Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
As President Muhammadu Buhari assigned portfolios to the 43 new minister yesterday, 10 former members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), including the President, retained their former offices.
This is just as five new ministries were created.
“I am pleased to inform you that the federal ministries have been further expanded to ensure effective service delivery,” the President said.
The new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will be headed by Hajiya Sadiya Umar (Zamfara), while the Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs will be headed by Sen. George Akume, from Benue.
Alhaji Muhammadu Dingyadi, from Sokoto State, is the minister of the new Ministry of Police Affairs. Alhaji Hadi Sirika is now full-fledged minister of aviation, while Sale Mamman is the minister of state for power.
The Ministry of Power was separated from the former Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, headed by Babatunde Fashola, in the President’s first term, as he is now the minister of works and housing.
President Buhari will retain the Ministry of Petroleum, while Timipre Sylva is the minister of state, petroleum resources.
Some other members of the old team who returned either had their jobs trimmed or got a raise in their responsibilities.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed returns to the Ministry of Information and Culture, as Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu returns to the Ministry of Science and Technology, but, unlike Mohammed, Onu is to be assisted by a minister of state, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi.
Others who retained their positions are Alhaji Muhammed Bello (Federal Capital Territory); Adamu Adamu (Education); Dr. Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment), Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), while Mr. Chibuike Amaechi is in charge of the Ministry of Transportation, without the aviation segment.
Malam Suleiman Adamu returns to the Ministry of Water Resources, while Zainab Ahmed is back to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Abubakar Malami retains his post as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.
Dr. Uche Ogah is Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development; Godswill Akpabio (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs); and Mr. Festus Keyamo is Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs.
Mr. Sabo Nanono is the minister of agriculture and natural resources; Maj-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magash (retd.) is minister of defence, and Ramatu Tijjani (Minister of State, FCT).
Muhammed Mamud is minister of environment; Sharon Ikeazor (minister of state, environment) and Amb. Maryam Katagun is the minister of state, trade and industry.
Others are Adeleke Mamora (minister of state, health); Mohammed H. Abdullahi (minister of state, science and technolog); Zubair Dada (minister of state, foreign affairs); Olamilekan Adegbite (mines and steel development) and Tayo Alasoadura (minister of state, labour and productivity).
Former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, is now minister of interior; Sunday Dare (Youth and Sports Development); while Paulen Talen is the minister of women affairs.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, took his oath of office alone, while the ministers took their oath in groups in alphabetical order.
Mustapha was reappointed SGF on May 7 alongside Malam Abba Kyari, as Chief of Staff (COS) to the President.
Both Mustapha and Kyari had continued in office despite the expiration of the President’s first tenure on May 29.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has directed the ministers to be relentless in delivering services that are vital to the objectives of the present administration.
According to him, growth and development are only possible if the ministers are relentless about delivering on specific actions and targets and implementing government programmes.
He expressed optimism that the minsters, who had been with him for more than two days, should be ready to work tirelessly to ensure a future where every Nigerian could optimise his/her potential.
“I believe you are ready to get to work; indeed the work has already started,’’ he said.
The President said the retreat focused on the road map towards the delivering on government policies, programmes and projects for 2019 to 2023.
He also urged the ministers to intensify efforts to reduce internal security threats and eliminate corruption at all levels.
This, he said, would ensure that Nigerian citizens are perceived as corruption-free in any environment they find themselves and could live and carry out their business without fear and intimidation.
He said, while recognising the challenges and the urgent need to surmount them, Nigerians must not fail to note the progress that the administration has made since inception.
He stated that their priority in the next four years to act together towards delivering the results that the people of Nigeria expected from the ministers.
“We have agreed that we must, as an administration, build on the progress that has already been made in order to fundamentally shift Nigerians’ trajectory on the path of stable growth and development,’’ he said
The President again stressed the importance of harmonious work between the ministers as well as with the permanent secretaries in their respective ministries.
He reminded the ministers of his charge to channel cabinet memos through the SGF and requests for meetings and presidential matters through his COS.