Speech Delivered by His Excellency, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, Governor of Nasarawa State on the Occasion of the Swearing-in of Honourable Commissioners and Members of the State Executive Council and a Permanent Secretary, Lafia: Friday, 13th November, 2015.
1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
2. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
4. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
5. The Secretary to the State Government;
6. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
7. The Chief of Staff;
8. The Head of the Civil Service;
9. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
10. Permanent Secretaries;
11. His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, CFR, Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
12. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
13. Chairmen of Local Government Councils;
14. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs;
15. Prominent Sons and Daughters of Nasarawa State;
16. Gentlemen of the Press;
17. Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with gratitude to Almighty God that we are gathered here today on the occasion of the swearing-in of Honourable Commissioners and Members of the State Executive Council, as well as a Permanent Secretary recently appointed in the State Civil Service .
2. Let me begin by acknowledging the array of distinguished personalities, relations, friends and well-wishers who are here to share their joy and solidarity with the new appointees. There is no doubt in my mind that your presence at this occasion signifies your sustained support and goodwill to the efforts that this Administration is making to provide succour to the people of Nasarawa State.
3. Ladies and gentlemen, it would be recalled that, few weeks ago, we gathered here to perform the swearing-in of the Secretary to the State Government and the Head of Civil Service. On that occasion, I reiterated our commitment to inject into the Public Service tested technocrats and professionals with proven capacity who will bring their wealth of experience to bear in delivering the policy thrust of this Administration.
4. It is against this background that we made wide consultations with stakeholders in selecting the caliber of individuals who, in our estimation, possess the requisite knowledge and experience to work with. In line with the constitutional requirement, therefore, I submitted a list of sixteen (16) nominees to the Honourable State House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.
5. Let me commend the Honourable House for their diligence and commitment in carrying out this important assignment. Indeed, the prompt action of the House is a demonstration of patriotism and testimony of the flourishing partnership between the Executive and the Legislature. It is my belief that this unity of purpose will be sustained in our collective avowal to move Nasarawa State to a high pedestal of socio-economic development.
6. Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, today’s occasion is the peak in the process of forming a formidable State Executive Council. With the swearing-in of the Honourable Commissioners, the Council is now fully constituted to carry out the onerous task of policy formulation and execution. Let me, therefore, congratulate you on your well deserved appointment and welcome you on board.
7. Perhaps I should remind you that you are joining the Executive Council at a time the State and, indeed, the entire nation are facing daunting challenges. As you are aware, since the inception of my second tenure, the State has been faced with continuous dwindling of resources accruing to the State from the Federation Account owing to the sharp drop in the price of crude oil which is the main stay of Nigeria’s economy.
8. Accordingly, I urge you to key into the cardinal philosophy of this Administration by imbibing the principles of financial discipline, probity, due process, accountability and transparency in all your actions. You must initiate new ways to diversify the internal revenue generation of Government in order to reduce our reliance on the allocation from the Federation Account. In this wise, I urge you to quickly settle down in your various Ministries and acquaint yourselves with the philosophy of Change that is the APC mantra aimed at sustaining the sanity that our Administration has brought into the system. You must avoid profligacy with Government resources as such acts will be meted with severe sanctions, since indulging in such practice will undermine our desire for rapid socio-economic development of the State.
9. In the same vein, I call on you to establish good working relationship with the bureaucracy, your Permanent Secretaries and other subordinates. In doing so, you will create the needed environment for the discharge of Government responsibilities without let or hindrance. In this connection, I also call on all and sundry to give the Honourable Commissioners maximum support to enable them carry out their duties with diligence and patriotism.
10. Distinguished guests, as part of today’s event, a new Permanent Secretary has also taken the oath into the public office of the State. The appointment of a new Permanent Secretary is intended to further enhance the capacity of the service for higher productivity. I, therefore, congratulate the new appointee for the well- deserved elevation.
11. Ladies and gentlemen, let me take liberty of this occasion to reiterate this Administration’s commitment to due process, accountability and transparency in the execution of its policies and programmes. It is for this reason that we have sustained cordial working relationship with the other organs of Government and promoted Local Government autonomy. In this regard, we recently abrogated the State-Local Government Joint Account system in the State. By implication, the revenue accruals meant for the third tier of Government now go directly into their accounts. The State has, therefore, no hand in how each Local Government Council expends its share of the allocation. It is in this connection that I call on the authorities at the Local Government level to live above board by exhibiting financial probity and being accountable to their electorate.
12. Your Excellencies, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is pertinent to state that in our determination to reduce the cost of governance, and focus the machinery of Government for enhanced performance and productivity, we decided to restructure Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Towards this end, the new Ministries and posting of Commissioners are as follows:
i. Lawee Aliyu Yusuf - Ministry of Agriculture
ii. Ishaka Ahmed Galadima - Ministry of Youth and Sports
iii. Yahaya Mustapha Idris - Ministry of Community and Rural Development
iv. Daniel Iya - Ministry of Health
v. Haruna Iliya Osegba - Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives
vi.Idris Mohammed Idris - Ministry of Special Education, Science & Tech.
vii.Makeri Godwin Danladi - Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport
viii. Yusuf Shehu Usman - Ministry of Justice
ix. Eunice Ashe’Olege Kigbu - Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
x. Aliyu Tijani Ahmed - Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs
xi. Dominic Adgadzu Bako - Ministry of Finance
xii. Sonny Makama Agassi - Ministry of Lands and Town Planning
xiii. Akaaka Ortan Gabriel - Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
xiv. Ibrahim Ahmed Othman - Ministry of Budget and Planning
xv. Ramatu Ajuji Abubakar - Ministry of Education
xvi. Tim Yiga - Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism
13. At this juncture, let me once again congratulate and welcome the Honourable Commissioners and the new Permanent Secretary on board in the service of Nasarawa State.
14. Thank you and God bless.