President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he has not set any timeline for forwarding the subsequent lists of his ministerial nominees to the Senate.
This is even as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is expected to unveil the ministerial list submitted by the president last week for screening and confirmation.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, stated last night that no one could tell when the next list would be sent to the Senate.
Buhari had also in his October 1 Independence Anniversary broadcast promised that subsequent lists of his ministerial nominees would be sent to the upper legislative chamber in due course.
Speaking to our correspondent on the telephone, the presidential spokesman said though there was no time-frame for sending subsequent lists to the Senate, it would be done very soon.
“There is no time-line on that [the transmission of subsequent lists of ministerial nominees’ names], but it is going to be very soon,” Adesina said.
The presidential aide parried a question on how many ministers would be in Buhari’s cabinet.
“By the time the names of the ministerial nominees already sent to the Senate are read, and subsequent lists get there, you will know the number of ministers the president will have,” he said.
Adesina also tactically declined comment on how many ministries the country would have when President Buhari’s plan to prune down their number takes effect.
“By the time you know the number of ministers, you will then know the number of ministries,” Adesina simply said.
When the ministerial list was submitted by Chief of staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, Senate president had said he would unwrap the parcel during today’s sitting.
In a telephone interview yesterday, the Chairman of the Senate adhoc committee on publicity, Dino Melaye confirmed that the list would be unveiled today.
He also said the mode and time of the screening would be adopted during today’s plenary.
“The Senate president will in addition to opening the parcel, will announce the procedure and time for the screening of the nominees. We have not received any other list from the President aside from that of last Wednesday,” he said.
Also, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North) said they would be guided by the Constitution and the rules of the Senate in screening the nominees.
“This time around we have resolved to be stringent, we are going to be sure that whoever is coming as the minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be somebody that can be relied upon and somebody that would have met the constitutional requirements. We will stick to the rules, “he said.
According to him, President Buhari must appear before the Senate for screening. Buhari had announced his intention to man the Ministry of Petroleum.
“I don’t think the president’s name will be on the list and I also don’t think that the president will say he is a minister because if you are a minister one of the conditions is that you must be subjected to screening and approval of the senate,” he said.
But the Senate Deputy leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah said the laws do not require the President to appear before the senate for screening.
“The laws do not require Mr. President to appear before us because he already has the mandate of Nigerians,” he said.
Also, leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume said due process would be followed in the screening.
According to him, the senate is not going to introduce anything to make it difficult for the nominees but that only due process would be followed.
Other senators contacted on the method to be adopted for the screening said, the era of “take a bow and go” is gone.