Ministers express optimism as they get portfolios

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja


Nigerian ministers expressed optimism of excellent performance in their ministries following the assignment of portfolios after they were sworn in on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Those of them who spoke to State House correspondents said that they have been equipped and motivated to work with President Buhari to deliver his Next Level Agenda promises to Nigerians.

They also spoke on their plans and work design for the next four years.

Economic Growth
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the ministry under her, would work to sustain the Nigerian economy on the part of growth.

“We are going to try our best effort to make sure that our economy is sustained on the path of growth and that we don’t fall into any fiscal crisis,” Mrs. Ahmed said, adding that her focus would be on the economy.

On how she would cope combining finance, budget and national planning, the minister, who was in charge of the Ministry of Finance in the President Buhari’s first tenure, said that she had worked with budget and national planning and would not see any challenge in her new assignment.

“There are competent persons on both sides that will support me in my work. I will be coordinating both the budget and planning work as well as that of finance.  So, I’m sure that we are going to do well.”

Workers Welfare
Returning Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said he would work to put smile on the faces of workers.

He said that the disagreement between labour and government over the new National Minimum Wage would be resolved immediately.

“We will solve it, we will solve it; very immediate,” Ngige said, explaining “we know the intricacies of the negotiation.”

He said that his ministry knows what a good template would be for the federal government, the state government, local government and for workers.

New Priorities
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said even as he would work to build on the foundations he laid in the last four years, he has set new priorities for the ministry.

According to him, the 15-year roadmap designed by the ministry for the development of Nigeria’s water resources would continue with some modifications to accommodate the new policy thrust put in place for the next four years.

Exploiting Solid Minerals
New Minister of Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, said that his priority would be to exploit the potentials in solid minerals to diversify the Nigerian economy.

Adegbite said that he would also work to encourage Nigerians to add value to solid minerals instead of exporting them as raw materials.