The new Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has called for readiness among the staff of the Ministry in order to achieve the mandate of the Federal Government for economic growth and development as well as job creation in the country, expressing his resolve to provide the needed leadership.
Fashola who was the immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, said the need to achieve the mandate was in line with the clear mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari who in his speech, while swearing in the Ministers earlier, had made it clear that he wanted the Ministers to further grow and stabilize the nation’s economy.
Addressing the senior management staff of the Ministry at the Conference Room in Mabushi on resumption after the inauguration at the State House, Fashola expressed joy that the staff had remained faithful to some of the works left behind by his team during the last first tenure of the administration but warned that that there was still work to be done to consolidate on the foundation so far laid.
The Minister declared: “I am happy to see that some of the works we left you have remained faithful and that is in the spirit of continuity and development which is what the nation needs”. He added, however, “There is still a lot of work ahead of us in spite of what we have done before and I offer myself ready and willing to do my part by providing leadership and I trust that all of you are ready as well”.
“The mandate of Mr. President is very clear and it derives from his mandate to the people of Nigeria. And if you watched the Swearing-in ceremony and listened to the President’s speech, he wants us to be his eyes and ears and his agents to serve all the people of Nigeria and that is what we must set out to achieve”, Fashola said pointing out that the President was unequivocal on the urgent need to stabilize the economy.
According to the Minister, the President was clear about the need to sustain the growth already experienced in the economy, adding, “The economy has grown from recession and out of recession and it has grown for consecutive eight quarters. But we need to double that growth and even multiply it , but that will depend on how we work this time. The central purpose is to create prosperity and to create jobs and I think this is possible”.
Fashola, who said the immediate need was to work out a budget for the Ministry in the next two weeks, urged all the agencies and departments of the Ministry to work closely with the Permanent Secretary to achieve the feat adding that the budget remained the article of faith between the government and the governed. He declared, “One of the first things we have to do is to quickly work out the budget for the Ministry of Works and Housing and we have to do that in the next two weeks”, adding that because the budget was the article of faith in governance, all agencies and departments of the Ministry must work together to produce a budget worthy of note by the Ministry.
Pointing out that the leadership of the National Assembly has expressed commitment to conduct all the budget defenses in the month of October, Fashola said in order to ensure that this was achieved and all documents were made ready for the defense, all leaves, travels and other less compelling engagements must be put aside for now.
He stressed the need for the nation’s professionals to be more committed and dedicated to the service of the country pointing out that the fortunes of every nation was determined by how their professionals engage in national service. He said the central purpose of public service was to create prosperity and deliver better life to the people.
Welcoming the new Minister of State, Engineer Aliyu Abubakar, Fashola, who expressed joy that he is reuniting with the new Minister , “in the service of our fatherland” after many years, disclosed that aside working with him at the level of Governors’ Forum they also worked together in the formative years of the All Progressives Congress.
Describing him as a very strong Party Man, Fashola, who said the speech rendered by the Minister of State was the longest he ever heard him give, adding, “What is instructive about it is that he has laid himself bare to those of you who don’t know him. This was plain in all he has said.” The Minister said in terms of professional qualifications, the new Minister of State was bringing a lot of experience that would be beneficial to the Ministry, adding, “I heard a very rousing applause when he said he is a civil engineer and also when he included his water engineering background. And so, of course, he brings a lot of experience that is beneficial to the Ministry.”
The inaugural meeting with management staff of the Ministry was attended by the Permanent Secretary Works, Directors, heads of departments and agencies of the Ministry as well as Special Advisers and other top government functionaries.