President Muhammadu Buhari has urged ministers-designate to ensure they key into the goals of his administration and be the agents of change that will transform the country.
He spoke at the opening of a two-day presidential retreat for the 36 ministers-designate at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
The theme of the retreat is: “Delivering Change: From Precepts to Practice”.
The President told the ministers-designate to observe the rule of law and shun impunity in the conduct of government activities.
Stressing that they must count themselves privileged to have been chosen to serve among millions of Nigerians, he said the retreat was aimed at getting the appointees acquainted with the direction of his administration.
Buhari reminded them of his campaign promises of fighting corruption and insecurity as well as revamping the economy.
He urged the ministers-designate to work together as a team.
Stressing his resolve to diversify the economy, he said their achievements should be counted based on the number of Nigerians that are removed from poverty.
He congratulated them for their success at the various levels of screening that culminated in their confirmation by the Senate.
The President said: “I would like to reiterate the point I made at my inauguration about the uniqueness of this moment for our country and for us. Shakespeare’s words ring true for us as they did when he first wrote them centuries ago: ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures’.”
He added: “The work of restoration and renewal is urgent and immense. The expectations of Nigerians are high. Our determination to succeed and change the fortunes of our country must be equal to the challenge.
“I have invited you to join me in this urgent mission for our country. I am convinced that in accepting this invitation, you are also equally determined to take part in this patriotic undertaking.
“This retreat, therefore, marks your first official contact with the machinery of government, of which you will soon be an integral part. It is important that you are fully acquainted with the direction and priorities of this government, so that we can all move together as a team.
“My election as President was hinged on my promise to tackle corruption, insecurity and revive the economy.”
He told them that the official channel of communication between them and the Presidency in line with the requirements of the presidential system is through the Office of the Chief of Staff.