A former governor of Anambra state, Chris Ngige has on Friday, November 6, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s new ministers will not be having a large retinue of aides, protocol and convoys, adding that its as a result of Nigeria’s “lean economy.”
This disclosure was made known at the end of a two-day retreat for the new ministers organised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
According to him, “Yes, 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.”
Speaking on lean government, he said, during the retreat Buhari had, told the ministers-designate that his administration would make running of government as lean as possible by avoiding waste and conserving resources.
He said: “You (ministers-designate) are coming on board the ship of governance at an interesting time. So much has been said about the state of our economy. It is expected that we make the running of government at all levels as lean as possible, avoid waste and conserve resources. As ministers, you must be the vehicle that will administer the change.”
Responding to questions from newsmen on the new ministers’ portfolio, Ngige, stated that it was not a problem if a minister had no portfolio in the administration of President Buhari.
“No, no, no. 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 a 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,” Ngige said.
The theme of the two-day ministerial retreat, which was held at the Old Banquet Hall of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, was “Delivering Change: From Precepts to Practice” and it ended with no communique issued.