Moved By Criticisms, PMB Gives Ministers Marching Orders On Performance
Nigerian News from Leadership News / Kreazetofa Odey/ 1 hour ago
As the current Federal Executive Council (FEC) clocks one year this Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed cabinet members to work hard to earn the trust of Nigerians.
This follows calls from a section of the public who have been calling for a cabinet reshuffle on the grounds that the present cabinet cannot bail the country out of its current socio-economic difficulties.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting, the minister of solid minerals and steel development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who addressed journalists alongside the minister of water resources, Suleiman Adamu, and presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, disclosed that at the just concluded meeting, FEC reviewed the progress level and performance of the ministers one year after.
“The president’s charge is simple. You know the president is not a man of many words. His charge to us is just get on with it, ensure that you earn the trust of Nigerians by doing the best you can to serve the country,” Fayemi said.
He noted that the challenges ahead were still enormous and “we cannot afford to rest on our oars.”
“We read what you write and we get the feedback coming from the populace; we need to continue to explain, we need to communicate to Nigerians what we are doing.
“We would find a way to speak individually about what we have been doing in the last one year. At the ministry level, there will be some kind of commemoration but nothing extraordinary,” the minister said.
According to him, the review gave the ministers the opportunity to reflect on the progress they had made as a government, and the challenges they will have to tackle in the days and months ahead, in order to fulfil their commitments to the people of Nigeria who put them in office.
Fayemi also said the ministers thanked the president for giving them the opportunity to serve the nation and to do so in a manner that advances the democracy and development of the country.
Meanwhile, Fayemi also disclosed that FEC approved 38 made-in-Nigeria vehicles at the cost of N326,781 his ministry.
He noted that for over a decade, no vehicle had been purchased for the mines and steel inspectorate division to oversee the activities of artisans and informal mining situations in the states, surveillance of illegal mining activities and the various challenges on the field.
“FEC approved the direct procurement of Nissan four-wheel patrol vehicles for the Mines Inspectorate Division of the mines and steel ministry in the 36 states and the FCT.
“What is also important with the approval we got for these vehicles is that it speaks directly to the government’s commitment to support made-in-Nigeria products.
“Over the last two, three months, all the approvals we have got for vehicles, not just ours in Mines and Steel but the ones for the Prison Service, Immigration, EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), are procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry,” the minister explained.
According to him, they comprise 38 vehicles, one for each state of the federation and the FCT and an additional one for Lagos because of its size.
“It is at a unit cost of N8.190 million, totalling N326,781 million,” he added.
The minister further stated that a surveillance task force had also been established with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, EFCC, Police and the Civil Defence to combat bandits and illegal miners.
He said the government remains committed to checking the activities of bandits and illegal miners and this approval is a further confirmation of the government’s commitment in that direction.
“You may have read, for example, even though it is not directly linked to the mining operation, what happened in Zamfara yesterday and the number of people that were killed; miners that were killed by bandits that have been operating in that area. It speaks directly to our determination to begin to focus a lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners.
“Only yesterday, I was in Paiko local government area where two people died last week, to examine what precisely led to that, to people who are just trying to eke out a living, in supporting artisanal and small-scale miners in order to fulfil Mr President’s job creation agenda,” he said.
On his part, minister of water resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the council rectified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter.
He listed member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission as Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic and Libya.
According to him, a treaty was signed in 2012 by all countries, which requires 95 per cent of member countries to rectify before it comes into effect, and the next stage was for it to go to the National Assembly for law enactment.
He asserted that 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 reason for the current restlessness and insurgency by youths in the North East.
“We are also expecting other countries to rectify the charter so we can strengthen the relationship in the Lake Chad Basin Commission,” Adamu said.
…Meets Saraki, Ekweremadu, others over N9trn loan
The president also met with Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over the N9trn loan proposal that was rejected by the Upper legislative House.