Ahmed urges staff to redouble efforts
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The newly appointed Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Minister of State in the ministry, Mr. Festus Keyamo resumed work at the ministry soon after their swearing-in yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari, promising to take the development of the region to an enviable height.
The assurance came just as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed urged the staff of the ministry to redouble their efforts in order to help attain the ministry’s objectives.
Akpabio, Keyamo and Ahmed spoke at their respective ministries as they resumed duties after they were sworn in by President Buhari.
At the reception organised by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, and management staff, in Abuja, Akpabio and Keysmo expressed their readiness to urgently address the developmental needs of the Niger Delta region.
In a statement issued by Deworitshe Patricia, the ministry’s Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Akpabio, said that being from the Niger Delta region, it behoves on him to take the developmental challenges more seriously, hence, the issues of capacity building, inadequate infrastructure, poverty alleviation, youth restiveness, entrepreneurship, environmental degradation, amongst other, will be tackled head-on as he was not unaware of how these challenges negatively affected people of the region.
He pledged to work harmoniously with his counterpart to ensure that they live up to the expectations of the administration of President Buhari.
The minister added that he loved leaving marks anywhere he worked and called on staff and management of the Ministry to ‘put all hands on deck to ensure that our developmental efforts yield fruits’.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, thanked staff of the Ministry for the warm reception accorded them and pledged to give his best in boosting the confidence reposed in him through his appointment. He expressed his eagerness to get to work.
Also speaking, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed, who arrived at the ministry headquarters around 2:45p.m., urged the staff to redouble their efforts.
She said: “We got these new assignments because of the quality of work we have been doing, I didn’t do the work you did. The Ministry of Finance has one of the best civil servants. We have been remerged with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. It’s a very big responsibility that has been given to us.
“And you know our nation is facing crisis, or near fiscal crisis. It’s up to us to make sure it is arrested, that we don’t slip into a crisis. We have been growing for eight consecutive quarters, our revenues have boomed but there’s still a 55 per cent shortfall of what is projected. We still have to pay salaries, debts and also we have to operate on a daily basis for the sustainable growth of our economy. “
“The whole of this responsibility lies on your shoulders as permanent secretaries, directors and staff of the Ministry of Finance , Budget and National Planning. I want to urge you that the good work you have done in the past should be redoubled because the task is now double.
“We will be reaching out to our sisters in budget and national planning. Where there are gaps, we will fix them and we will make some changes to make sure we work better together,” she said.