Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has suspended all leaves and travels for all workers of the ministry because of the urgent need to get the budget ready on time.
The minister, who assumed office after being sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the immediate need was to work out a budget for the Ministry in the next two weeks, urging all the agencies and departments of the Ministry to work closely with the Permanent Secretary to achieve the feat, adding that the budget remained the article of faith between the government and the governed.
“One of the first things we have to do is to quickly work out the budget for the Ministry of Works and Housing and we have to do that in the next two weeks,” he said, adding that because the budget was the article of faith in governance, all agencies and departments of the Ministry must work together to produce a budget worthy of note by the Ministry.
Pointing out that the leadership of the National Assembly has expressed commitment to conduct all the budget defenses in the month of October, Fashola said in order to ensure that this was achieved and all documents were made ready for the defence, all leaves, travels and other less compelling engagements must be put aside for now.
He called for readiness among the staff of the Ministry in order to achieve the mandate of the Federal Government for economic growth and development as well as job creation in the country, expressing his resolve to provide the needed leadership.
“There is still a lot of work ahead of us in spite of what we have done before and I offer myself ready and willing to do my part by providing leadership and I trust that all of you are ready as well.
“The mandate of Mr. President is very clear and it derives from his mandate to the people of Nigeria. And if you watched the Swearing-in ceremony today and listened to his speech, he wants us to be his eyes and ears and his agents to serve all the people of Nigeria and that is what we must set out to achieve”, Fashola said pointing out that the President was unequivocal on the urgent need to stabilize the economy.
According to the Minister, the president was clear about the need to sustain the growth already experienced in the economy, adding, “The economy has grown from recession and out of recession and it has grown for consecutive eight quarters. But we need to double that growth and even multiply it , but that will depend on how we work this time. The central purpose is to create prosperity and to create jobs and I think this is possible”.
He stressed the need for the nation’s professionals to be more committed and dedicated to the service of the country pointing out that the fortunes of every nation was determined by how their professionals engage in national service. He said the central purpose of public service was to create prosperity and deliver better life to the people.
Welcoming the new Minister of State, Engineer Aliyu Abubakar, Fashola, who expressed joy that he is reuniting with the new Minister, “in the service of our fatherland” after many years, disclosed that aside working with him at the level of Governors’ Forum they also worked together in the formative years of the All Progressives Congress.”