The wait is over. Five months after he swore the oath of office and became Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari will formally inaugurate his widely anticipated cabinet on Wednesday 11th November 2015. Before then, he is expected to swear-in the new chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, as well as the new national commissioners.
Buhari had promised Nigerians that he will have a cabinet in place by September, but failed to send a list to the national assembly until the last day of the month of September, while the senate conducted a screening exercise for the nominees in October, culminating in the confirmation of Pres. Buhari’s 36 ministerial nominees. The list of confirmed ministers was submitted to the president last week by senate president Bukola Saraki.
Confirming the news, Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president,said, “Yes, it is on the President’s schedule. He will swear in the ministers on Wednesday. He will swear in the INEC chairman and his national commissioners on Monday.”
Last Thursday and Friday, the president had organised a retreat for the incoming cabinet members where they were given insights on the current state of the economy as well as handling their key relationships among themselves,as well as with their permanent secretaries and directors. One of the issues expected to be cleared on Wednesday is whether all 36 ministers-designate will get cabinet positions. The president had seemed to imply in a recent interview that not everyone will have a portfolio even though they will serve in the cabinet.
Shehu claimed ignorance on that matter,telling The Punch newspaper that “Everything will be clear latest by Wednesday when the ministers will be sworn in.”