The All Progressives Congress has assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari would appoint his ministers this September as promised.
This is contrary to the widespread speculations that the president would not unveil the list of his long-awaited cabinet next month.
Speaking with the Leadership, the National Publicity secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that only president Buhari knew those he would appoint as he had decided to keep it ‘to his chest.’
He said, “We will wait for September, and whatever else anyone has said is just innuendos. I don’t know why Nigerians are in such a hurry. If a man has a mandate for 48 months, I don’t think it is inordinate to spend four months. Who will get medal because he appointed ministers within record time? It is the quality of the ministers – when they are able to deliver – that the country judges him with.”
The party chieftain stressed that the president should not be put under pressure to name ministers as the citizens will hold him responsible if he appoint wrong people into his cabinet.
“We have seen people that appointed ministers in the first month, what happened to them at the end of the day?” He queried.
On who and who may make the list and the condition with which they may be appointed, Mohammed said: “I know that there are informal meetings going on daily between the president and leaders of the party. I don’t think there is anywhere either at NEC, NWC or Caucus that anybody has discussed the issue of ministers. The president I know has kept this thing very close to his chest.
“The constitution says there would be federal character in the appointment of ministers and I think the president is not going to violate the constitution.”
On the party’s position on subsidy removal, he said “if our refineries work, we will import less refined products. If you import less refined products, and if in truth there is fuel subsidy, you will pay much less. There is a lot within the mathematics of subsidy that we don’t understand.”
He stated that crude oil, according to former minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, accounts for 80 per cent of the landing cost of refined products and, therefore, “if you are sending crude at $100 per barrel, your refined products would be more expensive than if you are sending crude at $50 per barrel; it is common sense.
“If the cost of crude accounts for 80 per cent of the landing cost of the refined product, therefore, the higher the cost of crude, the higher the cost of refined product and the higher the so-called subsidy.
“What happens when your crude has plummeted to $50? One would also expect that the landing cost would go down by 50 per cent. But now, they now bring in this factor of your currency, saying it is not going down because your currency has also been devalued.
“What we have now decided to do is that the government has now put some 41 items out of the foreign exchange list. In other words, you can bring these 41 items to Nigeria – they are not banned, but you can only source your foreign exchange from other source,” he added.