The Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) on Monday said that delay in constituting the federal cabinet might put the nation’s economy in another recession.
Mr Sesugh Akume, National Spokesman for the party, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was critical to have a cabinet in place to play its role of policy formulation and overseeing implementation.
According to Akume, if by now President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to constitute his next cabinet, it portends great danger for the nation’s economy.
“It has been a month since the president took his oath of office for a second term and expected that his cabinet, both names with portfolios for the second term would be ready.
“Now that the 9th National Assembly has been constituted and convened, it is expected that it will be ready for possible confirmation hearings before going for their usual recess.
“Unfortunately, it is not so, it appears that nothing was learnt from the errors of the past, whereby it took six months to come up with a cabinet.
“The late appointment of ministers in November 2015, six months after inauguration was why much could not be done in 2015, and by 2016 the economy began growing negatively.
“It did so for six months and by June 30 of 2016, Nigeria’s economy was formally in a recession. We have never fully recovered from that incidence, ” he said.
Akume urged Buhari to prioritise the constitution of his next cabinet, especially in the light of the huge insecurity issues and the tough state of the country’s economy.
“Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor who is also the head of the country’s monetary policy has informed us ahead of time that we are facing a likely recession.
“I will appeal that this concern raised by the CBN governor be attended to with all sense of urgency, ” he said.
Akume lamented that some of Buhari’s appointees in his first term were still acting illegally
According to him, members of the president’s cabinet ceased to be his appointees by midnight of May 29, when his first term of four years expired.
“The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff, spokesman and media advisers are all acting illegally, signing documents illegally.
“The Constitution in Sections 151(3); 152; 171(6); 172 is very clear about this. The president’s term ended last May 28 at 11:59 p.m, that’s why he needed a new oath.
“The same way, if he is retaining his staff, he must reappoint them, they will again have files at the Code of Conduct Bureau, etc. not doing so is a violation of the law.
“For ministers, there’s no law he’s violating, only setting the country up for a hard time ahead.
“But on the issue of his other appointees, he is in contravention of the law, the same law that created the office he is occupying today,” Akume said.