Sources close to President Muhammadu Buhari say the much expected ministers may not be appointed until another two months
NIGERIANS may have to wait for another two months for the emergence of new ministers. Sources close to President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend disclosed that he was not in a haste to name members of his cabinet yet. The sources also said that the president might name his appointed ministers within the next two months.
A source, who spoke to a group of journalists in Abuja, at the weekend, said that Buhari was not in a haste to build on a kind of “rot” he allegedly inherited from the immediate past administration of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“You cannot even begin to imagine the situation we have met on the ground. Almost everything is in a state of decay. There is absolutely no way the new government can hope to achieve anything long-lasting without first building a new foundation,” the source said.
He compared the president’s plan of action to that of a doctor who first had to break a poorly set bone afresh, before resetting it to allow for smooth and proper growth.
Besides, the source said the crisis at the National Assembly crisis, would be another excuse why a cabinet would not be possible to be formed in the time being.
“Look at how they are fighting among themselves. The Senate has now adjourned till July 21. That means no one to scrutinize or approve any ministerial list until the end of July,” he said.
Another factor responsibly for the delay, he said, was that of pruning down the number of ministries. He said it would be impossible to appoint ministers to portfolios, without first knowing which portfolios existed and which would be abolished. “The President plans to cut down the number of ministries and parastatals. He wants to cut down the cost of running government. He wants to make sure that all the loopholes that enable corruption to thrive are blocked. All these are procedures that require time and careful planning. You cannot do it in a rush,” he said.
The presidential source added that Buhari could not have begun this process without first receiving the full report of the transition committee and ascertaining exactly the situation his government faced.
He said: “This is the thing. Remember that he has to make sure that all this is done without any job losses or mass retrenchment. All this is not a day’s or one-month job.”
The source denied reports that Buhari’s delayed cabinet appointments had brought government to a halt, insisting that civil servants had been supervising the day-to-day running of ministries and that the permanent secretaries of the various ministries were given full access to the president.
“All these reports and agitations are being fuelled by politicians who want to put pressure on the President. They have tried doing it other ways and those haven’t worked. Now, they are trying to use the media. They only want their cronies appointed to ministerial posts and they are fuelling the agitation through newspapers.”
Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, special adviser and senior special to the president on media and publicity, respectively, said the narrative was the “nearest to the truth than all that are being peddled by many others.”
There has been scathing criticisms of the president in the past few weeks for allegedly being slow in constituting his cabinet. Some critics accused Buhari of not planning enough to hit the ground running since his election on March 28.
— Jun 29, 2015 @ 11:30 GMT