My posting is divine, says Akunyili Newly inaugurated Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, down-played public disappointment with her portfolio on Wednesday, saying that it was in line with the will of God. She also expressed determination to revive Nigeria’s image, an assignment which she identified as the reason God approved her appointment as the image-maker of the government. Akunyili spoke in her maiden press briefing after the Federal Executive Council met in what was also her first day in the cabinet. She was accompanied to the session by her predecessor, Mr. John Odey, who was redeployed to the Ministry of the Environment, who urged State House correspondents to support her. Minister of State for Information and Communication, Aliyu Bilbis, was equally present. Reacting to views that her posting was disappointing, especially since she was taken away from the health sector, Akunyili noted that she did not know anything about NAFDAC when she was appointed its Directo-General, only for her to record resounding success due to a determination to succeed. She said she will bring the same determination to her current assignment. “What I will tell them (supporters that were disappointed with her portfolio) about my posting is that anything that happens in this life is approved by God. Nothing happens without God’s approval. “God wants me to be here today and I can feel it because Nigeria’s image needs to be revived”, she said, adding that with a bad image, “we cannot achieve Vision 2020-20”. Akunyili also said that her new role was much more vital than most people understand. “Where I am now is the soul of the nation, image is the soul of the nation and information is power. “I believe that God will give me the skill to present it successfully; after all when I went to NAFDAC, I did not know anything about NAFDAC. But I wanted to succeed,” she said, adding that if things were done the right way, “Nigeria is a good product that we can easily sell.” “Nigerians should also do their part by doing their best as citizens”, she added. She added that before the portfolios were announced, her greatest prayer was that God will put her in a ministry where she will be most effective. With her experience in government, the minister added that she was sure to succeed. Earlier, she had expressed appreciation to the Nigerian media for the part it played in her success at NAFDAC. She said it would not have been possible without the media. “Gentlemen of the vibrant Nigerian press, I am happy today. I have a soft spot for the Nigerian press when I consider that the work we did in NAFDAC would not have been possible without the press,” she said. Akunyili said it was the press that alerted the world that Nigeria is no longer a dumping ground for fake drugs. “I hope you will support me to portray Nigeria in a positive light,” she appealed, adding that “we will tell the truth at all times” but with responsibility. In the same vein, the FEC approved that former staff of the defunct Nigerian Airways should be paid the sum of N2.116bn, being the full and final part of their entitlements.