Posted by News Express | 26 December 2015 | 3,034 times
Indications yesterday emerged on why President Muhammadu Buhari has jettisoned the idea of holding weekly meetings with members of his cabinet. The cabinet meeting known as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is presided by the President with his Vice in attendance, ministers, Chief of Staff to the President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF).
Buhari inaugurated his cabinet comprising 36 ministers on November 11 after a screening and confirmation by the Senate. The first meeting of FEC under the present administration held on the day it was inaugurated following the assigning of portfolios to all ministers by the president.
Presidency sources confirmed to our correspondent that Buhari is not disposed to the idea of weekly meetings but prefers to meet with his cabinet to discuss issues of national importance only when necessary.
According to a senior official who preferred anonymity, the president does not like the situation in the past where FEC only met to consider and approve contracts. “The focus of government is that FEC will meet when the president deems it fit to sit with his cabinet and deliberate on serious policy issues and may be, ministerial appraisals to ensure that there are deliverables.
“You will remember that since after inauguration, the president met his cabinet only twice to consider the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and then the budget proposal which has already been submitted to the National Assembly for consideration,” the source said.
Our correspondent learnt that Buhari has already given all ministers targets in their respective ministries and prefers to allow them work to meet them at intervals and when necessary to receive briefings. With the return of democracy in 1999, former President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the system of meeting his cabinet every Wednesday of the week. The system continued until he left office in 2007.
Investigation revealed that when late President Umaru Yar’Adua took over power in 2007, he inaugurated his cabinet on July 26 and made attempts to also jettison the idea of weekly FEC meetings.
The late president held the weekly FEC meeting fortnightly but returned to the weekly Wednesday schedule after a few months. Former President Goodluck Jonathan also continued with the weekly FEC meeting when he took over following the death of his boss on May 5, 2010.
Attempts by our correspondents to confirm from official spokesmen of President Buhari on why he has chosen to cancel the meeting on regular basis proved abortive. Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, simply told our correspondent in a telephone interview yesterday that he has no comment on the matter.
•Sourced from New Telegraph. Photo shows President Buhari.
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