The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday held a valedictory session for former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who resigned last week.
Speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buahri described Fayemi as an intelligent person that gave a lot for the development of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and Nigeria at large.
“I very reluctantly allowed Fayemi to go to his state because of his constructive contributions. As I sat here, I watched every Minister that spoke and about his contributions, this revealed not only intellect but when he is given the necessary time to contribute to important memorandum, he made meaningful contributions, which shows commitment to the progressive of this government and the country. By chance he was given the portfolio of Mines and Steel Development and you know that sector was virtually abandoned. During the colonial days, they took what they wanted from us – tin, columbite and the rest were the priorities until they struck oil somewhere, it was simply priority of investment shifted offshore. When he went in, he began to deal with both Nigerians and foreigners that are exploiting the lack of commitment of those who are responsible of that sector before he went there. If you recall the number of children and women that suffered from the effect of mining in Zamfara State and other parts of the country and the people responsible, knowing that Nigeria will dump as decently as possible.
“I hope you will get the Ekiti back for the party. So, we certainly wish you the best of luck but it will take me some time to get a substantive Minister and more so, with the 2019 prospects that I have already indicated. But we need a very strong Minister, strong in intellect and courage, so as to make sure that both the Nigerian and foreign collaborators of taking away our resources can be checked effectively. We thank you very much for your contribution for your country,” he said.
Some members of the cabinet aired their views on their former colleague.
Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari said Fayemi has lifted the image of the Ministry.
“What we met on ground when we arrived in our offices on the 11th of November 2015 was so discouraging that we hardly knew where to start because it was as if we were handling a sector that was abandoned and the staff morale was very low. So whatever modest achievement we have recorded in the last two and half years have been principally due to leadership and vision of Dr Fayemi,” he said.
On her part, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun said: “We are going to miss him and his laudable contributions in the cabinet but the national loss is Ekiti’s gain. We do need form the economic perspectives, more Governors that will align with what the federal government is doing so that we can really start to see the transformation of the economy at grassroots level and I believe that he is going back to Ekiti to become a model Governor that we will be very proud of.”
In a sharp contrast, Education Minister, Adamu Adamu said “I think he is one of the best Ministers in the cabinet and I also know he is the best that can happen to his state because of what he did before. The cabinet is going to miss him and I think he will be more useful to the nation than to Ekiti.”
In an interview with State House Correspondent, Dr Kayode Fayemi said it was a privilege to serve Nigeria in that capacity, adding that he has an unfinished business in Ekiti, where he is going to contest for Governor.
He appreciated the nice comments made about him by his former colleagues and expressed optimism that he will succeed in his political ambition.