Over two months after their nominations were confirmed by the Senate, Stephen Ocheni (Kogi) and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe) were on Wednesday in Abuja inaugurated as ministers by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The death of Minister of State for Labour, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN)from Kogi, and the appointment of former Minister of the Environment, Amina Mohammed from Gombe, as the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN had created vacancies in the federal cabinet.The nominations of Ocheni and Hassan were approved by the Senate, but they were not inaugurated.The Upper chamber recently gave an ultimatum to the Executive to inaugurate them.
The new ministers were inaugurated in the Council Chambers of the National Assembly before the meeting of the Federal Executive Council began.But their portfolios were not announced.
Osinbajo charged the ministers to focus on priority areas of the Federal government.
“We have focused our attention on key areas of that economic recovery plan and we believe those key areas are things that need to be done to make a difference in the Nigerian economy and in the lives of Nigerians,” Osinbajo said.
He added, “Time and time again we have continued to emphasise the need for ministers to pay particular attention to all the areas that we have highlighted in the economic plan.
“President Muhammadu Buhari decided to task ministers with specific functions and so we expect our new ministers to be part of this Herculean task in turning around the Nigerian economy and making life better for the citizens.
“Of course you know that aside from the economy we have two key areas highlighted by the President during the course of the campaigns and have become centre pieces of our administration programme – security and the anti-corruption fight.”
“We have of course made tremendous progress in security. We have issues and challenges here and there but they can’t be compared to where we are coming from; very minor indeed and we are tackling them on a day-by-day basis.
“On the anti corruption fight, we are focused and we believe that the primary thing is for those of us who have the privilege of serving to ensure that by our own point and actions we support the anti corruption fight and also that our conducts will be exemplary so that we will show by practice not just by words that we are determined to ensure that this country is run by a good government. And where there is honesty and integrity service will be delivered,” the Acting President said.