Portfolio or not, ministers can function, Ngige says

Ngige booed trying to defend Buhari’s appointments

A minister-designate, Senator Chris Ngige has stated that the ongoing debate over the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that not all ministers would be assigned portfolios was not necessary.

According to him, with or without portfolios, it is the responsibility of all ministers to join hands and move the nation forward.

Ngige spoke on Friday with State House correspondents at the end of a two-day presidential retreat organised for ministers-designate by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

He said, “If you have portfolio, if you don’t have portfolio, it is one single Federal Executive Council. You bring whatever it is on the table. That is not a problem at all.

“We have the right to discuss things around the ministries because it is one single cabinet. The important thing is that we want to move our people from where they are now, they are in abject poverty which concerns about 75 percent of the populace.

“So, we need to actually restructure the political and social moment of the country and that is what we are going to do. That means poverty will reduce.”

Read also: Buhari set to inaugurate cabinet, holds retreat (Photos)

Senator Ngige also disclosed that because of the resolve by the present administration to run a lean economy, members of the soon-to-be constituted Federal Executive Council would serve without some perks of office associated with past government officials.

He said ministers would not operate with huge retinue of aides and large convoys of vehicles.

The retreat with the theme “Delivering Change: From Precepts to Practice,” was held behind closed-doors inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Ngige said it was the desire of the present administration to block all leakages in the economy.

“Yes, we shall operate a lean economy because we are going to block areas of leakages, retinue of aides, protocol staff, large convoys of cars are things that will not fly in this administration,” he said.

The retreat, which started on Thursday, was rounded off on Friday.

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