Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, has revealed why President Muhammadu Buhari has not unveiled his cabinet members over three weeks after he took the oath of office for a second term.
The SGF said there was every assurance that the issue of the cabinet was very much on the mind of the president, adding that Buhari had reflected over it and it would be placed before the National Assembly immediately they conclude their leadership structures.
Mustapha disclosed this in an interview at the just concluded 26th Annual Meetings of the Africa Export-Import (Afreximbank) 2019 in Moscow, Russia on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
He said going to the Next Level, the Buhari administration would focus more on the desired effect of achieving tangible result in the fight against corruption, revamping the economy, and securing the country.
Explaining the reason for the delay in announcing the cabinet, the SGF said: “Our system is unique unlike others; we have an executive system where your membership of a parliament denies you of the opportunity of being the minister unless you resign from parliament to become a minister.
“The president is working on his list or must have concluded and he mentioned it in his democracy day broadcast that he is going to assembly competent Nigerians that will help him implement his programmes.
“Mr President was inaugurated on May 29, we had the democracy day celebration. It was a choked up programme as we had to work towards the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly, because there is nothing you can do in the National Assembly if their leadership does not emerge from your party.
“So far, we have part of the leadership that have emerged and the other part will emerge properly after they return from their recess.”
He further attributed the delay by the president in announcing the ministerial appointees to the two-week recess embarked upon by the members of the National Assembly.
“They are reconvening on the 2nd of July. It is when they reconvene that we expect they will finish other complements of their leadership.
“You have the speaker, deputy speaker, senate president and deputy senate president, that is basically all you have for now.
“But there are other key officers. In the introduction of an executive bill, you don’t go directly to the senate president, you write to the senate president but it is the majority leader who represents the party in the senate that has the responsibility of introducing what they have received after the senate president has read out his correspondent which he has received from the president.
“But it is the responsibility of the majority leader to prepare the ministries to be for the purposes of screening.
“So, even the leadership of the National Assembly is not fully in place, but I believe that by the time they reconvene they should be able to finish all those arrangements and then they will be set and ready to receive Mr President’s list.”
The Secretary to the government of the federation expressed confidence that within the month of July, “he (President Buhari) will submit the list and it is now up to the Senate to do the needful to conclude that exercise”.
Mustapha added: “That is why I keep emphasising that if you have a very good leadership in the national assembly, these things can be finished in a period of a week or two. They will dedicate time to screen the ministries, those that they find competent and qualified.
“I am expecting that by the time he submits in July, probably by the end of July we should have a clean list coming from the National Assembly, particularly the Senate.”
The SGF further assured that the president was resolved, and that “he is doing his best and by the time he puts his next cabinet in place, they will be men of resource, they will be men ably qualified to be able to help in dealing with these fundamentals”.
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