President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja said that the list of nominees to fill the vacant ministerial positions would be forwarded to the Senate when it resumed Tuesday.
Jonathan said this when he received a delegation of PDP leaders from the North-West geopolitical zone led by former Minister of Defence, Dr Haliru Mohammed.
He said the appointment of substantive ministers to the ministries being overseeing by Acting Ministers was overdue to address critical issues in those ministries.
Specifically, the president said he was yet to receive some briefing on desert encroachment which is critical to the administration because there was no substantive minister for the Ministry of Environment.
“We have agreed to tackle the issue of desert encroachment robustly. I am yet to get the last briefing on this and I believe it is because there is no substantive minister yet.
“Immediately the National Assembly resumes, they will get the list of ministers, so that we will get a law that will establish a body. We are no longer going to play with this”, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 11 ministerial positions are vacant for the president to nominate candidates for the Senate screening and approval.
Jonathan also said that N10 billion had been released from the Ecological Fund as a take-off for addressing the problem of desert encroachment in the North.
He said the focus would go beyond planting ordinary trees and grasses, but those with economic value that would create wealth.
“We will create an area where it will generate a lot of activities, stimulate the local economy so that people can convert their product to money and we will surely do that”, Jonathan stressed.
The president also corrected the erroneous media report that only two billion naira was budgeted for agriculture in the North, reports NAN.