From Emmanuel Iyoho
The newly appointed Nigeria’s minister of state for works and housing, Umar Ibrahim El – Yakub, has resumed office with a pledge to work assiduously with the minister, Mr. Babatunde RajiFashola, to ensure the sustainability and consolidation of the programmes and projects of the Federal Government.
This, he said, by keying into the existing mandate of the ministry and following the footsteps of his immediate-past predecessor,Mua’zu Jaji Sambo.
He said, “I will work in line with the existing mandate of the ministry to ensure that there is sustainability and consolidation of the programmes and projects of government. I will ensure that I contribute my best to the success of the ministry and the country as a whole”.
The minister extolled the importance of infrastructure to the development of any nation, saying infrastructure bring people out of poverty, open the space for business by easing the movement of goods and services, thereby improving the economy and living standards of the people.
He praised the Federal Government for the tremendous road and housing projects across the country, noting that some of them were initiated and abandoned by previous administrations.
In his remark, the immediate-past minister of state for works and housing, Mr Mua’zu Jaji Sambo, described the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as very critical to the development of the country because of the role it plays in the development of road and housing infrastructure which are central to development of other sectors such as mining, agriculture, petroleum, health and general wellbeing of the people.
Jaji Sambo praised the Muhammadu Buhari administration for the outstanding achievements it has recorded in infrastructural development.
He expressed profound gratitude to President Buhari for giving him the opportunity to work with the minister of works and housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, whom he described as an exemplary leader from whose exceptional knowledge and depth of experience he had benefited.
Sambo who described the new minister of state as a good friendwho is simple, straightforward and unassuming, assured him of a healthy working relationship with Mr. Fashola, the permanent secretary and directors of the ministry.
He expressed appreciation to the directors and staff of the ministry for the cooperation and support given to him while working with them and wished the minister success as he assumes office.
In his opening address, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Bashir Nura Alkali, described the occasion as one of mixed reactions because though the incoming minister had been a friend for many decades, the support, guidance and advice of the outgone minister would be greatly missed.
While wishing Sambo success in his new office as the minister of transportation, the permanent secretary pledged his support and that of the directors to the new minister of state.
“You have some of the best professionals that will work with you to achieve the mandate of Mr President”, he added.
The director, Human Resource Management of the ministry, Aliyu Abdullahi, who gave the vote of thanks, appreciated God for the opportunity to work with the former minister of state and the appointment of the new one.
He said, “We in the ministry are fortunate to have worked with the outgone minister, we are lucky for the coming of the minister of state, we pray God to guide them.”
Before his appointment as the minister of state for works and housing, Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub was the senior special assistant to Mr President on National Assembly matters, and was a member of the National Assembly.