Minister-designate in Nigeria have been urged to join President Muhammad Buhari in providing the leadership required in developing the country and lifting the bulk of the people out of poverty.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said this at the opening session of the induction retreat for Ministers designate, Permanent Secretaries and top Government functionaries, in Abuja, Nigeria.
He said the retreat was to prepare and sensitive the cabinet members on the status of policies, programmes and projects of Government as well as the road map towards the delivery of the priority of Mr President and the next level agenda for 2019-2023.
“The objective of this retreat is to prepare the new Cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure, having been chosen to drive and coordinate the affairs and activities of the various socio-economic and political spheres of our nation. This assembly will afford participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities as Cabinet Ministers, an understanding that will help to shape and streamline efforts towards achieving the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria,” the SGF said.
Mr Mustapha added that the call to service also required the cabinet members to share in the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the SGF, the outcome of the retreat is expected to set a strategic agenda which would define the course of action for the next four years of the Administration, set achievable targets and identify basic strategic options that will assist the new Cabinet realise the goals for which the Administration was elected to achieve.
“The Federal Executive Council, referred to in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as the Executive Council of the Federation, is the principal instrument of policy decisions for the Federation, being the body charged with the responsibility for enunciating policies on matters to which the executive authority of the Federation extends.
“This principle of collective responsibility also infers that a Minister has responsibilities wider than those relating to his/her assigned portfolio and will, in that capacity, receive documents from other Ministers/Ministries, which do not concern the subjects under his/her portfolio, requiring his/her consideration and contribution during the weekly Council meetings,” Mustapha emphasised.
He said essentially, the retreat has been packaged to set the tone for continuous and meaningful interaction amongst Cabinet members, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions, which they supervise.
“We must ensure a consistent harmonious work relationship to serve responsibly, transparent in our conducts and accountable to the people we serve, if this Administration must fulfill its promise of taking Nigeria to the Next Level.
“Honourable Ministers designate, let me remind us that the task of governance requires patience, dedication and total commitment to the objectives we have committed to pursue, especially in realization of the yearnings for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy by the people,”he said.
He also encouraged the cabinet members to consolidate on the gains of the last four years of the Administration, identify the remaining areas that need to be addressed and remain committed to improving the lives of people by confronting the emerging challenges of climate change, resettling displaced communities, dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country, and improving the economic conditions of the citizenry.
“The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has in the last four years done a lot to revamp the economy, achieve a corruption free society and provide adequate security for the people. It has laid foundation and taken bold steps in transforming the country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty,” he added.
The SGF further enjoined them to live above board by eschewing every conduct, private or public, that would tarnish the good image of the President-in-Council.