The outgoing Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar, has officially handed over the affairs of the Ministry to the Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Dr. Abubakar affirmed that, in the last two years, the Ministry has achieved tremendous successes in areas of the Ogoniland cleanup, climate change issues and concerns, together with formulation of policies and environmental service matters, which is said to have positively redefined the country’s environment sector.
President Muhammadu Buhari, penultimate Wednesday, dropped the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono. He redeployed the (then) Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar, to assume office as the new substantive Agriculture and Rural Development Minister.
The outgoing Environment Minister expressed gratitude to the Minister of State for her support, cooperation and resilience, which resulted in the numerous achievements recorded in the ministry, during the two years they worked together.
While noting that his new assignment is taking him to a different Ministry, he however stressed that Environment and Agriculture have a lot in common. He assured that the two ministries would continue to work together to boost the fortunes of the Environment Sector.
“We have achieved so much in the last two years in terms of programs, projects and especially policies that have now changed the narration of the sector much more positively.
“We have brought people together to understand the importance of the environment. I can say that the last two years has been very much worthwhile. “I have enjoyed working here greatly with everyone. I wish I can continue working here with you, but duty calls,” Dr. Mahmood Abubakar said.
While receiving the handing over document, Chief Ikeazor, assured that the affairs of the ministry would be highly protected and developed under her watch, even as she appealed for maximum support from staff of the ministry.
“We all serve the same government, and we all serve at the pleasure of Mr. President. Just as the outgoing Minister has said duty calls him to another ministry, and duty calls me to stay here, and take charge of the affairs of the ministry of environment until the President, at his pleasure, calls me elsewhere.
“So I thank you for our good working relationship which will definitely continue. And to the Directors as well, I ask that the same support that was given to my brother continues. Because this is not a break, but a continuation of what has already started and it should continue that way for us to deliver on our mandate,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan, wished the outgoing Minister more success stories in his new assignment, while assuring the Minister of State of the continued loyalty, support and cooperation from management and staff of the Environment Ministry.