Monday, 2 November 2015

SEE What Presidency Says About Ministers Public Assets Declare

The new ministers to be inaugurated soon may not be compelled to publicly declare their assets as President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo did, presidency sources have disclosed.

Many of the ministers-designate were at the weekend wary of the issue as a number of them were miffed when they were asked on the issue.

The minister-designate from Nasarawa, Ibrahim Jibrin, who was the only one that was forthcoming on it, however, pledged to abide by whatever instruction was handed out by the presidency on the issue.

Ministerial screeningPresident Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo had last August made a public declaration of their assets in line with a now contentious pledge given by one of the support groups of their presidential campaign.

That same support group had in their campaign material also affirmed that Buhari, if elected President, would not just make a public declaration of his assets, but would also require his appointees to do same.

A high ranking presidency official, asked yesterday if the presidency would require the ministers-designate to make public their declared assets, said the ministers to-be would not be subjected above constitutional requirements.

He said: “What does the law require? Whatever the law requires is what we expect them to be doing? Does the law require it?”

Reminded that the President went above the law, he said: “Well, that is the President on his own volition.”

Yesterday, several of the ministers-designate shied away from the question, some even aggressively.

However, in a written response to Vanguard, Jibrin, who noted that he believes in the present administration and its cardinal objective of zero tolerance for corruption, stressed that as a minister, he would join the President to pursue this and ensure that it was achieved for the country.

The minister-designate said that if President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo could declare their assets, what would stop him as one of those that will drive the manifesto from declaring his assets too.