Lai Mohammed Eulogises Outgoing Permanent Secretary

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 The Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the outgoing Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms Grace Gekpe is “a cheerful and hard-working professional”.
He noted that Gekpe had contributed immensely to the successes recorded in the ministry’.
The minister gave the encomium on Wednesday at a valedictory session in honour of Gekpe in Abuja.
Mohammed, who said that he met Gekpe as a director in the ministry when he was appointed minister in 2015, reiterated a cordial working relationship he had with her.
“My permanent secretary is a jovial, cheerful and hard-working professional whom I had a smooth working relationship with.
“We have worked together for over five years and I can say she does not hold grudges even when there are issues.
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“Even when you disagree with her, she will come back to you with other files the following day as if nothing has happened.
“Whatever successes we have recorded in the ministry, she has made immense contributions to them,” he said.
The minister noted that the large turn out of heads of parastatal agencies under the ministry, directors and other members of staff of the ministry to the event is a testimony to the harmonious working relationship the permanent secretary has with them.
He said Gekpe would be missed by all while wishing her success in her future endeavours.
Earlier in a remark, the Director-General of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, described  Gekpe as “a reliable, efficient friend and colleague”
Mohammed said their paths crossed over a decade ago before he retired as a director from NTA and they later came together when he was appointed as director-general.
Speaking in the same vein, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, said Gekpe’s is a custodian of culture and hospitality.
He said that her experiences and understanding always came to play when issues were tough in the ministry and the agencies.
In her response, the outgoing permanent secretary said that her experiences since she joined the civil service in 1984 were that of “perseverance and grace.
“I wish to thank God for His guidance and protection through my career in the Federal Civil Service.
“I was employed as a Cultural Officer II and God saw me through to the position of a permanent secretary in my mother ministry.
“All through my career, my name, Grace, spoke for me and it is still speaking for me”.
Gekpe said she saw the minister as a father figure and thanked him for creating an environment for her to succeed during her tenure.
“I wish to sincerely thank my amiable boss for his priceless support and cooperation.
“I am proud to say that it was a  remarkable privilege to serve under his direct supervision and I must admit that his wealth of knowledge is truly inspiring.
“The valuable lessons I have learnt from the minister will be with me for a lifetime,” she said.
Gekpe also thanked the heads of parastatal agencies under the ministry, the management and members of staff of the ministry for their contributions to her success during her tenure.
She enjoined the workers to extend the cooperations she enjoyed to her successor, Mr Nebolisa Anako, whom she handed over to at a separate event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the highpoints of the valedictory session are cutting of the cake, special dance by the celebrator, toast and presentation of gifts.
Born in Itigidi in Cross River, Gekpe obtained first Degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Calabar and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from National Open University.
She is pioneer Director of Entertainment in the ministry and the first Cultural Officer to attain the position of a permanent secretary.

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