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Buhari shops for new ministers

By Buhari shops for new ministers on 10/11/2017

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•President Buhari
•President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has handed over the task of nominating new ministers to his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), credible sources disclosed yesterday.

The party leaders will, however, carry out the assignment in consultation with state governors, our sources said.

The expansion of the cabinet will also come with cabinet reshuffle and the splitting of some big ministries, the sources hinted.

The president announced at the party’s NEC meeting last month that he would expand the cabinet to accommodate wider interests and eliminate disaffection.

At the inception of his presidency, Buhari almost single-handedly formed his cabinet with little or no input from the party and state governors.

This drew flak from party faithful who felt short-changed despite helping to ensure the victory of Buhari.

One of the sources said: “The president had spoken, the cabinet would be expanded but what I would add here is that there would be cabinet reshuffle, meaning fresh hands would come on board, this is certain.

“And this is where the APC would come in; the governors are already working to get good hands because the president said they would have a say and the party would also have a say.”

When asked if Buhari is only succumbing to pressure because he needs a second term, the source said: “No, not at all; the president is extremely popular with the masses but the fact is there is the need to fully accommodate the interest of the party and that of the governors.

“We are operating a federal system of government and the president cannot operate as an island, there is need for synergy and this can only come when everyone has input in governance,” he said.

In 2015 President Buhari insisted that governors should allow him select people he would work with as ministers.

The APC was also reportedly side-lined during the selection process; a development that rendered the ruling party very weak amidst serious complaints from those who worked for its success.

A source familiar with the matter said that based on plans, six new ministers will be introduced, while some current ministers may be dropped and replaced.

It was gathered that “disloyal ministers and those with dual allegiance” would be shown the way out.

“Above all, there are some who did not perform and would therefore be replaced,” he said.

Our source said barring change of plans, the names of the ministerial nominees will be submitted to the Senate for confirmation next week.

The source said the list was supposed to be forwarded to the Senate this week, but the plan was shelved due to the 2018 budget presentation to the joint session of the National Assembly.

Another source claimed that the President is set to bring eight new ministers into the federal executive council.

“We have been told that Lagos and Kano states will get one more minister each. The two states will have two ministers in the cabinet,” the source, who is close to the Villa, said.

He said one slot has been allocated to each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.

“From all indications the cabinet will now be 42 as against the 36 that we have at the moment,” he said.

The source added that the nominees have submitted their Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the presidency for scrutiny.

“One of the persons being considered who is presently at the Senate told me that he has submitted his CV. The person is from the home state of the president,” he said.

 According to him, some of the serving ministers have been pencilled down for sack.

He also said some close aides of the President may be affected.

New ministries coming

Some ministries, including Power, Works and Housing as well as the Ministry of Transport would be unbundled to reduce pressure and workload on the ministers manning them at present, our sources said.

It was gathered that while the ministry of power might become independent to confront gigantic projects, two more ministries, including one in charge of aviation and another in charge of railway transportation might come on board.

Another source said even the ministry of agriculture might be split to have another one that would handle dry season farming and irrigation.

“Agriculture is one area the president would like to live a legacy and he is consulting, seriously consulting to make the ministry work,” the source said.

•Adapted from a Daily Trust report.

Source News Express

Posted 10/11/2017 12:01:25 PM

 

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