Why i slashed the number of Federal ministries to 25 – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday swore in 36 ministers to form his cabinet at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa and assigned them portfolios.
The swearing-in, which was done in nine batches, was witnessed by two guests of each of the appointees, some governors and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The president, who also takes charge of the Ministry of Petroleum as substantive Minister, described the event as a milestone and added that since his inauguration in May, he had been optimistic of bringing high quality persons into his cabinet.
He said the choice was deliberate to appoint square pegs in square holes to avoid the mistake of appointing those who would not perform.
“We are optimistic that bringing these set of ministers into the service of our country today, is a step in the right direction and timely move towards realising our positive goals for our country.
“Since we assumed office in May, I had been mindful of the need to ensure that the appointment of new ministers translate into a round pegs in round holes while showing sensitivity to our diversity as a people and our various positions as groups of stakeholders of our country.
“I have also been conscious of the need not to repeat such mistakes of the past where the right people were allocated the wrong portfolios which translated into their performing poorly to our collective detriment despite their obvious capability,” he said.
The president said the government would continue to implement its policies decisively.
The president said the government was determined to diversify the economy to make the agriculture and solid mineral sectors major revenue earners.
“The primary aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of rice, wheat and to become a major consumer and exporter of those items as well as solid minerals,’’ Mr. Buhari said.
He said the administration would pursue policies that would generate employment, improve security, tackle corruption and rout Boko Haram insurgency and other social vices.
The president said his administration had made progress in its short period, which should be taken as indication that more could be achieved through common resolve and patriotism by all.
He said the introduction of the Treasury Single Account had conserved foreign exchange and made money available for governance.
The president added that the Central Bank of Nigeria had implemented specific policies to strengthen the naira and preserve foreign reserves.
He said the administration was poised to sustain economic growth through transparent governance, which had led to a reduction of “cynicism” about government.
After the inauguration, the Federal Executive Council held its inaugural meeting.