President Muhammadu Buhari has advised incoming ministers to be prepared for laborious days ahead.
Buhari spoke at the presidential retreat for ministers-designate and presidential aides at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Monday.
The president explained that the purpose of the retreat was to reflect and assess the country’s position, chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future, among others.
The president asked the incoming ministers to put in their best efforts as the country needs the best hands to handle its numerous challenges.
“It is a great privilege for you to be called upon to serve in these Great Offices of State and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges. There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally,” Buhari said.
|Buhari addressing the incoming ministers|
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are all aware of the looming demographic potential of our country. By average estimates, our population is close to 200 million today. By 2050, UN estimates put Nigeria third globally behind only India and China with our projected population at 411 million.
“This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us.
“Honourable Ministers-Designate, in our first term we identified three salient areas for close attention and action, namely to secure the country, to improve the economy and to fight corruption.
“First – we have rolled back the frontiers of terrorism; we are actively addressing other challenges such as kidnappings, farmer-herder violence, improving the safety of our roads, railways, air traffic and fire control capacities.
“Second – we are steadily turning the economy round through investment in agriculture and manufacturing, shoring up our foreign reserves, curbing inflation and improving the country’s infrastructure.
“Third – on corruption, we have recovered hundreds of billions of stolen assets and are actively pursuing control measures to tackle leakages in public resources. We will not let up in fighting corruption.”
He urged the ministers-designate to ensure accountability in their various ministries and work together as a team.
“As ministers, I am counting on you together with Advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to build upon our road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity,” he said.
“Our Administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the World’s Great Nations.
“You must also ensure that Agencies under your Ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“Honourable Ministers-Designate, we must work as a team. Although you have been chosen to represent your states as a constitutional imperative, it is vital for all of you to work as Nigerians.”
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