Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari stated on Wednesday reasons why new federal ministries were created, others merged and some split.
This comes as the President reiterated that the “safety, security and prosperity of Nigeria’s 200 million people are our responsibility; we must not fail them.”
Buhari made the remarks at the opening of the inaugural meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) before it went into a closed door session.
The President, who tasked the ministers to remember their oath of office, redouble their effort and work for the overall good of the Nigerian people, said the ministries were created, merged and split for efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.
The President announced the creation of six ministries – Works and Housing, headed by Babatunde Fashola, with Abubakar D Aliyu as Minister of State; Power, with Sale Mamman as Minister and Goddy Jedy Agba as Minister of State; Aviation, headed by Heidi Seirika; Special Duties and International Affairs, headed by George Akume; Police Affairs, headed by Maigari Dingyadi; and Humanitarian and Disaster Management, headed by Sadiya Umar Faruk.
“For the new cabinet members, this weekly meeting presents an opportunity to know your fellow ministers and exchange ideas with a goal of perfecting our stated policies which will positively impact on Nigerians,” President Buhari said.
“In the recently-concluded elections, the majority of Nigerians who voted for us gave us a clear mandate: to enhance the security of lives and property across the entire country, to create a diversified and inclusive economy that will bring prosperity to all, and to install governance and accountability in our systems and processes, thereby eliminating corruption.
“Therefore, all ideas and projects that will contribute to achieving these goals shall be foremost in our deliberations.
“For returning ministers, my decision to appoint you is based on merit. During our first term, you executed your mandate diligently in a patriotic manner. I expect you all to redouble your efforts in this second term.
“To enhance service delivery, we decided to restructure some functions which led to the creation of new ministries to achieve our goal of economic diversification and inclusive growth.
“For example, we merged the Ministry of Finance with that of Budget and National Planning; we also created a Ministry for humanitarian affairs and disasters Management and Social Development to fully institutionalise our various interventions that support some of the poorest and most distressed citizens of our country.
“Furthermore, we split the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and Ministry of Transportation and Aviation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our infrastructure delivery programmes and projects.
“On security, keeping in mind the need to improve on our achievements, we created the Ministry of Police Affairs with the purpose to oversee the development and implementation of strategies that will enhanced Nigeria’s internal security in synergy with other security and intelligence agencies; this will include supporting the re-establishment of civil authority in the liberated areas of the North East.
“We also created a new Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs; this ministry will manage key projects and initiatives of the presidency.
“The minister’s role will include coordinating multi-agencies and inter-ministry functions as designated by the president.
“I have instructed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to draft a schedule of ministerial responsibilities for my review and final approval.
“As I said during the recent retreat, we must work in harmony with each other. Communication and team work is the hallmarks of success.
“I will conclude by tasking you all to keep in mind the oath you took in this very room three weeks ago. As a government, our focus must remain that of selfless service. The safety, security and prosperity of Nigeria’s 200 million people are our responsibility; we must not fail them,” the President charged his ministers.
The ministers were sworn on August 21 with a mandate to commence work on the 2020 budget proposal, getting it ready before the National Assembly reconvenes from recess.