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Nigeria: Buhari warns new ministers against corruption, travels to Senegal today

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Any of the seven newly appointed ministers who are “found in corrupt practices” will “meet the full wrath of the law,” the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), warned on Wednesday.

This occurred as he pushed them to abstain from corruption and insisted that public officials must act honestly.

The warning was given by the President at the swearing-in ceremony, which took place before the virtual Federal Executive Council meeting in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, according to a statement signed on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Ikechukwu Ikoh, Minister of State for Science and Technology; Umana Umana, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Udi Odum, Minister of State for Environment; Ademola Adegoroye, Minister of State for Transportation; and Umar El-Yakub, are the newly appointed ministers, along with their portfolios.

He said, ‘‘I begin this address by welcoming on board, all newly sworn-in members of the Federal Executive Council. I also congratulate you because the process that you all passed through to reach this stage has been rigorous and meticulous.

‘‘I, therefore, urge you to consider your emergence out of millions of equally qualified Nigerians within the purview of selection from your State, as a call to duty that imposes the obligation to serve the nation diligently and presents to you the unique opportunity to work hard in service to the Government and the country.

‘‘This administration has been in the saddle since 2015 and is now on the home stretch of its second term, as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections. All through, it has vigorously pursued the three main electoral objectives namely: Securing the nation; Diversifying & growing the economy as well as fighting corruption.

‘‘You must resist bad counsel, resist temptation and be circumspect in your utterances and conduct. You must totally eschew corruption and be above board because if caught there will be no sacred cows.”

He further requested that the newly appointed ministers wait for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to contact them regarding their proper ministerial mandates.

‘‘You are all coming on-board at this time with new energy, ideas, experiences and vigour, to join the existing team so that the implementation of policies, programs and projects associated with these electoral objectives would be escalated and accelerated.

‘‘There is still so much to be done for our country in the areas of infrastructure development, energy, access to finance, access to justice, technology and innovation, trade, agriculture, education and security. The list is inexhaustible,’’ he said.

The President also exhorted the new ministers to research their fields, seek the advice of intelligent people, communicate with important parties, speak with more experienced cabinet members, and concentrate on advancing important initiatives already started by the government. “Be loyal to your President and your country,” he exhorted them.

Buhari reassigned at least four ministers to new responsibilities at the meeting.
They are Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mu’azu Sambo, Minister of Transportation, Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for the Niger Delta, and Senator Adeleke Mamora, Minister of Science and Technology (formerly Minister of State for Health) (formerly Minister of State, Transportation).

The Council held a minute of silence in memory of Mohammed Barkindo, the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, who passed away on Tuesday in Abuja, before the start of the FEC meeting and swearing-in ceremony.

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