Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila, has explained the rationale behind the President’s decision not to attach specific portfolios to the list of ministerial nominees submitted to the Senate on Thursday.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this to State House correspondents on Thursday at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, while attaching portfolios would have been a welcomed approach, President Tinubu chose to maintain flexibility in assigning roles within the government.
“For me, that would have been one way to go about it, it would have been a welcomed development. As good as that sounds, it straitjackets the President to pigeonhole one person in an office or the other,” Gbajabiamila explained.
He further elaborated on the potential challenges associated with attaching specific portfolios to the nominees.
He said President Tinubu wanted to retain the freedom to assess the nominees’ suitability for particular roles and, if necessary, adjust their assignments to ensure optimal functionality within the government.
“What happens then if you change your mind? Do you then bring the person back for screening again, because the President is at liberty to change his mind,” he added.\
He emphasised that the President and his team were currently reviewing the nominees and their prospective portfolios while the screening process is underway.
According to him, this approach allows them to carefully consider how each nominee’s skills, expertise, and background align with the various ministerial positions.
He reassured that the President had meticulously vetted each nominee, ensuring they possess the necessary qualifications to contribute effectively to the country’s progress.
“The first step that he has done is that these are people that can work wherever you put them, except in specialized fields like Attorney-General and what have you. But in the main, in most of the portfolios, he believes most of them can fit in anywhere,” Gbajabiamila stated.
Gbajabiamila revealed that President Tinubu intended to restructure some ministries and may even establish new stand-alone ministries.
He said this move adds to the complexity of attaching specific portfolios beforehand, as the reorganization process might
necessitate reshuffling roles.
While the National Assembly’s approval was still pending, expectations are that the nominees will hit the ground running even before their formal confirmation.
Gbajabiamila revealed that some individuals have been actively contributing advice to the President, even in the anticipation of their confirmation, as there is no time to waste in the pursuit of the government’s goals.
“I’m sure there will be those who will be working behind the scenes, giving him advice, you know, even now, before confirmation, in anticipation of confirmation because there’s no time to waste,” Gbajabiamila stated.