President Muhammadu Buhari is expecting an official communication from the National Assembly to enable him to inaugurate his ministers designate and assign ministries to them, his Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, has said.
Many had expected Buhari to inaugurate his cabinet on Wednesday to mark the beginning of the weekly Federal Executive Council.
But Enang, who addressed journalists in Abuja, said, “The President upon receipt of the communication from the National Assembly will, on a date he will fix, notify the screened and cleared nominees and inaugurate them as appropriate.”
He said the President did not assign portfolios to the ministerial nominees because the constitution did not ask him to do so.
He said, “You are saying that the President should have attached portfolios. I am sure from 1999 to 2019, this question has been asked. This means that the question has been asked for the past 20 years.
“The constitution says that the President shall appoint persons as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subject to confirmation by the Senate. The constitution does not oblige the President or a governor to attach a ministry or a portfolio in his nomination to the legislature.”
The presidential aide added, “Portfolios may change and the structure of government may not be the same as it were. When a minister is screened and cleared, he is assigned a portfolio.
“It may arise during the course of his assignment, the President or the governor may decide to reassign him to another ministry. If you assign (a portfolio) and the person is screened in respect of that portfolio, that means the President may have to send the name back to the Senate for screening or for confirmation.
“That is why the constitution does not make it mandatory to assign portfolios while sending it (list) to the legislature. Therefore the President has not done anything wrong.”
The Senate screened the 43 nominees sent by the President and cleared all of them by Monday.