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Udoma begins work on 2016 budget

By on November 14, 2015

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, on Thursday formally assumed duty at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.

Udoma, who arrived the ministry at around 10am in company with the Minister of State for Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, was received by both the outgoing Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bassey Akpanyadung, and his successor, Mrs. Fatimah Mede.

Upon their arrival, the ministers received briefings from top officials of the ministry.

Speaking at a meeting between the ministers and the top officials of the ministry, Akpanyadung commended President Muhammdu Buhari for merging the National Planning Commission with the Budget Office of the Federation to produce the new ministry.

He said over the years, the economy had stagnated as government plans were not usually aligned with the budget.

He said now that a new ministry had been created to take care of planning and budgeting, the country would soon begin to see changes.

Akpanyadung said, “National planning is the engine room of the economy if it is well situated. Before now, the agency had been having trouble in making impact. We had a lot of plans in the past but the budget had not been achieving what it was supposed to achieve and we are happy now that the current administration has taken steps to address this.

“We need to have the budget office working with the planning office to achieve the objectives of government.”

Responding, Udoma said that since the new administration had promised to change the way things were being done, Nigerians would soon begin to see improvements in the economy.

While admitting that it would not be easy owing to the current challenges facing the economy, the minister said, “These are challenging times for the country and the economy, and we are confident that we will turn things around.

“But it will take hard work to achieve that. We will hear from everybody and no idea will be dismissed. People are waiting for us; we are starting today. We have a budget that has to be finalised.”

Similarly, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, assumed duty as Minister of Solid Minerals on Thursday, a day after his inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari, with a pledge to transform the sector.

The Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr. Ambrose Momoh, disclosed this in a statement made available to one of our correspondents in Abuja on Thursday.

Momoh said Fayemi reported for duty alongside the Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Mr. Abubakar Bwari, and the newly appointed Permanent Secretary for the ministry, Mr. Musa Istifanus.