Ostensibly heeding the calls to weed out nonperforming members of his cabinet, President Muhammdu Buhari hinted yesterday that plans are underway for a cabinet reshuffle.
Specifically, the president declared that there is the need to inject new blood into his administration.
This is just as the All Progressives Congress (APC) passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and the John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC).
Governors elected on the party’s platform have also insisted that President Buhari remains the most credible candidate ahead of 2019.
These were some of the outcomes of deliberation at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, which lasted for over three hours yesterday.
A motion moved at the meeting to give the president automatic ticket was, however, shelved aside for a later date.
Addressing APC NEC, President Buhari hinted of the need to inject new blood in his government, just as he enumerated the achievements of his administration so far.
He said, “We can be proud of our achievements in the last two years: Boko Haram, Niger Delta, regular fuel, improved power, TSA, agriculture, fertilizer and, above all, the knowledge that corruption will not be tolerated in this government. We all know there is change.
“By the same token the compressed Federal Executive Council will be expanded to bring in more supporters at federal level, with fresh ideas to be injected into the government.”
On board appointments, President Buhari said, “I am keenly aware that our supporters are very eager for these appointments to be announced. By the Grace of God, these appointments will be announced soon, especially now that the economy is improving. We will have the resources to cater for the appointees”.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, hinted of the vote of confidence passed on the president by NEC.
He said, “We are not talking about elections. Even though there was a motion in the floor that calls for a vote of confidence on the president, some of us felt it was not necessary because there is nowhere that confidence on him is shaking. But the motion was taken and passed.
“There was a second leg to that motion, which calls for the adoption of the candidature of the president, but it was differed for now and no decision was taken because that is not the major reason why we are here.”
Speaking separately with journalists at the APC national secretariat before the party’s NEC meeting commenced, chairman of the APC Governor’s Forum and Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha shed light on his ambition to take a shot at the presidency.
He said, “If Mr. president wants to run for election, he will follow all the processes and if he is the person, we will all support him. In APC, there is no imposition of candidate.
“If Buhari is running, I will allow that man to continue but if he is not running, I won’t sacrifice my presidential ambition”.
We Need Faster Approach To Governance – SGF
Meanwhile, apparently corroborating the president’s stance on the need to inject new blood into the government, the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said yesterday that government needs an emergency acceleration to take Nigeria to the promised land.
Barring any last minute change, the new SGF will be sworn in today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
Speaking to State reporters yesterday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Mustapha said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, if implemented religiously, will put Nigeria on the path of development.
Noting that the administration is not promising heaven on earth, he restated the determination of the government to take Nigerians from the state of squalor in which they are at the moment to a state where there will be hope and expectations.
In his statement, Nigeria is not in lack of information and policy formulation, noting that it is the synergy of those policies for the purpose of attending the goal that has been lacking.
He promised to bring coordination and synergy to the office so that the administration can have a thrust that can move the country forward.
He said, “Well, I’ll wait until the oath of office is administered on me. Once that is done, I’ll now begin to take briefings from the office and begin to chart a roadmap. It is always not too fashionable to begin to talk about an office you have never occupied.
“That will be being too presumptuous and I wouldn’t want to do that at the moment. I will want to step into the office first. But I have a general picture of where we should be going, and I can assure you that my responsibility is that of coordination and ensuring the implementation of government policies as generated.
“We need an emergency acceleration to get out of where we are, and I can assure you that Mr. President is focused on the three-pronged approach to take his government to fight corruption, diversify the economy and also the other aspect of security. We’ve done so much in the area of security. Even in the diversification of the economy, so much has been achieved.
“There are no poor farmers in Nigeria again. Honestly, for anybody that is able, we can deploy our hands and our energy to growing our agriculture.
He noted that he had been speaking to some of the governors who are doing remarkable work with the Anchor out grower scheme and other schemes that are coming up.
His words: “I believe that if we can do that consistently for a number of years we’ll get out of this quagmire because a nation that cannot feed itself has a long way to go in terms of institutional and industrial development.
“So, like I said, I will not be too quick to say what I am going to do in office, but I have a general picture. Mr. President has cast the vision; all of us that are appointees of government have the singular responsibility to ensure that we run with that vision.
“He has made it plain and whichever vision that has been made plain for those that are being charged with responsibilities, we are supposed to run with that vision to ensure that at the end of the day the dividends of democracy is delivered to the people of Nigeria”.
NIWA Urges New SGF To Keep The Flag Flying
Meanwhile, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity he availed its outgoing Managing Director, Boss Mustapha, to serve the country as Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).
NIWA urged Mustapha who, until he was appointed SGF on Monday, was its managing director to keep the flag of hard work and dedication flying in new office.
The general manager, Corporate Affairs Department of NIWA, Tayo Fadile, who stated this yesterday in an exclusive interview with Journalists in Lokoja, said he was not surprised at the appointment of Mustapha as the SGF.
He said, “We at NIWA saw in him a workaholic, a man who has passion for the work he does. Sometimes, he works late into the night and the people around him were happy to remain till he closes.
“He has worked himself to withstand all pressures and it will not be difficult for him to fit into the current position which is completely all demanding”.
It was gathered that Boss Mustapha brought so many innovations to NIWA to make it self-sustaining like the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), with a view to generating revenue for the Authority without being dependent.
While hoping that the Act he sponsored to House of Representatives will receive the needed attention, Fadile expressed confidence that Mustapha would use his new office to support the Act to make NIWA independent, pointing out that similar people-oriented Acts would work out during Mustapha’s tenure as SGF.
“Boss Gida Mustapha who has shown much passionate interest in the development of NIWA, with vast public sector experience, will be greatly missed but thank God he has moved to a greater position”.