Following the conclusion of the screening of the ministerial nominees by the upper legislative chamber, President Mohammadu Buhari is expected to declare open a two day retreat, for the ministerial designates today.
The retreat is expected to commence today through Friday, and would hold at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Confirming this to newsmen Tuesday night, Special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina said, “The retreat would open tomorrow in the villa”.
It is believed that the retreat is a confirmation that the inauguration of the ministers would hold soon.
Meanwhile, Buhari on Tuesday, reiterated that not all ministers in his cabinet would get portfolios, as some ministers would only be attending cabinet meetings as representatives of their states.
Buhari who made the revelation while receiving the list of ministerial designate from the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said his decision was based on the current economic realities, noting that while the constitution made it mandatory to appoint ministers from the 36 states, it did not say there must be 36 ministries.
He said: “I thank you, the President of the Senate, for the work of the Senate leadership in our strive to follow the constitutional provision that the President should submit the names of those he wants to form the cabinet.
“If I can remember, there must be a member from each of the 36 states. That was why I limited the number of my nominees to that number, 36.
“The Senate worked extremely hard and they have passed all the nominees. I think there is some enthusiasm in some parts of the Presidency today that portfolios are to be given to the 36.
“The constitution certainly said there must be one member of the cabinet from all the states but the constitution did not say I must have 36 ministries.
“I will explain that details. Because of the economic imperative, to have a lot of ministers, substantive ministers, let me put it that way, whatever somebody speculated in some of today’s (Tuesday’s) newspapers, I think that the economy as I have seen it now since my sitting here for the last four months, that we are so much battered.
“Mr. Senate President, I thank you very much for leading the Senate to do this hard work technically within record time.
‘’I assure you that we will follow the constitution and all the 36 will be sitting in the cabinet as the constitution stipulates.”
On the remarks by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which alleged that he was ‘demarketing’ the country through his negative utterances on the nation’s economy, Buhari said, “Although some people are saying I am giving bad publicity and scaring away investors.
‘’Any investor who is interested in investing in Nigeria will seem to know more about the economy more than ourselves. So when I come and tell the truth about the position of the economy of the country, I am going out looking for investors.
“But I am confirming to them that we are truthful, that we need them to come and help us by getting involved in industries, manufacturing and services.
“They know our needs. The economy of human resources, I believe will make them eventually come and help us.”