- Edun pledges to drive economy to next level
- Wike vows to step on toes to restore Abuja master plan
- Blue economy worth over $1.5trn annually – Oyetola
BY NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG, TIMOTHY AGBOR, FRANCIS KADIRI AND BRIGHT JACOB
President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, told his newly inaugurated ministers to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
Tinubu said this while charging them at the inauguration ceremony that was held at the Conference Hall in the Presidential Villa.
He added that the ministers were selected based on personal experiences to continue with the work of nation-building noting that the challenges before them could be “very daunting” but that the government was hell-bent on the push to introduce a Renewed Hope.
He said, “It is all about a great team and I believe we have them here.
“The greatest numbers of Nigerians are highly expectant. They believe that you will serve with integrity and deliver. I will hold you to account,” the President added.
The President urged the new ministers to note that their assignment has started immediately, even as he also urged them to restore faith in governance so that the governed could believe in government.
“I welcome you to the administration of Renewed Hope. We are in this boat (together); this is a vehicle and I am the driver. The entire Nigerians are watching as we navigate this vehicle. We have to do the job to meet the expectations of all Nigerians,” he maintained.
President Tinubu, like his predecessor Muhammadu Buhari, appears prepared to head the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the newly created Ministry of Gas Resources.
The president has not assigned any ministerial nominees to head the ministries of Gas Resources and Petroleum Resources.
Although he has not directly stated that he intends to hold the office of petroleum minister, the failure to appoint someone for the position indicates that President Tinubu seeks to hold the office.
Heineken Lokpobiri, a former Nigerian senator, was inaugurated as the Minister of State (Oil), Petroleum Resources while Ekperikpe Epko, a former member of the House of Representatives, was also inaugurated as the Minister of State (Gas), Petroleum Resources.
Lokpobiri, as a junior minister of petroleum, is expected to resolve challenges affecting the petroleum sector, most especially the issues of crude theft, lack of oil investments and further development of the country’s oil assets to increase revenues from the petroleum sector.
Epko will be working to execute the policies passed by Tinubu’s administration that are geared towards making the country utilise its gas potential for power generation and distribution, clean cooking, auto-use, and industrialization.
Experts in the oil and gas sector said on Monday that if President Tinubu continues in this trajectory, this would be the third time since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 that a sitting president will be heading the country’s Petroleum Ministry.
They said when former President Olusegun Obasanjo was elected in 1999, he appointed himself the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
They pointed out that for six of his eight years in office, between 1999 and 2005, Obasanjo was the Petroleum Minister and Minister of State for Petroleum.
However, in 2003, the last year of his first tenure, Obasanjo appointed Edmund Daukoru as Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy.
Later in July 2005, he appointed Daukoru as the Minister of State for Energy, Petroleum Resources.
During the Umaru Yar’Adua administration, Henry Ajumogobia was appointed Minister of State for Energy (Petroleum) and head of Nigeria’s delegation to OPEC (July 2007 to December 2008), and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources between January 2009 and April 2010 with Emmanuel Odusina as Minister of State (Gas) and Fatimah Ibrahim as Minister of State for Energy (Power).
By January 2009, Yar’Adua realigned the Energy Ministry back to Power and Petroleum and Riliwanu Lukman was appointed minister of petroleum, a position he held until March 2010 and Rilwan Lanre Babalola as Minister of Power.
After the passing of Yar’Adua in 2010, the then-former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became acting president and removed all appointees and appointed Diezani Alison-Madueke as the Minister of Petroleum in February 2010, a position she held till May 29, 2015, when Jonathan left office.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke is thus Nigeria’s last Minister of Petroleum that is not the sitting president.
In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari followed in the footsteps of Obasanjo when he came to power and appointed himself as Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Buhari, during his eight-year tenure (2015-2023) appointed two different state petroleum ministers, namely Ibe Kachikwu and Timipre Sylva.
In March 2023, Sylva resigned to contest the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Edun pledges to drive economy to next level
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has assumed duty, promising to drive Nigeria’s economy to the next level.
He said this at the welcome ceremony organised by members of staff of the ministry in Abuja on Monday.
Edun said President Tinubu had set goals on macro, fiscal, and monetary policies, and measures for the country to advance.
He said that if the country patiently followed the steps outlined by the President, it would be stabilised in no time.
“I have seen the digitalisation. Let’s all work together to achieve all the goals,” he said.
He commended the ministry staff for the warm reception given to him and also commended the former minister, Zainab Ahmed.
The Permanent Secretary on Special Duties, Udo Ekanem, said the ministry was ready to work with him and promised to put in their best.
“We are lucky to have you looking at your wealth of experience,” he said.
Wike vows to step on toes to restore Abuja master plan
Also, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has promised a strict adherence to the original master plan of Nigeria’s capital city.
At his maiden interaction with the media, Wike, who is the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, exhibited the characteristics of the chief executive of a state.
The newly sworn-in Minister said he will step on toes by demolishing illegal structures in the FCT no matter how highly placed the owners may be.
Wike threatened that buildings in the Federal Capital that do not conform to the master plan of the FCT “will go down.”
Adelabu pledges ‘stable’ power supply
On his part, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government will empower them through ‘stable and accessible’ power.
The minister who gave the assurance when he assumed office on Monday in Abuja stressed that every home, industry, school, and business will benefit from the government’s efforts.
To achieve the feat, Adelabu said the ministry will leverage the Nigerian Electricity Act of 2023 to boost the power supply in the country.
According to him, the ministry will diligently provide optimal solutions for Nigeria’s power needs across the nation.
He said that the task was not merely a requirement, but an expectation from both the President and the Nigerian populace who had endured years of power challenge.
Blue economy worth over $1.5trillion annually – Oyetola
The newly sworn Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has also assumed duty as a minister in Abuja.
The minister arrived at the ministry’s conference room in the company of his wife, Kafayat Oyetola; his son, Femi Oyetola, and other members of his cabinet from Osun State.
Oyetola who was received by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Magdalene Ajani, Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, George Moghalu, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Emmanuel Jime, and some Directors of the ministry, urged the ministry staff to work with him to find innovative solutions to the challenges in the sector and ensure that the oceans and marine are safe, reliable, and sustainable.
He said that the blue economy is estimated globally to be worth more than $1.5 trillion annually, adding that considering the size of the country’s blue economy, Nigeria should be a significant player in the sector to contribute to the country’s revenue and also provide jobs for the unemployed.
He, however, promised to come up with practicable ways of ensuring that the inland rivers, lakes, and waterways are utilised for cargo shipment and passenger transportation.
Mamman pledges to revamp education sector
In the same vein, the newly appointed Minister of Education, Tahir Mammam and the Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu have assumed duty after their swearing-in by President Bola Tinubu on Monday.
The Ministers were received in office by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Andrew David Adejo, and other heads of education parastatals and agencies, amongst others.
Speaking, Mammam solicited support from Nigerians in order to bring about the “desired change in the education sector.”
He said, “If the education sector is fixed, every other thing will work perfectly in the country since the ministry is the foundation of all.”
While saying the expectations are huge for the sector, he noted that President Tinubu was committed to turning the tide around.
Earlier, the Minister of State, Sununu, sought for the cooperation and understanding of Nigerians, especially the ministry staff to improve the standard of education.
Tuggar to unveil new visions, foreign policy direction
Similarly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, on Monday, said in due time, his administration would unveil new visions to rightly place Nigeria at the regional and global peace-making pinnacle.
Tuggar stated this in his address as he assumed office after the swearing-in ceremony at the presidential villa.
He noted that the ministry has a lot to achieve, adding that its high standard must be maintained.
The newly appointed minister said, “It is the highest honour to be asked to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs by President Bola Tinubu.
“The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is at the forefront of promoting Nigeria’s interest and protecting our citizens abroad.
“As a historically important ministry, foreign affairs has long represented a high standard of excellence. It is therefore our job to make sure that those standards never fail. Each and every one of us has a key role to play.”
He added that the new visions will help address modern complex problems confronting the ministry.
We decided to shock everybody as Solid Minerals Minister instead of Information – Alake
Meanwhile, the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, has explained the reasons behind his appointment into the ministry by President Tinubu.
Alake highlighted his sense of responsibility, expertise, and track record as what propelled Tinubu’s decision.
He clarified that the president decided to shock Nigerians by not appointing him to the information ministry which he has a background in.
He said, “My portfolio has been the upset of the entire cabinet because given my antecedents, exposure, and experience in the area of perception, information management, and the likes so most people have pigeon hole me for Information and so we decided to shock everybody.
“Now if you all can sit down to analyse the global trend of economic development, you would note that the hydrocarbon that is the oil is fading out and the world is moving towards alternatives like gas, electric cars, and the rest. So what is the next economic growth factor? It is a solid mineral.
“Given the nature of this sector to our economic growth and vitality of this country which is dear to the heart of Mr. President, it’s just very apt and proper for him to send me here because he knows and trusts that I have a demonstrable sense of responsibility and courage to drive the agenda, that is why I am here. We are going to drive that agenda with the full cooperation of everyone,” he added.
Alake further said that it is not about the portfolio or ministry that he is assigned to but the results that he will yield for Nigerians.
“In my world, where I come from, you know you are in the civil service and have your rules and regulations but in my world, there are no strictures, I have been in the civil service as a commissioner before. My modus operandi is results, I really don’t care how you get me the results as long as you use legitimate means to get the result.
“I am going to set an agenda with focus and objectives, we will get the results. Now we are not going to be allowing civil service structures and strictures to stifle us from creativity and flourishing, what we need is attitudinal change,” he said.
Tunji-Ojo assumes office, bars journalists from venue
The Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, has also assumed office.
He arrived at the ministry at about 2:20 pm after the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Villa.
Tunji-Ojo was accompanied by a crowd of supporters who were chanting solidarity songs.
The minister was ushered into his office by the acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Carol Adepoju Wura-Ola; the Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abubakar Audi, among other officials of the ministry.
On his arrival, journalists were told to vacate the venue.
A senior official of the ministry said the meeting was a family affair, adding that only the minister’s guests should be allowed in.