• Defunct Airways ex-workers bar minister from office
•Govt eyes N6b from silos, okays N3b for emergencies
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday confirmed Hajia Zainab Ahmed as substantive Minister of Finance following last weekend’s resignation of the last occupant, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun on account of an NYSC exemption certificate scandal.
Until her new assignment as supervising minister in the ministry, Ahmed was the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.Making the clarification after the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said with her new deployment, Ahmed had relinquished her former position as Minister of State for Budget and National Planning “until anything contrary happens.”
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents, the presidential spokesman said: “ She will relinquish her former position or she has relinquished that to go and oversee the finance ministry. So that is her status for now.”Asked if Ahmed could be referred to as a substantive minister, Adesina responded: “Well, you know that statement was written in English and that statement says she will oversee the ministry of finance, let’s leave it like that. I just told you she is no longer Minister of State for Budget and National Planning. She will be Minister of Finance, in fact that was how she was addressed at council.”
Besides, FEC approved the concessioning of 20 of the 33 silos in the country.The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, told reporters that government would earn N6 billion from the deal in 10 years.He said each of the silos was no less than 100000 metric tons, adding that arrangement had been perfected to ensure that the deal was terminated in the event of non-performance from investors.
Also the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said government had put in place measures to contain the current flooding in parts of the federation.Earlier, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, put the current casualties from the menace at 101, adding that council had equally approved N3 billion for procurement of relief materials for the affected communities.
Also yesterday, aggrieved former workers of the defunct Nigerian Airways prevented Hajia Ahmed from accessing her office.The incident was consequent upon a peaceful protest embarked upon by the irate ex-employees demanding for the payment of their 14-year pension arrears.She, however, told the placard-carrying protesters that the huge sum could be offset in one fell swoop hence the need for a mutually agreed mode.They thereafter presented a copy of their protest letter to the minister and vacated the gate to allow her access into the premises.