The Nigerian Government has again reassured that no stone would be left unturned in delivering the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum who gave the reassurance when the newly elected Executive Officers and Members of Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) Abuja led by its Chairman Mr. Frederick Idehai paid her a courtesy visit in her office in the Federal Capital Territory said focused on the implementation of the priority areas of the present Administration is top on their agenda.
The Minister, who doubles as the Chairman of the Delivery Unit set up to ensure that the Ministry and its Agencies are well repositioned, said being a technocrat and a diplomat, she prefers being at the background doing her work and allow the results of the work to be seen rather than being heard.
“There are lots of issues you need to plan before it comes to the level of media, We have been working, we have done several Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) clinics with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, we have been planning the shared facilities in Benue, Lagos and other states.
“This morning, we are looking at the issue of dichotomy between Oil and Gas Free Zones (OGZA) and Special Economic Zones(SEZs), meeting with Katsina State Government and other stakeholders on how to fast track and set up the Funtua Textiles and Garment Park”, the Minister said.
The Minister while, congratulating the new Executive Officers, particularly, the Chairman for his re-election which showed the level of confidence his colleagues reposed on him lamented the reports of loss of jobs and non-payment of salaries of some members of CICAN as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and promised that their welfare especially in the areas of training, award of excellence, among others would be looked into by the Management.
“We look forward to seeing the inputs and dynamism you are bringing into the association, she added”.
Earlier, the Chairman, Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) Abuja, Mr. Frederick Idehai said despite the energy and commitment of the Minister in ensuring that the mandate of President Buhari is met, without the media being carried along, it may be efforts in futility as Nigerians especially their constituents want to know what impact their leaders are having in the economy to avoid speculations.
“The simple reason why we are here is to tell you thank you as well as advice you as one of the key stakeholders of the nation’s economy.
“We also appreciate your simplicity and honesty, as we pledge to support your policies of making Nigeria one of the world’s best investment destinations.
“We at CICAN really appreciate the existing strong partnership, synergy and understanding between you and your colleague, His Excellency, Otunba, Richard Adebayo which we have not seen on this beat in recent times ”.
Mr. Idehai also informed the minister about the untold hardship members of CICAN faced and are still facing as a result of the impact of the novel corona virus pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, we were the worst hit as most of our members lose their jobs and some, their salaries slashed or suspended completely yet they are still putting their efforts to do the job”.
“We were abandoned by most of our stakeholders at a time we needed them the most to cushion the impact of the pandemic but our doors still remain open to all especially agencies and bodies under FMITI.