President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, said his government for the next four years will have to carve a niche for itself economically, by ignoring what he termed as ‘handouts from development partners’ to solve prevailing challenges confronting the nation.
The President who stated this when he declared open a two day retreat for ministers designate and other top government officials at the Aso Rock presidential villa, Abuja said his new cabinet members would have to prove their worth in delivering on policies and programmes aimed at lifting many Nigerians out of poverty.
He explained that considering the United Nations (UN) projection that Nigeria’s population will increase to 411 million by 2050, to become the third globally, behind only India and China, there was need for urgent measures to check what he described as ‘frightening consequences’.
In his words “This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us,”
The President also noted that: “as Ministers, I am counting on you together with Advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to build upon our road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.”
He said his government cumulatively in eight years, would have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
President Buhari who reminded the ministers designate that they will be responsible for the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), said that they must ensure that such agencies remain effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“It is a great privilege for you to be called upon to serve in these Great Offices of State and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges. There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally.
Speaking Earlier In his welcome remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said the objective of the retreat was to prepare the new Cabinet for the challenges ahead in Buhari’s second tenure, while affording them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities as Cabinet Ministers.
Boss Mustapha added that the outcome of the retreat will set a strategic agenda which would define the course of action for the next four years of the present administration,
set achievable targets and identify basic strategic options that will assist the new Cabinet realise the goals for which the Administration was elected to achieve.