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Why I merged existing ministries, created new ones, by Buhari

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•Chairs inaugural FEC meeting, demands service
President Muhammadu Buhari has advanced reasons for merging existing and creating new ministries three weeks after inaugurating his new ministers.

He spoke during the inaugural Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting he chaired yesterday since being sworn in for a second term in office on May 29.

At the gathering, which began around 11:00a.m. at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Buhari charged the ministers not to disappoint Nigerians, reminding them of the oath they took during their inauguration on August 21. He therefore urged the cabinet members to provide selfless service to the nation.

He particularly challenged the returning ministers to redouble their efforts in service delivery.
The president said: “I expect you all to redouble your efforts in this second term. To enhance service delivery, we decided to restructure some functions which led to the creation of some new ministries.

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“For example, to achieve our goals of economic diversification and inclusive growth, we merged the Ministry of Finance with that of Budget and National Planning.

“We also created the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to fully institionalise our various interventions to support some of the poorest and most distressed citizens of our country.”

Those who also attended the summit included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; and the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Others were National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, and some presidential aides.

The first of the get-togethers was cancelled on account of the President’s absence. He was at the time away in Japan for the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) which held between August 28 and 30 this year in Yokohama.

In postponing the second last week, Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu via a statement, said the decision “is due to the fact that all the memos earlier submitted to council for consideration have been returned to the various ministries.”

He had added: “This action will allow ministers, who were recently sworn in, have their inputs in the memos sent by their predecessors in office.

“Similarly, the period is to enable the ministers, who are still taking briefs from bureaucrats in the ministries and familiarising themselves with their work space, and have more time to contribute to discussions at the meeting.

“They will also utilise the period of the break to work towards the early preparation and submission of the 2020 budget estimates.”


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