PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has finalised plans to have his cabinet in place before the National Assembly goes on recess at the end of July with preparations already in place to present a list of nominees to the summit next week.
Despite being sworn-in on May 29, President Buhari is yet to unveil his cabinet and under Nigeria’s constitutional arrangement, nominees have to be screened by senators before they are approved. Nigeria’s senators are reconvening on July 2 for three weeks before they embark on a summer recess on the 23rd and plans are afoot to have the process completed by then.
According to Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, President Buhari will unveil his cabinet in July. He added that delay was due to the fact that the presidency wanted to allow the National Assembly complete its leadership selection processes, which recently culminated in Senator Ahmad Lawan being elected senate president and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila emerging as speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mr Mustapha said: “Our system is unique. We have an executive system where your membership of a parliament denies you the opportunity of being a minister, unless you resign from parliament.
“Mr. President is working on his list or must have concluded it. He mentioned in his Democracy Day broadcast that he is going to assemble competent Nigerians to help him implement his programmes.
“He was inaugurated on May 29 and we had the Democracy Day celebrations on June 12. It was a choked-up programme as we had to work towards the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly because there is nothing you can do if their leadership does not emerge.
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“So far, we have part of the leadership that has emerged and the other part will emerge after they return from their recess. They are reconvening on July 2 and it is when they reconvene that we expect they will finish other complements of their leadership.
“There are other key officers needed in the introduction of an executive bill as you don’t go directly to the senate president, you only write to him. It is the majority leader, who represents the party in the senate that has the responsibility of introducing the bill.
“I believe that within the month of July, he will submit the list. It is then up to the senate to do the needful and conclude the exercise but I keep emphasising that if you have a very good leadership in the National Assembly, these things can be finished in a period of one week or two.”