The President has directed the incoming ministers to channel all requests for meetings with him through his Chief of Staff, Mr Abba Kyari.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive on Tuesday at the end of the Presidential Retreat for ministers-designate, presidential aides and other top government functionaries at the State House in Abuja.
“In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF),” he was quoted as saying in the speech published by his media adviser, Mr Femi Adesina.
The President reminded the appointees of the task ahead of them and urged the new ministers to engage and benefit from the experience of their colleagues who serve in his cabinet during his first tenure.
According to him, the service to the nation is not easy work and can be unappreciated at times.
President Buhari asked all the incoming members of his cabinet to see the opportunity to serve as an honour and give their best to deliver on the mandate.
He also stressed the need for working collaboratively and purposefully to achieve quicker results, adding that four years should not be seen as a very long time.
In a separate statement, Mr Adesina noted that the two-day retreat came to an end with a charge from the President to the ministers-designate to rise to the challenging responsibilities of the office.
The final day, according to him, kicked off with a presentation on Cabinet Processes and Procedures, by the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha.
This was followed by a presentation by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on aligning government policies with the ideology, manifesto and campaign promises of the ruling party.
Subsequent presentations touched on budgeting, civil service reforms, public procurement, the relationships between ministers and permanent secretaries, and effective partnerships between executive, legislature and state governments.
In his remarks, Mr Mustapha announced the introduction of a new Cabinet Memorandum Review and Approval Process.
According to him, this is aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of government decision-making and policy implementation, as well as increasing coordination and coherence within the government.
The ministers-designate will be sworn in on Wednesday, August 21 at the State House, after which they will be allocated portfolios by the President.
Read the closing speech by the President at the event below:
CLOSING CHARGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE PRESIDENTIAL RETREAT FOR MINISTERS – DESIGNATE, PRESIDENTIAL AIDES AND OTHER TOP GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONARIES, HELD AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA, TUESDAY, 20TH AUGUST 2019
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 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 four years.
Ladies and 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 children’s education or healthcare.
Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this Administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few:
In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets.
Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialisation.
Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.
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; industrialisation and SME development; human capital development; social inclusion; anti-corruption; housing financing and consumer credit.
Public service is not 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.
You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognising that four years is not a very long time.
For the new ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older ministers and former governors in the cabinet.
In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
I would like to thank the Office of the SGF for coordinating this successful Presidential Retreat. I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the party chairman, chairman of the Governors’ Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and contributions.
Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.
Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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