Tinubu tasks ministers, warns against laxity and graft

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reiterated his administration’s devotion to serve the country and return it to its’ former glory as the biggest economy in Africa.

Tinubu, at the inaugural Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting held at the Presidential Villa on Monday congratulated the recently sworn-in Ministers, urging them to see their appointments as a call to serve the people.

“We have to make sure that this country succeeds for 200 million. I accepted the mandate and I have delegated the power to you to serve the country”, the President said while reiterating that members of the cabinet will have the opportunity to come up with home grown solutions and re-engineering process that will lead to availability of resources and making the economy work for the people.

Tinubu said the Ministers will be the conductors while he will be the bus driver, even as he noted that Nigerians expect a lot from the cabinet.

“There are so many things that the cynics will say is impossible, but in your dictionary everything is possible. We have the talent, capacity to turn the country around. We all know that the expectations are high and the times are tough right now. We must work hard, commit ourselves to create an economy that will serve all Nigerians.

“We have rate of unemployment that is not unacceptable. You have been appointed to turn things around. Without security, there will be no investment. We have to convince them, investors, and the time is now to convince them. If you look around the world, every leader is clamouring for what they think should be their food security”, Tinubu said.

He further urged the Ministers to see themselves as members of a team and to remain focused. Adding that every area is priority of the Government.

He stressed that while working together with them, they must achieve economic growth, feed the people, leverage on what is available to grow more in order to satisfy Nigerians.

Tinubu added that he is ready to listen and take corrections as he is not perfect. Only God is perfect, he said.

“Don’t be afraid to take decisions- that is the goal of leadership. Imagine yourself that you have been called upon to fetch water from a dry well. I am happy to be the captain, the driver of this vehicle”, said the President.

Also present at the FEC meeting were Vice President Kashim Shettima; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan and the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Meanwhile, the President had earlier said that he is ready to sack any minister who  under performs and not effective as he will not permit any failure from any of the ministers.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, while speaking on Channels Television’s Daily Rise today, said he had established benchmarks for each of the sectors in the country since his emergence as President in February 2023.

Tinubu has set the benchmarks. The question now is about enforcement and the President has shown, as he did during his time in Lagos State as Governor, that he is not someone that is afraid to fire anybody, he added.

He is not somebody who is afraid to level quick sanctions to ensure that they get the results that he wants because, ultimately, if this administration fails, they will not blame Ministers but the President and he will not accept failure”, Ngelale stated.

The Special Adviser further disclosed that during the interim period between when he emerged as President-elect and his inauguration on May 29, Tinubu proactively established a series of reform committees encompassing every sector.

“Tinubu basically looked at exactly what His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari had achieved and said: ‘This is what we want to do to build on all these achievements’.

“We are going to effectively implement a plan within a certain amount of time based on time-based benchmarks that when a minister has come in, we will be able to measure their performance against.

“Every minister coming in absolutely knows what they have to achieve within the time frame that has been given to them by the President and that’s something in the history of Nigerian governance we’ve never seen before”, Ngelale asserted.

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