BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – Unfazed by harsh criticisms over delay in inaugurating the new Federal cabinet, the Presidency has announced fresh dates for its two-day induction retreat and swearing-in programme for ministers-designate.
According to a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, while the retreat is rescheduled from August 15 and August 16 to August 19 and August 20, 2019, the swearing in by the President will take place on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by 11.00am
The statement by Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Mr Babatunde Lawal, said the programme’s venue still remains State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja at 9.00 am daily.
Mr Lawal, who explained that attendance at both events is strictly by invitation, said President Muhammadu Buhari will preside over the programme.
The Permanent Secretary further stated that the retreat’s main objectives is to sensitise and update the Ministerial appointees on the status of policies; programmes and projects implemented by the Federal Government from 2015 till date.
He said the retreat will also focus on building a strong platform for synergy and team work; acquaint the appointees with the roadmap for delivery of government’s priorities; and its Next Level agenda (2019-2023).
Others goals include deepening the participants’ understanding on best practices in conducting government business.
“The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, invites all ministers-designate, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries to attend the occasions“, the statement said
Opposition elements and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have not relented in criticising President Muhammadu Buhari for what they termed his ‘undue delay’ in constituting the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to hopefully drive the APC administration’s Next Level agenda over two months after the May 29 second term inauguration.
They also expressed concerns that the Predident’s delay, almost two weeks following the Nigerian Senate screening and confirmation of the 43 Ministerial nominees, was totally unnecessary and has continued to slow down government activities in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).