Stories by Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177
The new Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, has been saddled with the task of improving the 2018 budget of the ministry.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, who stated this during the resumption of the state minister, charged him to utilise his credibility as a renowned professional accountant to improve on the 2018 budgetary system of the ministry.
He said, “I am particularly pleased by the fact that you are an account professional with various degrees in accounting and that will remove the load from me in budgeting.
“You will take charge of the 2018 budgeting, which we are about to start, so that our budgeting system will improve, I made it better when I came, you can push it to become best. I am optimistic that, by God’s grace, you will put in your best for the upliftment of this ministry and the Nigerian nation at large.”
Ngige said it was a pleasure to welcome the new minister of state, noting that the ministry of labour and employment was one of the oldest ministries in Nigeria, dating back to 1927 as a colonial department.
“It is a challenging ministry that has been manned by prominent Nigerians in the past; your deployment as a minister of state, labour and employment, gives credence to your credibility as a renowned academic and astute bureaucrat,” he said.
Responding, Ocheni expressed his desire to bring his knowledge and experience to bear in the discharge of his responsibilities towards the attainment of the objectives of the ministry and the Change Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I am not a unionist, but as much as possible, I am an advocate of peace and harmony, because it is important to achieve a peaceful industrial climate without which the goal of the ministry and that of the present administration cannot be achieved,” he said.
Ocheni stated that, as the epicentre of peace in the nation’s workforce, therefore there was the need for all hands to be on deck fat the ministry to achieve of its mandate of improving overall productivity.
He said, “Improved productivity is pivotal to the Change Agenda of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. If we are able to achieve this desired goal, then we will be able to contribute and enhance the gross domestic product of this country, by so doing we are also contributing to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government.”
He added further, “If we can put in our best and generate what we need to take care of our total consumption, then we do not need import, we can start promoting export and thereby improving our foreign exchange earnings. I call on each and every one of us to do our best and realise this goal. On my part, I am ready and happy to identify with this labour-friendly family.”
He expressed appreciation to President Buhari and the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for giving him the privilege to serve the nation in the capacity of minister of state, labour and employment.
On his part, the Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Omoniyi Ezekiel Fagbemi, assured Ocheni that the management and staff of the ministry would accord him the same support and collaboration given to Ngige in his bid to deliver on his mandate.