By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”ACTING President Goodluck Jonathan,Tuesday, swore-in two newÂ ministers, bringing the number of ministers to 40.Â A fortnight ago, 38 ministers had been sworn-in.
They are Professor Onyebuchi Chuckwu, a medical doctor, who is now the substantive Minister of Health, from Ebonyi State and Dr. Obadiah Ando from Taraba State, who now heads Ministry of Water Resources as a substantive minister.
AtÂ the ceremony, Jonathan warned the new cabinet members that, â€œwe have just about 12 months to go as a government and, indeed, because this is an election year, we have six months functional and after three months in office Nigerians must know clearly that you are competent as a leader.â€
He reminded them that their portfolios, health and water resources â€œare two key sectors of our economy that are quiet critical to our people. Water Resources is one ministry that everybody looks up to the minister for health.â€
â€œWe have challenges too, you must improve on our human development index as a nation. We cannot continue to trail behind other countries that are sometimes poorer and lack capacity compared to us.â€
Warns Against In-Fighting in Health Sector
â€œOne major challenge you have as the Minister of Health is to put your family together. I am not from the medical background but I am not always too happy with the in-fighting in the health sector. Medical doctors, pharmacists, nurse, etc, there is always this challengesâ€” one group fighting another,â€ he said.
He urged the minister to ensure that all stakeholders in the practise of health-care delivery are united at all times, adding: â€œyou must put the family together because it is the team that will deliver and not the individuals.â€
On the presence of the governors of the two ministers, he said, â€œyou are very lucky that your governors are here, your colleagues never had this luxury during their oath taking ceremony. We have to congratulate you that show that you and your governors must work together and that is my emphasis that ministers are not meant to antagonize their governors.
Jonathan noted that â€œnation will not celebrate people fighting; nation will celebrate those people who develop their nation positively and not quarrelling over pages of papers or in radio and televisionâ€
â€œSo Nigerians will not celebrate our government if all what they woke up in the morning is one person lambasting the other. But Nigerians will celebrate our government if we are progressing positively, providing the services we as a nationâ€.
Speaking to newsman after the inauguration Prof Onyebu Chuckwu said his priority would be the challenges given to him by the acting president to ensure peace in the health sector and to improve on human development index.
While on his part, Ando stated that â€œmy priority would be the supply of portable waterâ€.
According to him, â€œhe was going to discuss with the directors on where they are now, the pitfalls and then move ahead. Haven worked in that ministry before now he said his past knowledge will help him handle the situation and make water availableâ€.