Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, has said the permanent secretary, directors and staff are the key to his success.
Abubakar spoke while responding to remarks from the Permanent Secretary, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, directors and others during a valedictory session at the ministry in Abuja.
Abubakar was deployed to Federal Ministry of Agriculture from Federal Ministry of Environment on September 1, 2021, following the sack of the minister, Alhaji Sabo Nanono.
“I started working with the minister of state, and discovered him to be a ‘gentle giant’. The relationship was almost immediate. We discuss ministry issues, Nigeria matters, including the world. “Our relationship is delicious.
“I have worked with three permanent secretaries, and among the three, Umakhihe is more straightforward, he can be stubborn, he is knowledgeable about his work, and protective of the directors and staff. We have built a relationship.
“Here, I found people that are diligent, willing to go the extra mile, believe in their work, and I did not find the assignment a stressful one.”
Earlier, Umakhihe noted the minister had been a man of discipline and focus, and had achieved greatly within two years of being deployed to the ministry.
He said: “… when you were posted here on September 1, 2021, my colleague in the Federal Ministry of Environment said you are a good man. Really I saw another humble personality.
“He has been the most gender sensitive minister and because of his inclusivity the ministry has received a lot of awards on this gender issue.”
On the minister of state, he said: “He is a gentleman and in my mind I christened him as ‘gentle giant’… This is the minister that is so passionate about this country on how this country can develop.”