Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
• Fires boards of all parastatals, NIMASA boss
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday restated his commitment to rescuing the country from cabals and their cronies who have been sharing the wealth of the country alone.
He also stepped up activities a gear in the presidency by dissolving all the boards of federal parastatals and agencies and firing Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi as Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
In his message to the nation in celebration of Eid-el-fitr (the completion of the Ramadan fast), Buhari said that he was very aware of Nigerians’ high expectations when he assumed office.
He said: “I reassure you, my fellow citizens, that since my inauguration on the 29th of May this year, I have been working with utmost dedication to meticulously plan and tackle the many national challenges which we identified and promised to resolve.”
The president stated that he remained wholly committed to giving the requisite leadership that would undo the wrongs of the past, “ensuring that Nigeria truly begins to unlock its great potential and that the benefits of our immense national resources are shared and enjoyed by all, not just by successive cabals of corrupt leaders and their cronies”.
Buhari added that for him to succeed, he needed the continued support, understanding and patience of Nigerians.
He said: “I fully understand and share the thirst of my long-suffering compatriots for corruption-free government institutions that work efficiently to deliver visible development for the benefit of all citizens.
“I also share the feelings of those who think that we should be moving faster. But I urge them and all Nigerians to trust that my commitment to real and positive change in our nation is as firm as ever.”
The president said there was much work to be done, but noted that the work must be done well and carefully to ensure that the great opportunity which the country now has is not lost to the “business as usual group that selfishly or shortsightedly prefers the status quo and panders to its personal or group interests”.
According to him, the adverse effects of years of rot, corruption, inept and bad governance on the nation are immense, “but certainly not insurmountable, provided we all resolve now to place the well-being of our nation above all other considerations and work whole-heartedly with the present administration to achieve greater peace and security across the nation, and reposition our country for faster economic development and progress”.
While commending the Nigerian people especially those who shared the Islamic faith, he congratulated them for successfully “completing the Ramadan fast in keeping with the injunction of our Creator”.
He added: “Although we have come to the end of this year’s month of Ramadan, I believe that a greater acceptance by Nigerians of its key lessons of self-denial and sacrifice will serve our dear country well as we strive to overcome our present challenges, undo the damage done by years of bad governance and accelerate the pace of national development.
“Reviewing our dire circumstances and the many missed opportunities of the past, some commentators and observers have said that this is Nigeria’s last chance to get its act together and finally begin to fulfill its God-given potential for greatness.
“While not going that far, I certainly believe that now, more than ever before, our country needs greater self-denial, sacrifice and patriotism from all of its citizens, if we are to quickly recover from our numerous problems and start moving in a positive direction.
“This current period of our life as a nation offers us a great opportunity to break from the vicious triangle of insecurity, corruption and under-development. We must collectively resolve to seize this opportunity and unite to confront our problems.”
Buhari yesterday also approved the dissolution of the governing boards of federal parastatals, agencies and institutions, effective immediately.
A statement from the State House said until the boards are reconstituted, the chief executive officers of the affected parastatals and agencies are to refer all matters requiring the attention of their boards to the president, through the permanent secretaries of their supervising ministries.
The statement said: “While the dissolution does not affect Federal Executive Bodies listed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it covers administrative or technical committees and other similar organs established by the now dissolved boards.”
In another statement, the president’s media aide Femi Adesina announced the termination of the appointment of Akpobolokemi as Director-General of NIMASA.
Adesina said the termination of Akpobolokemi’s appointment took immediate effect.
“He is to hand over the management of NIMASA and all government property in his possession to the most senior officer in the agency who will remain in charge until a new director-general is appointed,” he said.
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