A chieftain of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kaduna State, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to drop non-performing ministers.
Mr. Baba-Ahmed gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Sunday.
He also urged the President to quickly push through, policies that would reduce current high level of poverty in the country.
Members of the federal cabinet celebrated their one year in office last week. An analysis on the performance of the Minister by PREMIUM TIMES showed that most of the ministers under performed in their functions.
The call by Mr. Baba- Ahmed is coming after similar appeals by an APC senator, Dino Melaye.
It equally follows a similar appeal by PREMIUM TIMES in its editorial of September 27, 2016.
According to the APC chieftain “If you go by the opinion of a lot of Nigerians, some of the ministers are just filling up space.
“There is a case to be made for the argument that the president should critically assess his ministers and remove those that he believes have not performed as well as they should,” he said.
He then called on Mr. Buhari to replace the non-performing Ministers “with people who will bring greater energy, greater vibe and greater imagination in managing scarcity and high expectations in the context in which we live.”
Mr. Baba-Ahmed said the level of poverty in Nigeria requires urgent solution, adding that government should continue to mobilise resources to tackle the problem.
He urged the president to come up with policies that in the short time, can alleviate the crushing poverty being experienced across the nation.
“There are a lot of people who feed only once a day, there is a lot of hunger, frustration and bitterness.
“If we have N500 billion in the presidency now waiting to be disbursed, one would like to see an imaginative and productive use of that money, so that it reaches people that need it to feed, pay school fees, pay medical bills, rent and to go to places where they can earn a living.
“Government must mobilize resources directly and make sure that it gets to the people,” he said.
The chieftain, a retired federal permanent secretary, also called for caution on the desirability or otherwise of obtaining about $30 billion loan by the Federal Government for infrastructure development.
“I don’t think that there is anything wrong in getting the loan, however, I do think that we should draw appropriate lessons from the past.
“We borrowed money in the past and we paid a huge amount of interest and we haven’t seen the benefit directly from those loans that we repaid.
“I think that this particular loan has to be scrutinised, has to be rigorously interrogated by the National Assembly, and if they are convinced, then we should go ahead and get it.
“What is important is that the President needs to improve the manner he engages Nigerians in explaining to them why he needs to borrow $30 billion dollars, what are the benefits, what are the possible draw backs.
“Because this money, as I said before, is being borrowed for our children not for ourselves, it is important that we don’t leave them a legacy of huge debt,” he said.
Recall that Mr. Melaye, while making a similar, asked Mr. Buhari to take measures to remedy what he described as a “debilitating economic malaise” that is drifting Nigeria towards a “dangerous precipice.”
Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi State, said the time to take “drastic” measures to save the economy has come.
He asked the president to dismiss the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.
In PREMIUM TIMES editorial in September, we urged the president make changes in his cabinet if he must rekindle the badly needed investor confidence.
We highlighted that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s uninspiring record of performance, as well as his numerous ethical and corruption scandals that appear to have been swept under the carpet, constitute a key factor militating against foreign investor confidence in the Nigerian economy.
According to the editorial ” PREMIUM TIMES strongly believes that there is a need to bring in more renowned, experienced and highly reputed technocrats to lead the CBN and the federal ministries of Finance and National Planning
“Considering the dwindling confidence investors have in our economy, it is necessary that replacements for these positions to be persons with significant international name recognition, intellectual and professional stature and networks in international development finance and global capital markets; for this is what bolsters international confidence in practice.”