such as state government, national assembly etc. for major high impact initiatives such as provision of large scale land for agriculture and food security, passage of critical legislations, etc.
Now it is time to turn our words into actions – to take everything that we have learned, all the strategies and approaches that we have discussed, and go execute our priorities. This work begins now. The people of Nigeria are looking to this administration for results and they expect them quickly.”
Mustapha added that, “to aid in the implementation of the agreed initiatives, the outcomes from this two-day session will be documented and shared with all the ministers. This will serve as a guide on the key initiatives and action steps required.
A monitoring and evaluation framework will also be instituted to track the performance of each ministry against its cascaded strategic initiatives based on the outcome of this retreat. This is an integral measure to ensure we deliver on our agreed objectives.”
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