President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government and Nigeria can not afford to pay forty two ministers and that not all the minister nominees that have been screened will have portfolios.
Moreso he went on to say that the country Nigeria was ‘material and morally vandalized’ and that he will reduce the numbers of ministries.
Buahri in an interview with Channels TV and Nigerian Television Authority in New Delhi in India said that he is working with a team of people introduced to him by others that he trust and must work with them.
Buhari while reacting to question on the the divide in the National Assembly over Rotimi Amaechi’s confirmation as minister said he did not walk into the presidency alone hence he can not work alone and that some of those having problems at the National Assembly he has never meet them.
‘This is team work I said I know people but there are people that I accept from other people in our team that I trust without even knowing them.
‘May be those that are having problem in the National Assembly I doubt if I have meet him in my life but then I am working with others.
‘I did not work into the presidency alone. I have to defend on all the three tiers of government from all part of the country.
Backing the 36 Minister nominees Buhari said that he can not work out outside the constitution and that ministers must be appointed in conformity with the constitution of the Federal Government in that ministerial appointment must reflect the 36 states of the country.
And that these minister nominees though representing their sates some will not have portfolios but will be part of his cabinet.
‘We can not work outside constitution there must be a cabinet representative from each state.
‘There use to be forty two minister but I think we can bearly keep half of that now because we can not afford it.
‘Other may not be substantive ministers but they will seat in the cabinet because that is what the constitution said and we can’t operate outside the constitution
‘We are reducing the number of ministries we can’t afford to pay.
Buhari in the interview also said that the country has no money to pay salaries as the government had to seek the Central Bank governor to look for ways to pay states workers’ salaries.
‘Where is the money? Do you know the Federal Government has to help twenty seven states out of thirty six to pay salaries?.
‘Nigeria can not pay salaries Nigeria had to summon the Governor of the Central Bank to see how it could pay salaries not to talk of projects, agreement signed with foreign countries, counter funding and so on. The country was material vandalized and morally so.
On his ambition to see that the dreaded Boko Haram group is crushed by December the president said that his is optimistic on the capabitiy of the military and other government agencies in crushing the terrorists and feels sorry for those who think otherwise or have given up on wining the war against terrorist.
“I am an optimistic person. I am sorry for those who have already given up. I remain confident that our military and other law enforcement agencies are more than equal to the task.
“Don’t forget that I made an earlier statement to the effect that the Nigerian military and police earned accolades all over the world: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, etc.
“They earned international respect and then here you are, the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies could not secure 14 local governments out of 774 until the government was changed.