President Bola Tinubu has charged members of his cabinet to work hard and turn around the fortunes of the country.
“We have talents; we have the level of intellectuals and capacity to turn this country around. You and I know that the expectation is high and there is a tough time right now therefore we must work hard, commit ourselves, and create a buoyant economy that will serve every Nigerian”, President Tinubu said on Monday while addressing his Cabinet members at the opening of the maiden meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential, Abuja.
The President charged the Ministers to work as a team, stressing that “they must stay focused as they discharge their responsibilities, the country will move forward.
“Everyone of you is a member of this team, We can do whatever we want from our areas of responsibility but it all depends on you. If you stay focused, we will all arrive at a better destination and the country will be better for it”, he said, adding that the natural endowments of the country must be properly harnessed, to make life better for citizens of the country.
“We must unlock the energy and natural resources of this country. We must start to produce for ourselves, dig ourselves out of the woods, focus on education, and healthcare, and make social investments that are essential for the development of our people.
“Our priority areas are defined in our economic programmes. Every area is our priority and you belong in the driver’s position to realise and make that priority a fulfilling promise to the entire nation and the continent of Africa.
“We must achieve the economic growth that is expected of us. We must feed our people, we must leverage what we have and grow more to satisfy Nigerians. It is only in your hands now”, he stated.
President Tinubu said he is ready to listen to the yearnings of Nigerians and make corrections where necessary, as he enjoined the Ministers to be bold in making decisions that will move the nation forward.
“I am ready to listen. As I said to the Nigerian Bar Association yesterday, I am ready even for corrections because only God is perfect. Don’t be afraid to make decisions; that’s the problem of leadership,” he said.
The Nigerian leader also said the challenges confronting the nation like security, unemployment, and food security would be addressed to alleviate the plight of citizens.
President Tinubu told the new ministers that the hopes and aspirations of 200 million fellow Nigerians rested on their daily actions and that he will relentlessly provide the focused leadership required to stop failure in its tracks so that sustainable progress can be achieved.
“We shall evolve a homegrown re-engineering of our finances, a reimagined stewardship of our resources, and we will let the economy work for the people of this country.
“There are so many things we can and will do. Yes, some cynics will say it is impossible. But in your own dictionary of service, everything is possible, and it must be possible”, he said.
Emphasizing that anyone thinking that appointments are fixed term appointments are mistaken, the President expressed confidence that the carefully selected cabinet members know that his government is a new one with a new approach and a new mandate to deliver for Nigeria without any lamentation or excuses.
“We have the talent. We have the level of intellectual capacity required to turn this country around. We will make sure that the country is on the right path to succeed on behalf of more than 200 million Nigerians who rely on us”, the President affirmed.
President Tinubu noted that the country would rely on the experience, skill, intellect and networking of those that had been appointed to make headway in the challenging times, and failure would not be explained away under his watch.
“You and I know that expectations are high, and these are tough times. We must work hard and move ourselves to create a buoyant economy that will serve Nigeria.
“We have an employment rate that is unacceptable, and we are facing threats from climate change. In order to turn things around, you have been selected to perform your utmost best.
“Our policy implementation will reform the economy, ensure inclusive growth, and strengthen security for peace and prosperity. Without security, there can be no investment”, the President said.
Humbled by the mandate God had given to him, the President reminded his cabinet that he is only one man and that their innovative thinking to solve problems will shape his leadership as a President who listens.
“It is in your hands now. I am ready to listen and to cooperate. I am ready even to be corrected. Only God is perfect. You have been asked to fetch water from a dry well. The challenges are great, but we will deliver for Nigerians. I am happy to be the captain of this vehicle.
“It is a great commitment that you have made to the country. Since your inauguration as a minister, you have become a servant for the people, serving all of the people, all of the time”, President Tinubu concluded.
On his part, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, expressed confidence that Nigerians will soon begin to feel the impact of the policies and programmes of the government under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu.
He said the current set of Ministers are hardworking people that are ready to work in the interest of the nation and its citizens.
“The ministers are gingered and are roaring to work and the impact of all policies and programmes of government will begin to be felt by Nigerians fairly quickly”, he said.
The Information Minister used the opportunity to caution Journalists to always cross check their facts before dishing out reports, in order not to “reproduce ignorance to citizens.”
He assured Nigerians that President Tinubu will be accountable and transparent in all his dealings, adding that all the Ministers have agreed to do likewise.
“As the President has said repeatedly, he is going to be very transparent, he is going to be very accountable to Nigerians and he is going to be as honest as possible to Nigerians and that is what all the Ministers have agreed to do.
“We know your responsibility within the constitution as members of the 4th estate of the realm yet, we expect that you show understanding of government policies and we will be as open as possible to you in programmes and projects of government and if there are questions you need to ask, please come back to us so that we don’t reproduce ignorance to Nigerians. It is important that whatever we report should be fact based”, he said.
Also, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, said he presented “Roadmap for the Economy”, noting that the Council agreed that the economy is not where it ought to be.
He also said that the FEC examined eight priority areas and identified targets to deliver in the next three years, adding that the President had charged the ministers to roll out policies and programmes to turn the economy around.