President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the delay in appointment of his ministers to the late submission of the transition committee’s report by the previous administration.
Buhari offered his defence while speaking to journalists at the Summit of the African Union in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday following growing public outcry over the slow pace of formation of his cabinet. “The main reason is that I have an interim committee which I agreed with former President Jonathan that the ministers of the outgoing government should hand over their notes or their documents to this interim committee so that a position can be prepared for the new government to start from with clear records from ministers…but unfortunately the outgoing government did not cooperate.
President Buhari further disclosed that he was taking his time to pick the right candidates to fill the ministerial positions to avoid disruption of government momentum with frequent hiring and firing of ministers. “I want to get ministers after at least I have seen the report because I don’t have to appoint a minister today and sack him the next week because this report would give me what actually happened in terms of security, economy of the country. And since I have to have ministers from politicians and technocrats, I wouldn’t (like to) make the mistake of getting somebody, who has been involved on account of accountability”.
According to him, the decision to study the hand over reports before making key appointments and policy decisions was to enable him have clear picture of what he inherited from the past “government especially in terms of finance and petroleum industry” so as to tackle the issue of accountability.
President Buhari, who disclosed that during his time as minister of petroleum under the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had only three accounts, however, expressed surprise that during the immediate past administration, the corporation and the ministry of finance did not know how many accounts they had.
He described the development as improper and what his administration is trying to change.
By Olisemeka Obeche