From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
As ministers mark one year in office, on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked them to work hard and earn the trust of Nigerians.
This was even as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved procurement of 38 units of four-wheel Nissan Patrol totaling N326.781 million for the Mines Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel.
The president gave the charge at the council meeting which reflected on the progress the administration has made, the challenges its still tackling and the commitments it has to Nigerians.
FEC has also ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, paving the way for the document to be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who briefed newsmen, alongside Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu and Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “We will be one year in office, in two days time. So, this was an anniversary FEC meeting and it gave us the opportunity to really reflect on the progress we have made as a government, the challenges that we still have to tackle and the commitment we have to reiterate.”
Fayemi also disclosed Buhari’s charge to his ministers. “The president’s charge was simple; you know the president is not a man of many words. His charge to us was just get on with it, ensure you earn the trust of Nigerians by doing the best you can to serve the country.”
On his part, Adamu said the council ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter.
He said the treaty which was signed in 2012, by all member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, require 95 per cent of member countries to ratify it before it comes into effect. With the ratification, the minister said the next stage is for the document to go to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
our various states,” he said.
Fayemi explained that the procurement of the vehicles was meant to tackle illegal mining activities and other various challenges facing the sector.
He also added that the procurement was a demonstration of Buhari’s administration commitment to support Made in Nigeria products.
“Over the last two to three months, all the approvals we have got for vehicles not just ours in Mines and Steel Ministry but the ones for the Prisons Service, Immigration and EFCC are procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry.
“The government remains committed to that and this approval is further confirmation of the government’s commitment in that direction.
“It also speaks directly to our determination to begin to focus lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners,” he added.
Adamu said the council ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter.
He said the treaty which was signed in 2012 by all member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission required 95 per cent of member countries to ratify it before it comes into effect.
With this ratification, the minister said the next stage was for the document to go to the National Assembly for an enactment into law.
He said, “The charter seeks to strengthen cooperation between all members and to forge some kind of consensus on issues relating to environment, security and the future of the lake itself.
“As you are aware, the lake has been threatened by climate change. It has shrunk to less than 10 per cent of its original size 40, 50 years ago and efforts are being put in place to ensure the lake is safe from extinction and to improve the security situation which as you know, is part of the reasons for the current restlessness and insurgency by youths in the North East.
“We are also expecting other countries to ratify the charter so that we can strengthen the relationship in the Lake Chad Basin Commission.”