The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume Tuesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has commenced the process of actualising his vision of lifting over 100million Nigerians out of poverty.
The Minister disclosed this at the opening of a Special Retreat organized by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and inter-Governmental Affairs at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja Tuesday.
The theme of the 4-day retreat is: ‘Strategies for actualisation of the mandate of the federal ministry of special duties and inter- governmental affairs’.
Akume who was represented by the permanent secretary of the meeting, Engr. Festus Daudu said the purpose of the retreat is to appraise key issues relating to the actualization of its key mandate and designing framework of realising the objective.
Akume commended President Muhammadu Buhari for finding it worthy to recreate the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs with the mandate among others to implement Special Programmes and Projects on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Minister pointed out that the retreat is very timely and strategic; “it underscores our singular drive of facilitating sincere discussions on a matter of utmost national interest.
“I am confident that the retreat will address relevant and topical issues that would enable participants to gain valuable insights into the perspectives, policies and strategies that will shape the growth and development of the Ministry towards contributing massively to Mr. President’s and of course the present Administration’s next level agenda.
“It is a fact that the recreation of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs is a confirmation of the present administration’s commitment to improve governance and ease access of government to the people at the grassroots.
“It is on record that the Ministry is charged with several responsibilities among which are first, monitoring, verification and authorizing all payments on constituency projects; second, evaluating the implementation of federal executive council policies, programmes and projects by other ministries, departments and agencies and report back to the president in council; and third, conducting, coordinating, and promoting good and harmonious relationships among the three tiers and arms of government and relevant international bodies.’’
Akume explained that the Ministry was recreated to engender development and to boost government activities across various sectors, noting that there is a need to create a policy direction in the course of carrying out its function.
‘’It is in this regard that we are all gathered here today to fashion out the path towards actualization of the Ministry’s laudable and enriching mandates.
“The need for a comprehensive policy and strategic direction to craft a road-map for the implementation of government policies programmes and projects therefore cannot be overstated.
‘’In the light of the new focus of the Ministry, there is a dire need to define a definite action strategy to support the numerous on-going national programmes of the ‘Next Level Agenda’ of this administration.
“The potential of the Ministry as a tool for socio-economic development is not in doubt. Our collective will and determination are therefore required at this time to pave the way for sustained growth and development,’’ he said.
While assuring Nigerians that this government is working very hard to put the economy on the right track to ensure sustainable growth, he averred that the country has already begun to see appreciable improvements in some sectors of the economy.
‘’This Ministry also has been identified as one of the key drivers of the economy going forward and therefore, government hopes that the outcome of this retreat will contribute significantly towards building a sustainable future for Nigeria,’’ he said.
In his own address, Daudu said with the calibre of people present at the retreat, its outcome will certainly go a long way in actualizing the Ministry’s mandate towards moving the country to the next level in line with Mr. President’s agenda.
He said,’’ We shall continuously need the support and cooperation of all of you and those of other Nigerian at all times in this regard.
‘’We will like to put on record here that, our choice of Lagos, to host this retreat is not by mistake but for so many positive attributes that the state is known for, including the convenience of holding any event here being the nations old capital city.
“We are well aware of the historical significance and legacy of Lagos as a center of Excellence; holding the event here will no doubted ensure a quicker realization of our aims and objectives and the fulfilment of our vision, mission and commitment to ensure that we make a difference in actualizing the mandate of the Ministry.’’