The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, has disclosed the reasons President Bola Tinubu failed to attach the portfolio of the ministerial nominees in the letter sent to the Senate.
Speaking on the ministerial list submitted to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Thursday, July 27, 2023, Gbajabiamila disclosed that President Tinubu decided to tow the line of tradition by not attaching the portfolio of the nominees in the letter to the Senate in order to give room for reviews.
He said: “As good as that sounds, it straitjackets the president to pigeonhole one person in an office or the other. What happens then if you change your mind, do you then bring the person back for screening again, because the president is at liberty to change your mind.
“For instance, if I decide I want somebody as Minister of Labour, and then after sending the name, later on, I decide that this person would actually be better with another portfolio. And meanwhile, the Senate has screened that person for that particular initial portfolio?
“What happens then? Do you now re-screen the person? So, a lot of these things have their merits and demerits.”
Gbajabiamila further disclosed that President Tinubu’s administration may create new ministries from the existing ones.
“Mr President intends to separate portfolios or restructure the ministries in such a way you might be hearing of new ministries that were not standalone ministries before. So the process continues,” the former Speaker of the House of Representatives said.
Gbajabiamila stated that the nominees were chosen after undergoing strict personal screening by the President.
He said a second part comprising 13 names would be sent to the Senate, adding that this was part of the process of having a cabinet for the administration.
The Chief of Staff added: “As you know he had 60 days from time of inauguration, as stipulated in the constitution. He has fulfilled that requirement of the constitution by submitting 28 names today.
“As his letter stated, and was read on the floor of the Senate, the remaining names, not sure how many, probably about 12, maybe 13, will be forwarded to the Senate in the coming days.
“As far as the nominees themselves are concerned, and like I said, Mr President took his time to sift through those names.”
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