President Muhammadu Buhari says his inability to appoint ministers is dictated by his determination to pick uncompromised, patriotic and persons of high moral standard
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, July 27, said he would not make persons who would compromise and those who are being hostage as ministers.
“We will try as much as possible to avoid appointing hostages; by this, I mean people who have been in the system but compromised their personal and professional integrity,” Buhari said this on Good Morning Nigeria, a live programme, on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.
He said the country needed very patriotic, knowledgeable, experienced, hard-working and committed Nigerians, who would be willing to work with to realise his dream of repositioning the country.
The president said a lot of institutions in Nigeria were compromised, saying the situation had “everybody for himself and God for all of us,” describing the current development as most “unfortunate”.
Thus, Buhari said: “It is as though everybody seems to be working for himself on how much they could get away with as soon as possible. We have to look for technocrats and politicians. We have to look out for decent people in this class to give them the responsibility of being in charge of ministries and important parastatals.
“It is taking so much time (to appoint ministers) because a number of knowledgeable people have been compromised. They have been compromised by people who will like to depend on them to damage our economy and security; a lot of them have been compromised…
“This is what we are trying to avoid and I assure you that so much damage has been done to Nigeria. We cannot rush to give this responsibility to people that have unfortunately been compromised.
“This is because there is no way you can effectively supervise, let’s say 20 ministries, you have to give it to people you trust and you allow them to perform according to the Constitution of the country. If you appoint compromised people, then we will be back to square one and Nigeria will be the loser.”
On corruption, Buhari regretted that crude oil theft that characterised past governments was still thriving under his government. He described as monumental fraud the kind of crude oil theft going on even under his watch.
He, however, expressed the confidence that some developed countries would assist Nigeria to identify and repatriate looted funds.
“We have got the cooperation of some of the countries that are the destinations of our crude and we are discussing with them. We have to maintain high confidentiality so that we don’t risk some of the people in Nigeria that are helping us to trace the destinations of this stolen crude and then the accounts where the proceeds are being paid instead of the Federal Government account.
“I don’t think the NNPC knows how many accounts are there in which payments are made on Nigerian crude. The monumental fraud has been going on for a number of years; a lot of Nigerians cannot comprehend it.”
— Jul 28, 2015 @ 14:10 GMT