Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The inaugural meeting of the Federal Executive Council did not hold Wednesday due to the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently in Yokohama for the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).
The TICAD7 has the theme “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future.”
Buhari had last week sworn-in the ministers and assigned portfolios to them.
The ministers were charged to commence work on the 2020 budget proposal and get it ready before the National Assembly reconvenes from recess.
They were given two weeks to sign and return the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) forms to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Buhari had also reminded the ministers that the FEC meeting would be held every week.
He stated, “Dear honourable ministers, as you are aware, the Federal Executive Council Meeting is held on a weekly basis.
“As part of efforts towards ensuring effective delivery on our priorities, I have directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to track the progress against what we have committed to do to achieve these objectives.
“He is, therefore, expected to report the process of implementation and outcome to the Federal Executive Council.”
A source in the Presidency, who spoke off the record, said: “Being the first FEC meeting, ordinarily the President will like to preside over it to hear from the ministers on their first official engagements.
“Also, recall that upon inauguration last week, the ministers were given two weeks to complete the process of familiarising themselves with their ministries and to begin immediate work on the 2020 budget.”
Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, presided over the Economic Management meeting, largely attended by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies dealing with the economy and the finances of government.
The participants included the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, among others.