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Buhari Insists Not All Ministers Will Have Portfolios

Anxiety among the 36 ministers-designate heightened, yesterday, after President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated that the nation’s economy can not support 36 ministers with portfolios. The tension among the ministers-designate was also being compounded by the dithering on the inauguration of the new federal cabinet.  No date has been scheduled for the inauguration of the cabinet, and many of the ministers-designate, Vanguard gathered, are hanging around Abuja for the call from the Presidency to assume office. High ranking presidency officials kept mum on when the new cabinet would be inaugurated. President Buhari, who last week said that some ministers would not have portfolios, during his visit to India, reiterated that point, Tuesday, as he affirmed that he would not shy away from saying that the economy cannot support 36 ministers with separate portfolios.

 

 

Speaking when he received the list of confirmed ministerial nominees from Senator Saraki at a brief ceremony at the Presidential Villa yesterday, President Buhari said: “If I can remember, there must be a member from each of the 36 states. That was why I limited the number of my nominees to that number, 36. The Senate worked extremely hard, and they have passed all the nominees. I think there was some enthusiasm in some parts of the Presidency today that portfolios were to be given to the 36. The constitution certainly said there must be one member of the cabinet from each of the states, but the constitution did not say I must have 36 ministries.”

 

 

Dismissing speculations  in some media outlets on the portfolio to be assigned to the ministers-designate, the President said: “I think that the economy as I have seen it now since my sitting here for the last four months, was so much battered. Although some people are saying I am giving bad publicity and scaring away investors. Any investor who is interested in investing in Nigeria will want to know more about the economy more than ourselves. But I am confirming to them that we are truthful, that we need them to come and help us help ourselves by getting in industries, manufacturing and services. They know our needs. The economy of human resources, I believe, will make them eventually come and help us. I assure you that we will follow the constitution and all the 36 will be sitting in the cabinet as the constitution stipulates.”

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