By Perpetua Onuegbu
Sen. Dave Umahi, the immediate past Governor of Ebonyi State, said that the building and construction industry under his watch would prioritise the use of local content in the delivery of its works.
Umahi said this in Abuja on Monday while addressing Directors, Heads of Departments, and other staff members on his assumption of office as the Minister of Works.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Umahi is among the ministers inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as members of the Federal Cabinet.
Umahi, who came in the company of his wife and children, said local content was the way to go and that concrete was in abundance in the country.
“I will challenge our engineers on the issue of concrete technology even with the challenges of forex and petroleum prices and the abundance of limestone in our country.
“We will activate local content during our tenure in administration. I have indicated to see the contractors, meet with them and that will be after taking briefings from the heads of departments.
“I am not an office person, I am a field person. For some of you in that department, we will be inspecting the Lokoja-Benin, Lokoja-Abuja road,” Umahi said.
The minister added that under his watch, the bureaucratic tendencies of the ministry would change.
“We are going to make changes, which means that the bureaucratic tendency of our system will fall.
“Under my leadership, no file will stay for more than two hours. In two weeks, I will be in the field and I will settle down only when I have seen things.
“We will be touring the six geopolitical zones to see things for ourselves,” the minister said.
He added that he would also place priority on the welfare of staff but urged them to work with him to achieve the renewed hope that the Tinubu’s administration stood for.
Earlier in his welcome address to the minister, Director, Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, Mr Folorunsho Esan, representing the Permanent Secretary, Mr Mahmuda Mamman, congratulated Umahi and noted that they were professional colleagues.
Esan pledged the ministry’s total support to him in ensuring that he achieved his aim of building the nation’s infrastructure, and wished him a successful tenure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Umahi was elected as the Senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the 10th Senate.
Umahi was thereafter nominated by Tinubu for ministerial appointment. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Emmanuel Afonne