Nigeria’s Acting Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has expressed hope that she is in good hands as she assumed duty on Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last Friday appointed her to oversee the ministry following the resignation of Kemi Adeosun who was caught in a scandal of forging the exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.
Ahmed described the task ahead of her as challenging, promising to tap from the experience of those on ground.
Arriving at the ministry, the permanent secretary, Mahmud Isa-Dutse, and some directors in the ministry, welcomed her.
“These are very challenging times for our country. It means we are part of the economic team that has been charged with making sure there is economic stability in our country,” she said.
“We have very serious revenue challenges and it is up to us to shore up the revenues of this country.
“Mr President has a lot of confidence that we can do this very well together. We are working for Mr President, but at the end of the day we are working for the benefit of the citizens of our country.
“There are a lot of sacrifices that I know that you have done, and we are going to push ourselves to still do more so that at the end of the day we will say Alhamdulillah– glory be to God!
“The finance ministry has overtime been known to have very skilled personnel; from interacting with some of you, I know that there is a lot of skill set within the ministry, and that I am in good hands.
“I plan to work very closely with the whole of the directors, most especially with the permanent secretary.
“I want to declare that today the permanent secretary is my new next-of-kin. What that means is that I am going to work hand-in-gloves with him, and I expect everybody to do the same thing.
“There are some things I know about finance, but there is a lot that I don’t know; and the knowledge resides in you.”
Ahmed was minister of state for budget and national planning.
She has held several critical positions, including the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
She was also the managing director of Kaduna Investment Company and member of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG).