Buhari Bars Ministers-Designate From Using Convoys, Appointing Retinue Of Aides
President Muhammadu Buhari has told the 36 Ministers-Designate that they cannot have long convoy of vehicles and retinue of political aides.
The President gave the directive to the appointees at the two-day retreat organized for them at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
One of the appointees, Dr. Chris Ngige, a former Governor of Anambra State, who briefed state house correspondents after the retreat Friday, said the directive followed the dwindling finances of the nation.
“We are going to block areas of leakages, retinue of aides, protocol staff, large convoys of cars are things that will not fly in this administration.”
“So, we need to actually restructure the political and social moment of the country and that is what we are going to do. That means poverty will reduce,” Ngige said.
He also said the ongoing debate over statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that not all ministers would be assigned portfolios was not necessary.
Ngige said with or without portfolios, it is the responsibility of all ministers to join hands and move the nation forward.
He said, “If you have portfolio, if you don’t have portfolio, it is one single Federal Executive Council. You bring whatever it is on the table. That is not a problem at all.
“We have the right to discuss things around the ministries because it is one single cabinet. The important thing is that we want to move our people from where they are now, they are in abject poverty which concerns about 75 percent of the populace.
“So, we need to actually restructure the political and social moment of the country and that is what we are going to do. That means poverty will reduce.”
Meanwhile, the retreat, which started on Thursday, was rounded off on Friday.
Although Buhari declared the event opened personally, it was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who declared it closed.
While journalists were allowed to witness the opening session on Thursday, they were barred from covering the closing session on Friday.
The Friday session started with a directive to all ministers-designate to treat all papers delivered at the two-day retreat as confidential, hence should not be made available to the media.