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Minister of Works Umahi Commits to Accountability and Discipline in Delivery

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ABUJA, Nigeria — Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has expressed his dedication to transparency and accountability in governance, warning against the misappropriation of public funds.

Umahi stated this on Thursday, August 24, 2023, during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

The former governor of Ebonyi State talked about his accessibility while in office, stating that contractors had open channels to reach him.

“When I was governor, I had only one line, and I responded to all text messages and phone calls,” he said.

Umahi stressed that freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy, but added that he would not hesitate to respond to undue criticisms.

“If you just abuse me unduly without any reference to the job, I will find a mild way to also abuse you by telling you to be reasonable,” he said.

On the financial side, Umahi warned that diverting public funds could have dire consequences.

“When you take public funds without using it to work, you are taking lives and it has a lot of consequences,” he noted.

He also mentioned that President Bola Tinubu will allocate funds to construct quality roads across the country.

Umahi emphasized that a significant challenge in road development is the construction cost, implying a need for careful budget planning and execution.

A Message to Civil Servants

In a strong message to civil servants, Umahi insisted that no one can derail his efforts in providing quality infrastructure for the country. He stated that his files should not spend more than two hours on the table of any ministry official.

“No civil servant can frustrate me. You can’t keep my file in your office for two hours,” he said. Umahi was resolute that he answers to no one but Almighty God and President Tinubu, urging civil servants to work diligently as Nigerians expect change from the government.

Umahi’s comments come when Nigeria is grappling with various infrastructural and governance challenges.

His stern warning against the misuse of public funds and call for disciplined service is seen as a step towards improving the efficiency of public services in the country.

His remarks also open the door to conversations on the ethics and etiquette of public engagement for government officials in the era of free speech and social media.

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