By Lawrence Duya/Goodluck Ikiebe
With the inauguration of Ministers by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, on Monday, the Honourable Ministers of Solid Minerals, Steel Development and State Minister for Steel Development, Dele Alake, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu and Maigari Ahmadu have made their first official visit to the headquarters of their Ministries.
The Ministers were warmly welcomed by the Permanent Secretary, Directors and staff of the Ministries.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, disclosed that the focus of the Tinubu administration is on solid minerals, which is a shift from hydrocarbon (fossil fuel) while reiterating that bottle necks associated with civil service delay will not be tolerated by the administration.
Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, the Minister of Steel Development, appreciated the President for the appointment.
He outlined his road map to include, completion of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, enactment of relevant laws in the sector, support towards steel development and synergy amongst stake holders in the steel industry.
Prince Audu maintained that his immediate objective is to start-up the engine at the Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State.
Maigari Ahmadu, the State Minister of Steel Development, re-echoed the voices of other Ministers and pledged his unalloyed support to the present administration.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Mary Ogbe, expressed undiluted happiness that the three Ministers are people, who have the ears of the President, which would make it easy for the programs and objectives of the ministry to have presidential blessings. According to her, this will accumulate to desired results in the shortest possible time.
Earlier at the inauguration, the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, says his appointment to the Ministry of Solid Minerals by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is deliberate to instigate a clear turn around of the norm in that sector for the overall benefit of the country.
Alake, the immediate past Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, stated this after taking the oath of office.
He said though many were surprised by his designation, yet it was proper as only someone, who earns the president’s trust could be so appointed to the sector given its great potential to drive in the needed “massive foreign investment” for the benefit of Nigerians.
”My portfolio is deliberate .Those who have an analytical mind and who are following global trends in economic development know that Hydro Carbons are going down, Oil, Petroleum is going down globally. In the economic sector, people are moving away from those areas, now you have electric cars, alternative fuels, which means our over reliance on oil is going to be detrimental to the growth of the Nigerian economy moving forward.
So, what’s the next bet? It is Solid Minerals. That’s the next Oil of Nigeria.With this critical sector in mind, who will the President put there? The person he trusts most.The person, who has a passion in his own estimation who has a sense of responsibility, knowledge, the fusion the courage to drive that sector and harness those critical resources for the benefit of Nigerians”
According to him, “Nigeria has been short-changed, Nigeria has been receiving the shorter end of the stick”
“We are going to harness those resources, for the benefit of our people, for the benefit of Nigeria and in the collective interest of all and we are going to be involving the private sector, and there would be a massive foreign direct investment into that sector”, Alake assured.