President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said he retained his ministers in the last three and half years because of their unique skill, strength and leadership qualities.
Buhari who spoke during a valedictory session of the federal executive council (FEC) at the presidential villa, revealed he was under pressure to sack some of the ministers.
He said, “You will recall that when we started this journey, our country was facing numerous challenges.”
“We inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. The situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption.
“Many would have given up. Indeed, many outside commentators said our situation was well nigh hopeless. However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state.
“Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.
“It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term. Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength.
“We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve – A diverse but tolerant nation where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered.’’
“I want you all to leave this meeting proud to have served your nation to the best of your ability,” he said.
“You should be proud to have been part of the government that liberated the local governments previously under Boko Haram rule.
“You should be proud to have contributed to our food security and economic diversification agenda which led to the revival of our rural agrarian economy
“You should be proud to have been part of the team that developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which led Nigeria exiting its worst recession in decades.
“You should be proud to have introduced the social investment program that enhanced livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.
“You should be proud to have participated in settling outstanding pensions of many senior citizens abandoned by previous governments while supporting state governments to meet their salary arrears.
“And of course, you should all be proud to have overseen the most ambitious road, rail and airport rehabilitation programs in the history of our country.’’
“Although today is our last council meeting, I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, May 28, 2019 when you will officially hand over your schedules to your respective Permanent Secretaries,” he said.
“Your handing over letters should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, he concluded.’’