Emerging reports show that President Muhammadu Buhari has made a list of forty-two (42) new Ministers even as he is set to resign from his position as Minister of Petroleum Resources, immediately after the May 29, Inauguration.
Post Nigeria reports that a top source close to the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed this on Saturday night. He said, “The President is also likely to resign from the Petroleum Ministry, while the Minister of State for Petroleum portfolio will be abolished.”
Recall that after he became the President in 2015, Buhari appointed himself as the substantive Minister of Petroleum, and Ibe Kachikwu, as the Minister of State for Petroleum.
This comes as the President is expected to convene the last meeting of the current Federal Executive Council, FEC, and officially dissolve its membership, this week. A special FEC meeting, will hold on Monday, for the Ministers to attend to last-minute memos and projects, while the valedictory FEC meeting is slated for Wednesday.
It was gathered that about 70 percent of the current Ministers are desperately lobbying to serve in the next cabinet. ￼Some top government and party sources revealed that some of the Minister seeking to return to the cabinet have abandoned their tasks and are busy chasing after close associates of the President to help them into the anticipated Federal Council.
Another source in the All Progressives Congress, APC, said that Buhari has weighed his options for a new cabinet that will help him deliver on his campaign promises, stressing that he (Buhari) had already compiled a list of such Ministers. ￼The source said: “There is intense lobbying. This is because they have realised that unlike in 2015 when it took about six months for the President to show up with his list of Ministers, he is determined to hit the ground running this time around.
“From all indications, Mr. President is going to set the ball rolling. He is bent on sending his list of Ministers to the Senate almost immediately it is convened in June. They have held talks with the members of the National Working Committee of the APC and other close associates of Mr President.”
￼Another reliable source disclosed that APC members who lost their Governorship and Senatorial elections are also lobbying to make the cabinet. It was learnt that some of them will be compensated with Ministerial and other Federal appointments, however. The source further disclosed that: “Buhari will have an extended cabinet this time around, disclosing that, apart from the mandatory 36 Ministers from each State of the Federation, the President is likely to pick 6 extra Ministers, one from each geopolitical zone, making it 42.”
￼He added: “Remember the President mooted the idea of an expanded cabinet in 2017, but had to shelve the idea, because of various political interests. But definitely, this time we are going to have an expanded cabinet. This time around, the Power, Works and Housing Ministry under Fashola, will be unbundled into three different Ministries, for efficient service delivery. The Aviation Ministry will be promoted to a full Ministry, and will no longer be under the Ministry of Transportation.”
Another top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “No one knows the mindset of the President, on how he will constitute the next Federal Executive Council. The situation is so dicey that those rated as closer to the President in the cabinet, cannot authoritatively say whether or not they will be retained.”
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