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Buhari retains cabinet till May 28



Buhari retains cabinet till May 28

…holds valedictory session in Aso Rock


President Muhammadu Buhari has directed ministers serving in his cabinet to continue working in office until Tuesday next week. The President, who gave the directive during a valedictory session held for the ministers at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, also requested them to hand over to their respective permanent secretaries on May 28 which is the eve of his inauguration for a second term. Speaking during the ceremony, the President also directed the ministers to forward their handover notes to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) before leaving office. He said: “Although today (yesterday) is the last Federal Executive Council (FEC), I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, May 28 when you will officially handover to your respective permanent secretaries. Your handover notes should be submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”

President Buhari explained that he retained the ministers throughout the lifetime of the government because of their qualities and commitment to service. “Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational. “It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term. Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength. We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve, a diverse but tolerant nation where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered,” he added.

The President listed some of the giant strides recorded by his government within the lifespan of the out-going cabinet which he said, they must all be proud of. “I want you all to leave this meeting proud to have served your nation to the best of your ability. You should be proud to have been part of the government that liberated the local governments previously under Boko Haram rule. “You should be proud to have contributed to our food security and economic diversification agenda which led to the revival of our rural agrarian economy.” Buhari explained that members of the out-going cabinet must not leave without being proud of being part of the team that developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which led Nigeria exiting its worst recession in decades.

He said: “You should be proud to have introduced the social investment programme that enhanced livelihoods of millions of Nigerians. You should be proud to have participated in settling outstanding pensions of many senior citizens abandoned by previous governments while supporting state governments to meet their salary arrears.”

Buhari noted that the outgoing ministers will also be proud that they oversaw the most ambitious road, rail and airport rehabilitation programmes in the history of our country. “I want to put on record, that your achievements in the last three and a half hears have guaranteed your position in the history books of this nation. You have certainly built the foundations for an improved economy and a more purposeful government,” he said. According to the President, his administration inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. He said the situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption as many people expected that it was well near hopeless situation. “However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state,” he said. The President seized the opportunity to pay tribute to the contributions of other Council members who resigned before the completion of the tenure to pursue other opportunities. He also recognized late James Ocholi who died in a motor accident with his wife, Blessing and son, Joshua only four months after being sworn in as a minister.

“I want us to all put him, and indeed his family, in our memory. He was a true patriot committed to our CHANGE agenda,” the President said. Buhari, who commended the cabinet for their patriotism, wished them success in their future endeavour. He thanked the ministers for agreeing to serve our nation during these difficult times and urged them to use this opportunity to recognise their silent partners who include their spouses, family members and friends.

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