President Muhammadu Buhari says he will no longer nominate people he does not personally know for ministerial positions.
In a maiden meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, Buhari also said that only those tested and capable of delivering on assigned mandates will make the ministerial list.
At the meeting held at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday night, Buhari said he was under intense pressure to constitute the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He however said despite the pressure, only those with track records, honesty and credibility would be appointed.
“Many at this dinner meeting are saying they want to see the list of the proposed cabinet so that they can go on leave peacefully.
“I’m very much aware about it; I’m under tremendous pressure on it. But the last cabinet which I headed, most of them, the majority of them I didn’t know them. I had to accept the names and recommendations from the party and other individuals.
“I worked with them for three and half years at least – meeting twice or two weeks in a month. So I know them.
“But, this time around I’m going to be quiet me – me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know,’’ he said.
He, therefore, enjoined the lawmakers to partner with the executive arm in leaving good legacies for the country as his administration was on its last lap.
The president advised the National Assembly to always avoid comparing their parliamentary procedures with that of advanced democracies such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting, refuted media report quoting him as saying that President Buhari would submit the ministerial list to the senate this week.
He said: “Let me take the opportunity to correct that. A senator raised a point of order under personal explanation.
“He said we should be sent the list of the ministers by the executive arm of government and in my response I said the executive is working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this administration work is going to be transmitted and we could even receive it this week.
“We could’ is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that others at the meeting included the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other presidential aides also attended the meeting.