By Emmanuel Elebeke

The new minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba has charged staff of the ministry to work harder and smart to realize the Next Level agenda of the federal government.

Agba threw the challenge on Wednesday during a reception in his honour and hand-over of the ministry’s affairs by the Permanent Secretary at the ministry headquarters.

He said the mood and thinking of the President towards realization of Next level agenda was quite explicit and understandable  as he had made it clear  that  a lot of work needs to be done to achieve the set goals of the administration as well as meeting the target of submitting 2020 budget estimate to National Assembly by September this year.

He, therefore, charged the staff of the ministry to adopt a teamwork approach to their new assignments in order to achieve the ministry’s mandate.

‘‘It is quite understandable reading the mood of President, he has made it very clear to us that there is a whole lot of work to be done and he needs the budget to be before the National Assembly in September.

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‘‘That means for this ministry of Budget, in particular, we do have a lot of work to do. I can see we have very capable hands to do the work. The only way to succeed is or us to work together.

‘‘I believe in the power of a team, together, everybody can achieve much. We are as weak as the weakest link that we have.

‘‘ I like hardworking people but I prefer smart people. We need to work very smartly, we need to be agile in the way we make our decisions. You bare the teachers; I am your humble student. Let us work together to ensure we are able to move our economy and country to Next level,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Budget, Mr. Ernest Umakhihe who took the minister of Budget through the mandate of the ministry of Budget  told the minister that one of the major achievements of the immediate  past dispensation was in ensuring the stability and growth of the Nigerian economy when it went into  recession, which was done through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.

He also informed that the inaugural edition of the monthly meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC will commence tomorrow (today) which would be expected to advise the President on economic affairs of the federation and coordinates the economic planning efforts of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF as well as the 2020 Budget Estimate to be submitted to the FEC and NASS in line with the Presidential directives.



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