Presidency yet to received list of ministerial nominees ― Senator Ita Enang

The Presidency has not received the list of the 43 ministerial nominees cleared by the Senate, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said on Wednesday.

The Senate had on Tuesday concluded the process of screening and confirmation of the nominees.

Asked by reporters when President Muhammadu Buhari would constitute his cabinet, Senator Enang said it was subject to when the Presidency received correspondence from the Senate.

He said: “The President upon receipt of the communication from the National Assembly will on a date he will fix and notify the screened and cleared nominee inaugurate them as appropriate.”

Senator Enang further justified the practice of sending the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate without their portfolios attached.

He said: “You are saying that the President should have attached portfolios. I am sure from 1999 – 2000 this question has been asked. And so this question has been asked for the past 20 years and it is under the 1999 constitution and the constitution says that the President shall appoint persons as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, subject to confirmation of the Senate.

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“The constitution did not oblige the President or a governor to attach a ministry or a portfolio in his nomination to the legislature. The reason is the candidate is screened and cleared as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is not cleared as a Minister of Education or Minister of Health or Industry.

“And of course, portfolios may change and the structure of government may not be the same as it were. Again when a minister is screened and cleared, he is assigned a portfolio.

“It may arise in the course of his assignment the president or the governor decides to reassign him to another ministry at that time if you assign and the person is screened and in respect of that portfolio, that means the President may have to send the name again back to the Senate for screening or for confirmation.

“That is why the constitution did not make it mandatory to assign portfolio while sending it to the legislature. Therefore, the President has not done anything wrong.”

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