Buhari 'Nigerians will judge us by number of people lifted out of poverty' - President tells Ministers

The President  urged them to help the present administration effect the change agenda, as they would be the agents that would administer the change to Nigerians.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged his incoming cabinet members to run a lean government at all levels, to avoid wastage of public funds.

He said the administration would be assessed based on the number of Nigerians it is able to lift out of poverty.

He gave the charge on Thursday, November 5, at the old banquet hall of the presidential villa in Abuja, while speaking the two-day retreat for the 36 ministers ahead of their official swearing in.

The President  urged them to help the present administration effect the change agenda, as they would be the agents that would administer the change to Nigerians.

Buhari said, “You are coming on board the ship of governance at an interesting time. So much has been said about the state of our economy. It is expected that we make the running of Government at all levels as lean as possible, avoid waste and conserve resources. As ministers, you must be the vehicle that will administer the change.

“Our main task is to turn our manifesto promises to practice and results. Over the next two days I expect you to have a better understanding of the context in which we have taken the challenge of serving our country, as well as the strategies we have adopted to tackle them. I would also expect you to be even more determined to work as a team, and to live up to the high standards of probity and integrity which Nigerians expect of us.

“We will intervene in mining and agriculture and upgrade the country’s physical and social infrastructure, which will broaden our revenue base and significantly improve the level of employment, especially among the youth. Our economic focus will be policies that will ensure inclusive growth and we will count our achievements based on the number of Nigerians we move out of poverty”.

He advised the ministers to ensure effective communication with their colleagues and to run all communication and appointments to the presidency through the Office of the Chief of Staff “as is normal in this Presidential System”.