President Muhammadu Buhari says some of the ministerial nominees will end up “sitting” in federal executive council sessions rather emerging substantive ministers.
In an interactive session with journalists in New Delhi, capital of India, on Friday, Buhari lamented state of the economy, saying: “The government is broke”.
“There used to be 42 ministers but we will be lucky if we can have half of that now, others may not be substantive ministers but they will sit in the cabinet because that is what the constitution says and we cannot work outside the constitution.
“Where is the money? Nigeria cannot pay salaries. The federal government had to assist 27 out of the 36 states to pay salaries… The country was materially and morally vandalised.”
On how he arrived at his choice of ministers, Buhari said his previous attempts at leading the country in a democratic dispensation made him know those who are reliable and capable.
“How many times did I attempt to be the president of Nigeria? How many times did I end up in the Supreme Court? Does is it mean every time, I don’t know people in this country?
“I know people who we were going together but fell by the wayside because it was too tough. You know I contested in 2003, 2007, 2011. I think Nigerians should stop taking things for granted as far as we are concerned.”
Buhari also commended India for setting aside a grant of $10 billion for African countries, adding that the assistance will go a long way in helping to shape the continent.
He said he had been able to facilitate some deals that will end up benefitting the country by alleviating unemployment and serving as a boost to the economy.