Ministers’ retreat ends with call for optimum performance

Timothy Choji, Abuja

PRESIDENT BUHARI ATTENDS DAY-2 OF PRESIDENTIAL MINISTERS RETREAT 3. R-L; President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo san and SGF Mr Boss Mustapha during the Day-2 of the Presidential Retreat for Ministers designate held at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. AUG 20 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the in-coming Ministers to give their best as they assume their new positions.

He has also called on them to work tirelessly, as they contribute their quota towards nation building.

He gave the charge while addressing the ministers-designate at the end of a two-day retreat organized for them by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

He said: “Public service is not an 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.”

The President, who reminded the ministers that they don’t have much time to serve, urged the new ones among them to relate very well with their older colleagues in order to succeed.

“You will find that working collaboratively and purposely will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. To the new ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older ministers and former Governors in the cabinet,” he said.

He directed the in-coming cabinet members to always channel their correspondences to him through the offices of the Chief of Staff and the SGF, for proper coordination.

“In terms of coordination, 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 by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” the President directed.

The President said although many challenges lie ahead of Nigeria as a country, he had no doubt in the individual capacities of the ministers-designate and the collective patriotic commitment of the deliver a better Nigeria for the current and future generations.

The Nigerian leader expressed satisfaction with the way the two-day retreat was conducted but quickly added that the work of the cabinet members has just begun.

“After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat, however, you will agree that our work is just beginning. These last two days have been very instructive for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to know many of you our new Ministers-Designate better. I was also pleased to see that you have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before us over the next 4 years,” he said.

The Nigerian leader noted with dismay that majority of Nigerians were poor thus, the need for all cabinet members to roll up their sleeves and work for the progress of the nation.

He said: Ladies & Gentlemen, 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 childrens education or healthcare. Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people.

He therefore, enjoined the ministers-designate to put into practice what they have learnt at the retreat, which also served as their induction for the task ahead.

Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead are significant as you would have observed in detail over these two days. 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, he said.

Monitoring Mechanism

Earlier in his closing remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said activities of the ministers would be monitored, to ensure optimum performance in line with government’s objectives.

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, he said.

He expressed optimism that the team of new ministers would excel in their various ministries when they assume duty.

“After spending two days with this team, I am confident that together we can overcome any obstacle. And that as an administration we will accomplish great things,” he said.

He thanked all those who contributed in various ways to the success of the two-day retreat.

The incoming ministers would be sworn-in by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday August 21 at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.