President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday enjoined the ministers-designate to be both prudent managers of public resources and agents of the change agenda of his administration.
Buhari gave the charge at the opening of a two-day retreat for the ministers-designate at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
He congratulated the appointees for passing the Senate’s screening, saying that the retreat was to keep them abreast of the administration’s focus, ease governance, and to enable them to key into the various programmes of the government.
“The objective of this retreat is clearly reflected in the choice of topics which we will be dealing with during the sessions.
“The need for observing the Rule of Law is being emphasised to ensure that impunity is removed from government conduct.
“You are coming on board the ship of governance at an interesting time.
“So much has been said about the state of the economy.
“It is expected that we make the running of government at all levels as lean as possible, avoid waste and conserve resources.
“As ministers, you must be a vehicle which will administer the change.’’
The President said that the main task of the appointees was to work in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to deliver positive results
He spoke of the need for them to have a better understanding of the context, in which they have agreed to serve the country and the strategies they need to adopt to tackle challenges.
He urged them to be determined to work as a team and to live up to the highest standard of probity and integrity expected of them by Nigerians.
Buhari reminded them of the need to keep in touch with one another and the importance of information-sharing in effective governance.
The President said that because the people’s expectations were high, the ministers should be determined to succeed in changing the fortunes of the Nigerians for better.
He noted that their acceptance of the appointment meant that they were determined to take part in the patriotic undertaking of rescuing the country.
The President said that the retreat was to explain the focus of the government to enable them to take a cue.
According to Buhari, the government was elected based on its promise to tackle corruption and insecurity as well as revive the economy.
He said that the present administration had taken measures to plug leakages in revenue and subdue Boko Haram.
He added that the government would focus attention on diversifying the economy by moving away from over dependence on oil.
The President said that attention would be focused on mining and agriculture and the building of infrastructure to broaden the country’s revenue base and create jobs.
He said, “Our economic focus will be the process that will ensure inclusive growth and we will count our achievements based on Nigerians that will move out of poverty.’’
Buhari stressed the need for government functionaries to “count ourselves to be privileged to be chosen (from) among millions of our compatriots at this time to be the instrument that will deliver the change we have promised’’.
He, therefore, urged them to live up to the expectation.