The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday inaugurated 15 permanent secretaries and also assigned portfolios to the two ministers sworn-in two weeks ago.
The ceremony preceded the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.
Prof. Stephen Ochei was assigned the minister of State for Labour and employment while Mr Suleiman Hassan was assigned the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.
Osinbajo reminded the new permanent Secretaries that they came into office at a critical moment and urged them to be the drivers of the reforms in the civil service through implementation of government’s four new executive orders.
“You come into office at a crucial moment in our national history.
“First, we are at a course of radical economic recovery and growth effort that has as its core the implementation of a comprehensive diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“We are also implementing a major reform of our public finance system emphasizing integrity and fiscal prudence.
“These reforms are being effected in the contest of our determined anti-corruption programme and these efforts cannot succeed without a competent and committed civil service corps led by your good selves.
“As part of that reform effort, four executive orders have been signed.
“These executive orders and several other directives of the federal government are meant to ensure that the reform programme of the federal government succeeds.
“Your role in it cannot be over emphasized; your role not just providing direction and providing leadership but also in the training of the core of the civil service that is under your care and charge.
“We expect that permanent secretaries will be the drivers of the implementation of the executive orders.’’
The acting president informed the permanent secretaries that their coming into office at this particular time was also a good signal.
He expressed the belief that it would be an opportunity for a reset in some case of government’s projects and programmes that up to now might not have been fully implemented.
He reminded them also that the government was committed to an anti-corruption programme and urged them to key in.
“It is easy to speak about corruption and about anti-corruption programmes.
“But we want to emphasise that we do not believe that any nation can survive at the levels of corruption that we have witnessed in our country in the past years.
“It is completely impossible to implement government policies or programmes or to ensure that the benefits of economic programmes, and even of democracy ever reach the ordinary man if corruption remains at the levels that it has been in previous years.’’
Osinbajo remarked that the administration’s commitment to corruption was neither a glib reference nor glib talk.
He stated that it was their responsibility to carry out in fullest measure all of the anti-corruption programmes of the government and to ensure also that they lived above board in their practice and conduct.
The Acting President observed that the process of appointment of permanent secretaries was one that was conducted in the fairest possible way by rigorous process of examination and tests.
He expressed optimism that such process would be maintained to bring up the very best that the country could offer.
Osinbajo congratulated the appointees and members of their families for the great attainment and prayed that their tenure would be extremely successful.
He later announced their postings including those of Mrs Grace Isu as the permanent secretary for Information and culture, as well as Adesola Olusade for youth and Sports development.
While assigning portfolios to the ministers, the Acting President stated that the ministers were posted to places that require their expertise.