Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday read the riot act to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and directors of the merged ministries, that he would not entertain any form of sycophancy from them.
The minister, who was accompanied by Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and the new Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, told the agencies under the merged ministries that he would not tolerate unnecessary protocol, praise-singing and gossips.
Amaechi, whose receptive ambience relaxed the tension that came with his presence at the Ministry of Transport, said he would have no problem with any agency or staff for as long as they go about their work diligently.
He said he had come to the Transport and Aviation Ministry to work in line with the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Minister promised to complete all abandoned rail projects in the country, saying that a fully functional rail system will ameliorate transportation difficulties in addition to creating employment.
He said: “Rail transport is the easiest thing to achieve if you get capable hands. We are going to work towards completing abandoned rail projects. They will help create employment and ease mass transportation of people. Our mandate is to deliver quality service to the people in accordance with the change agenda,” he said.
Speaking on his personal principles, the Minister said: “If you come to me to gossip about anyone, be rest assured that l will tell the person concerned that this is what you said and you will be there to defend yourself, wrong or right.
“I am not as bad as they say. A lot of names have been given to me but I believe in principles. I don’t like protocols. When I say I hate corruption, I mean it. I don’t give bribe and I don’t take either. If you want to relate with me don’t give me money and don’t ask me for money.
“Just do your job creditably. Don’t see me on the road and run away. I am not as bad as they paint me. I don’t steal and l don’t befriend thieves and don’t put me in a position that l will not be able to call a thief, thief. Let us be friends because l am here to learn.”
Meanwhile, Amaechi said he would resume fully next week Tuesday, stating that by then he would have been fully abreast with the two ministries from briefs between yesterday and November 17, 2015 when he would meet with all the member of staff of the two ministries.
He, therefore, advised the staff of the ministry to brace up for quality service, bearing in mind that they had a mandate to achieve.
He said: “It is important that we realise we have a mandate and to also have it at the back of our minds that there is huge competition among the MDAs on which will deliver first.”
Speaking earlier, the new Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, promised the minister his full cooperation, support and readiness of staff to work in line with the change mandate to deliver efficient rail, ports and general transportation system.