Newly appointed Acting Minister of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmed has assumed duty 72 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari picked her to oversee the ministry following the resignation of Mrs Kemi Adeosun on, Sept. 14.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that until her appointment, Ahmed was the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning.
Reports reaching NAN say that the minister is studying her new office and reading the handover note.
It would be recalled that Buhari appointed Ahmed on Friday to oversee the ministry of finance after the resignation of Kemi Adeosun who resigned following the outcome of an investigation into allegation made in an online medium of her Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).
The certificate was later discovered not to be genuine.
Meanwhile, Ahmed has described the task ahead of her in her new place of work as challenging.
The supervising minister made this known on Monday when she was received by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse alongside Directors of the Ministry.
“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.
“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!” she said.
She urged the ministry staff and officials to brace up for the challenges ahead, noting that all hands must be on deck for her to succeed in her assignment.
“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.”
“I have been told that you are preparing handing-over notes, or more correctly briefing notes; I will be engaging each of you on a one-on-one basis with the Permanent Secretary, so that I can have a complete view of what is in the ministry,” she added.
It can be recalled that Mrs. Zainab Ahmed apart from being the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, have held several critical positions in the past including being the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
She was also the Managing Director of Kaduna Investment Company and member of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG).