Seven newly appointed ministers were given portfolios by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, and he tasked them with serving the country tirelessly and upholding unwavering commitment to both the nation and the office of the President.
The President also disclosed the reassignment of portfolios within his cabinet, stating that the new redeployment is intended to revitalise specific industries where the administration hopes to achieve better outcomes.
The President added during the swearing-in event, which came before the fictitious Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, that even though his administration is nearing the end of its second term, there is still plenty to be done in a variety of economic and national sectors.
The newly appointed ministers and their portfolios are: Ikechukwu Ikoh, Minister of State, Science and Technology; Umana Umana, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Udi Odum , Minister of State, Environment; Ademola Adegoroye, Minister of State, Transport; Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub, Minister of State, Works and Housing; Goodluck Opiah, Minister of State, Education and Nkama Ekumankama, Minister of State, Health.
Following ministers have been reassigned: Senator Adeleke Mamora, Minister of Science and Technology (formerly Minister of State, Health); Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, Minister of Transportation (formerly Minister of State, Works and Housing); Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State, Niger Delta (formerly Minister of State, Environment) and Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development (formerly Minister of State, Transportation).
President Buhari asked his cabinet’s newest members to engage and interact with elder cabinet members while focusing on driving major programmes previously launched by this administration.
He also warned all cabinet members against corrupt practises, emphasising that public officials must be above board and that those discovered engaging in corrupt practises will face the full wrath of the law.
‘‘I begin this address by welcoming on board, all newly sworn-in members of the Federal Executive Council. I also congratulate you because the process that you all passed through to reach this stage has been rigorous and meticulous.
‘‘The appointment of these new Ministers is in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which prescribes that the Federal Executive Council shall be made up of members from every state of the Federation.
‘‘I therefore urge you to consider your emergence out of millions of equally qualified Nigerians within the purview of selection from your State, as a call to duty which imposes the obligation to serve the nation diligently and presents to you the unique opportunity to work hard in service to the Government and the country.
‘‘At the valedictory session for six former Ministers that departed to pursue other political careers, I promised that their replacement shall be a matter of priority so that the business of governance would not experience delays or setbacks.
‘‘This administration has been in the saddle since 2015 and is now on the home-stretch of its second term, as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections. All through, it has vigorously pursued the three main electoral objectives namely: Securing the nation; Diversifying & growing the economy as well as fighting corruption.
‘‘You are all coming on-board at this time with new energy, ideas, experiences and vigour, to join the existing team so that the implementation of policies, programs and projects associated with these electoral objectives would be escalated and accelerated.
‘‘There is still so much to be done for our country in the areas of infrastructure development, energy, access to finance, access to justice, technology and innovation, trade, agriculture, education and security. The list is inexhaustible,’’ he said.
President Buhari urged the newly appointed ministers to be conscious that time is of the essence as they assume office.
‘‘As I assign you portfolios, therefore, I expect you to carefully study your sectors, take wise counsel, reach out to key stakeholders, consult and collaborate with older cabinet colleagues and focus on driving key programs already initiated by this administration. Above all, be loyal to your President and your country.’’
Underscoring the need for the old and new members of his Cabinet to work with common objectives of leaving indelible legacies for Nigerians and ending strongly with verifiable accomplishments, the President warned:
‘‘You must resist bad counsel, resist temptation and be circumspect in your utterances and conduct. You must totally eschew corruption and be above board because if caught there will be no sacred cows,’’ he said.
The newly appointed ministers were instructed by the President to hold off on making any decisions until they hear from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation about their proper ministerial mandates.
Before the FEC meeting and swearing-in ceremony began, the Council held a minute of silence in memory of Mohammed Barkindo, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General, who passed away on Tuesday in Abuja.