President Muhammadu Buhari’s incoming ministers concluded a two-day retreat in Abuja on November 6 with orders dished out to them on how to cut down cost of running their ministries, including drastic reduction in size of vehicular convoys.
The ministers-designate are also expected to reduce their entourage of aides and protocol officers.
Chris Ngige, a former governor of Anambra state and one of members of Buhari’s cabinet, associated the cutting down on aides to “lean economy”.
He said: “Yes, lean economy because we are going to block areas of leakages. Retinue of aides, protocol staff, and large convoys of cars are things that will not fly in this administration.”
Ngige’s comments came at the end of a two-day retreat for the new ministers provided by the Office of the Secretary to the government of the federation.
Answering to the questions of the journalists he also noted that it was not a problem if a minister had no portfolio in the government of Buhari.
Ngige added that it is one single cabinet and all ministers have a right to discuss issues around ministries.
“No, no, no. If you have portfolio, if you don’t have portfolio, it is one single federal executive council. You bring whatever it is on the table. That is not a problem at all. We have a right to discuss things around the ministries because it is one single cabinet.
“The important thing is that we want to move our people from where they are now, they are in abject poverty which concerns about 75 percent of the populace. So, we need to actually restructure the political and social moment of the country, and that is what we are going to do. That means poverty will reduce,” the new minister said.
The two-day ministerial retreat was held behind closed-doors and it ended with no communique issued.
Buhari had, while declaring the retreat open on November 5, told the incoming ministers that his government would make running of government as lean as possible by evading waste and conserving resources.