As the one year anniversary of President Muhammadu’s administration draws close, he has asked Nigerians to pass on a verdict on the performance of his cabinet members so that he will know if he should change them.
The president said this during an interview session at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja on Thursday, May 26, Daily Trust reports.
rom left: President Muhammadu Buhari; Associate Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Media Trust Ltd, Mahmud Jega; Managing Editor Media Trust Ltd, Theophilus Abbah; and Media Consultant, Azu Ishiekwene, during an interview session with the president at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja yesterday
L-R: President Buhari; associate director/deputy Editor-in-Chief, Media Trust Ltd, Mahmud Jega; managing editor Media Trust Ltd, Theophilus Abbah; and media consultant, Azu Ishiekwene, during an interview session with the president at the presidential villa on Thursday, May 26.
Buhari was asked if Nigerians should expect changes in his team during this anniversary period. In his reply, he said: “I am waiting for the newspapers to tell me the performance of my ministers and whether I should make changes.”
Explaining why his administration took off rather slowly, Buhari said ex-President Goodluck Jonathan agreed that each ministry would prepare handing over notes and also brief him (Buhari), for him to choose what he wanted out of it.
However, they protested at the last minute that he should not be allowed to take over the government before he was sworn-in.
Buhari claimed no proper transition took place as a result of this and after his inauguration he had to take briefings from two ministries a day in order to make up for lost time.
On the issue of budget padding, the president said he never heard of budget padding throughout his public life since 1975 and was shocked when the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adeoye while defending his budget before a National Assembly committee told them he couldn’t defend what he did not propose because the budget had been padded.
He said: “I went to the National Assembly and bowed and delivered the budget but I did not know that what I delivered was a shell. They removed what they wanted and added other things.”
According to him, he refused to sign the budget after it was passed by the National Assembly and brought to him because he has never signed anything that he did not understand throughout his life.
He noted that Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma persuaded him to sign at one point and he told him, “I will sign it because I trust you.”
Buhari said after Udoma read the budget thoroughly, he rushed back to him and advised him not to sign it unless amendments were made.
Sunday, May 29, will make it a year since President Buhari took over the mantle of leadership from Jonathan. For some, It is still to early to judge the president’s performance, for others he has performed well so far and for the rest, they are disappointed as things have gone from bad to worse.
Listing Buhari’s achievement in his one year in office, his personal assistant on new media, Bashir Ahmad said the Federal Government TSA collection clocked N3 trillion and he also cut down the number of ministries from 42 to 25 to reduce the cost of governance.
Dr Olisa Agbakoba, the ex-president of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) while accessing the one year administration of Buhari, said Nigeria is no more in recession, but in depression.