By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The newly-appointed Supervising Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, resumed at her duty post Monday morning, with a promise to work assiduously to ensure that the country attains greater economic stability.
The minister, who arrived the ministry at exactly 9.27 am, was ushered in with the familiar labour song: “Solidarity for ever” by leaders of the in-house labour union.
The unionists expressed their desire to cooperate with her while in the ministry.
Ahmed, who acknowledged their song, said: “We will work together.”
She was immediately escorted into the building by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mahmud Isa-Dutse, and other directors.
At a meeting with the staff shortly after her resumption, the minister told them that the country was currently undergoing a period of financial challenges.
She said: “I will work very well with you and especially the Permanent Secretary to ensure that we do all we can to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari succeeds in his endeavours.”
Commending the staff for being core professionals, the minister said: “We know that you have been doing well but we will push ourselves to do more.
“We have very serious revenue challenges and it is up to us to make sure we shore up the revenue base of the country.
“The president has a lot of confidence that we can do this if we work together. You are working for the president and at the end of the day, you’re working for the benefit of the citizens.”
The minister expressed her readiness to ensure a harmonious working relationship with the permanent secretary and management of the ministry, whom she described as highly skilled.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the permanent secretary had told the minister that: “We have been operating as a team,” adding: “We are also ready to give the support to whoever comes as minister.”
He assured: “We will make sure that you succeed in the task that the president has assigned to you.”
Until the sudden resignation of the former finance minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, over alleged certificate forgery, Ahmed was the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.
She is a Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), a member of the Nigerian Institute of Taxation and the Nigerian Institute of Management. (NIM).
Until she joined the federal cabinet in 2015, she was the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).