Saturday, October 1



Ministers took charge four months ago

Economy to top Independence Day broadcast

PDP was reckless with corruption –President

Indications have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari is not ready to make any changes in his cabinet. There have however been calls by concerned Nigerians for the President to appoint competent individuals that will assist him deliver.

A competent presidency source yesterday confirmed to our correspondent that President Buhari believes in the capacity of his ministers and the Economic Management Team (EMT) to deliver on their mandates of transforming the country.

The source who prefers anonymity told Saturday Telegraph that those calling for rejiging of the cabinet have no justification and are only being impatient with the government. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate Committee Chairman on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Dino Melaye are among many Nigerians that have challenged the President to reshuffle his cabinet.

The two law makers recently demanded the sack or redeployment of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma and his Finance counterpart, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, describing them as incompetent and lacking in vision to come up with policies that could assist the country get out of the current economic recession.

According to the presidency source, President Buhari knows that his ministers became fully in charge of their respective ministries only four months ago and would not have performed magic as expected in some quarters within a very short time.

“The 2016 budget is not President Buhari’s budget. He cannot really assess the ministers based on this particular budget. “They effectively took charge in the last four months, so it is not possible to assess them based on that,” the source explained.

On whether today’s broadcast to mark the country’s 56th Independence anniversary by the President will feature a major shakeup in the cabinet, the source said “the President’s speech on the Independence Day celebration will primarily focus on the economy.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has again raised concerns over the 16-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), insisting that it was characterised by reckless corruption which plunged the nation into its current economic recession.

The President’s statement is coming despite wide criticism that he has focused on accusing the past government rather than concentrating on evolving new policies that would grow the economy and improve the quality of lives of the citizens.

Speaking Thursday night at the a conversation with creative youths shortly after a photo exhibition and book launch in his honour at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President noted that the massive corruption and mismanagement laid the foundation for recession.

The book which featured pictorials chronicling events that led to the emergence of Buhari as President in 2015 was put together by his personal photographer, Mr. Bayo Omoboriowo. He said: “I am going to bore you with what we met, I know I’m being accused in the newspaper of passing the buck but passing the buck is sometimes absolutely necessary, to remind people who take things for granted.

“When we came in by some unfortunate coincidence, I screamed to high heavens because I had promised a lot, I said where is the savings? But there was no savings. There was no infrastructure, power, rails, roads, there was none. “My dear countrymen especially the youth, you have a fantastic country, God has endowed Nigeria with human and material resources.

“What did we spend the money on? I was told buying food and petrol, where were the billions going? We conducted a study and found out that the oil marketers were committing fraud on at least one third of what they were importing, which is about 25 per cent of our foreign exchange. “The youth must watch our elites, the condition we found ourselves, it is unpatriotic for anybody to pretend that economically we have no the tenure of problem.

“We have gone into the farms, I congratulate some of the governors and by the grace of God by the end of this government we will be exporting rice and grains.So all the money alleged to have been used to import will be available to sustain development.

“I have bored you with this long explanation because there are things that cannot be hidden from you by those that have mismanaged the country in the last 16 years,” he said. President Buhari further assured Nigerians that his administration would address some of the sundry challenges with focus on the provision of security, industrialisation, manufacturing and food among others.

“I said it many years ago and I still mean it, we have no other country than Nigeria, we will stay here and salvage it together,” President Buhari said.

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