The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has advised the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of nine of the agencies under his ministry to “imbibe the culture of doing much with less”.
The minister gave the advice at an inaugural meeting he held with the CEOs on Friday in Abuja.
“Lady and gentlemen, you are joining a government that is doing so much with so little.
“As you are aware, the resources available to the government have dwindled drastically, due to a sharp fall in the price of oil.
“Yes, we are diversifying the economy to reduce the dependence on oil.
“But the situation today has been worsened by COVID-19, which has stifled economies around the world.
“Yet, due to deft management of resources, this Administration is engaged in massive infrastructural renewal, whether in the area of roads, bridges, rail or power.
“I urge you all to imbibe this culture of doing much with less,” he said.
The minister said the appointments of the CEOs were based on merit and track record of achievements in their various fields.
“Your competence and your years of dedication to what you do have earned you the job. You are round pegs in round holes.
“And that is why we have been receiving rave reviews since the appointments were
announced,” he said
Mohammed said the CEOs should consider their appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as a call to national service and they must work hard to justify it.
He specifically directed them to, as a starting point, ensure that the activities of their agencies keyed into the nine priority areas of government.
The nine priority areas according to the minister include: building a thriving and sustainable economy, enhancing social inclusion to reduce poverty and enlarging agricultural output for food security and export.
They are also attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, expanding transport and other infrastructural development as well as expanding business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialisation.
Others are expanding access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians, building a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion as well as Improving security for all.
The minister directed the CEOs to, within two to three weeks, submit a report on where they plan to take their individual agencies to, and the road map for achieving them.
He said the report would form the basis for their periodic assessment.
Responding on behalf of the nine CEOs, Prof. Sunday Ododo, the General Manager/CEO, National Theatre, said it was a privilege to be chosen among many, and gave gratitude to God, the President and the Minister.
Ododo said, although the expectations are high, they cannot afford to fail and they will give their best and be committed to their respective mandate.
The other CEOs are Mr Buki Ponle, Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria; Mr Olalekan Fadolapo, Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; and Mr Francis Nwosu, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council.
Mr Ado Yahuza, Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation; Mr. Ebetan Ivara Director-General (D-G), National Gallery of Arts; and Prof. Abba Tijjani, D-G, National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
Others are Mrs Oluwabunmi Amao, D-G Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation; and Mr Nura Kangiwa, D-G National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism.
Speaking with newsmen, Ponle said the President, with the appointments, had put round pegs in round holes and they would not deviate from the nine priority areas as reechoed by the minister.
Specifically, he said NAN had been a shining example and with the cooperation and support of his colleagues in the office, the agency would go beyond the sky to surpass the target by the President and the minister.
Ponle promised to carry the management and members of staff of NAN along in the discharge of his mandate and make their welfare a priority.
“It is not going to be master-servant relationship, we are going to be on the same level.
“I am a reporter and I will continue to be; If I have to sleep in the office I will do so, it is not a new terrain.
“I will enlist the support of my colleagues, we shall motivate them in all ways legitimately possible so that they can be happy to contribute to national development,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Nwosu said he would discharge his mandate with “commitment, zeal and determination to move the nation forward”.
The Executive Secretary noted that although the Nigerian Press Council is deficient in the areas of facilities and funding, he would do everything possible to reposition the establishment.
NAN recalls that the President on Aug. 26, approved the appointment of the nine CEOs as announced by the minister.