Posted by News Express | 12 November 2015 | 2,624 times
At least five of the 36 ministers sworn-in yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari have hit the ground running, reporting at their various ministries barely hours after the ceremony at the Presidential Villa.
They include Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh; his junior minister, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and his junior minister, Mr. Mustapha Baba Shehuri.
Addressing reporters in his office, Ogbeh said the ministry would continue along the lines of successes achieved by the immediate past administration.
He, however, said that the ministry would extend its services to farmers across the country, while improving on some of the shortcomings of the past administration.
Ogbeh also stated that the ministry would place emphasis on export, while improving the food self-sufficiency of the country. He added that the ministry would also lay emphasis on the involvement of youths in farming.
Kachikwu, who visited the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, met with the Permanent Secretary and other managers in the ministry.
Addressing them, Kachikwu said efforts would be made to ensure that the working environment and perception of the ministry was changed.
“The working environment and perception of this ministry must change and we are working on that in NNPC as well. Leadership must come from the ministry. We have dwindling resources and we must see how to cut costs and improve on earnings,” he said.
Fashola Targets Improved Power Supply
On assumption of duty at the Ministry of Power, Fashola went into a closed-door session with the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Louis Edozien, and directors on the way forward in tackling the enormous task ahead.
Fashola said that his thoughts were on how to bring together processes and activities of all the ministries now put under his supervision for effective service delivery.
He assured the ministry’s leadership of his willingness to learn from them as they were career people who have been on the job for a long time.
“We are here to work with you, in solving problems on ground as quickly as possible, we want to know if some of those problems are man-made or systemic. We want information on what has been done, what remained to be done, and what are the future plans, we want to continue from there,” Fashola said.
The minister said he was also interested in how best to harness the available human resources and physical asset in the ministry, as all these information would assist the ministry in commencing work immediately.
“We need to do more so as to regain lost time,” he said, emphaising that Nigerians are anxiously waiting for result, which in this case is improved power supply nationwide.
Also speaking, junior minister Shehuri said that as a matter of urgency, he wanted a detailed Ministerial Briefing Document to serve as a guide. “This will ensure proper take-off,” he said.
The Director, Human Resources, Mrs Grace Papka, gave copies of the requested documents and a time-table for proposed briefings by Departments and Agencies in the power sector to the two ministers.
•Adapted from a Channels TV report. Photo shows Kachikwu and Fashola.
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