The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan has reacted to a claim he reportedly made on the Ministerial list after President Muhammadu Buhari’s response regarding time-frame for cabinet names at the dinner between National Assembly and the executive.
During the week, Lawan reportedly told members of the Senate that the President would submit his ministerial list for consideration while addressing a statement by a fellow lawmaker in the upper chamber.
He has denied stating categorically that the list would be submitted this week. In his response to the media after the presidential dinner, Lawan said his statement wasn’t based on certainty but possibility.
His retraction comes shortly after President Buhari said he was fighting back pressure from Nigerians to make his cabinet team known. Buhari said he wouldn’t be pressured into submitting his ministerial list for his second term like it was done in 2015 (his first tenure).
Why Buhari is fighting pressure: The President said the pressure had made him appoint individuals he had no knowledge of. He also disclosed that the pressure made him give way to recommendations from his party, All Progressive Congress and some individuals.
According to him, he would have a deep knowledge of those to be considered for ministerial positions in his second tenure. It took President Buhari six months to make appointment in 2015, and he’s asking for more time without pressure. His second administration began on May 28, 2019.
Buhari’s statement must have forced Lawan to make a U-turn. According to Lawan, his statement was reported out of context.
Lawan initailly brushed off the possibility of President Buhari submitting the ministerial list during the dinner before proceeding to state that, “Let me take this opportunity to correct that. A senator raised a point of order under personal explanation and he said we should be sent the list of ministers by the executive arm of government.
And in my response, I said the executive is working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this administration work is going to be constituted, we could even receive it this week. Could is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is.”
Why the ado about time-frame? The delay in the submission of the ministerial list is affecting the economy as it prevents Ministries, Department and Agencies from conducting work on on-going projects and kick-start other critical projects.
The MDAs are affected because without a minister in charge, funds will not be released to them as the Permanent Secretaries have limited approval right.
Also, drafting and implementing policies would be delayed and policies are needed to encourage investors, and show to them the movement of the administration. Right now, investors would be cautious of how they invest into the Nigerian economy due to uncertainty around appointments and policies.