Nigeria’s new Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, assumed office on Thursday, with a prediction that the nation’s economy will soon witness a turnaround despite its current challenges.
The Minister, who was speaking on his first day in office, along with his Minister of State, Zainab Ahmed, urged the people to embrace dedication, hard work and teamwork to turn things around.
“Although these are challenging times for the country and the economy, I am confident that things are going to get better if everyone work together as a team,” he said. “With dedication, hard work and teamwork, the economy of the country will be turned around for good.”
Mr. Udoma explained that his approach during his tenure would not be to dismiss anybody’s idea, saying the best ideas could come from anyone.
He called on all hands to be on deck to help in the efforts take the country to a greater height.
In her remarks, the Minister of State, Mrs. Ahmed, noted the strategic importance effective budgeting for the country, pointing out that most of the country’s excellent plans had been sitting on the shelves, because there was no budget to work with.
Mrs. Ahmed said that although the Ministry would not be rolling out new plans, inputs would be made in the country’s previous plans to ensure that they had direct impact on the lives of the Nigerian citizens.
The outgoing Executive Secretary, National Planning Commission, Bassey Akpayung, said although the ministry was the engine room of the economy, it had been struggling in the past to make a remarkable impact in the country.
Mr. Akpayung said that most of what have been achieved so far in the country’s national development have been products of the first to the fourth National Development Plans.
“National Planning, up till now, was standing on a tripod,” he said. “I am happy that the fourth leg, which is the budget office, has now been put in place for effective development planning for the country.”
He said with calibre of leadership now in place, he was confident that the agency would take the country to the position where it is supposed to be.
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