Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed has said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance is her new ‘next of kin’.

Ahmed, speaking on her first day of work as Nigeria’s new financial housekeeper said she will work hand-in-gloves with the Perm.Sec and she expects everyone else to do same.

Ahmed, who was the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning revealed her readiness to work harder than ever in her new position.

In her words while being received by Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, permanent secretary and some other directors;

“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).

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