President Muhammadu Buhari will not be Minister of Petroleum Resources despite announcing that he would take the position, his spokesman, Femi Adesina, has clarified.
“He can’t be president and oil minister at the same time”, Adesina said on Monday in Abuja. “He will supervise the ministry, so there will be no petroleum minister. Maybe he will appoint a minister of state, which is a junior minister”.
There was uproar across the country when Buhari announced during his official trip to New York for the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly that he would be petroleum minister.
The Senate will begin the process of screening Buhari’s ministerial nominees on Tuesday. The upper chamber had last week unveiled 21 names as ministers-designate.
Also responding to fears that some states, whose nominees were not among the 21 announced last week by the Senate, would be shortchanged, Adesina assured that under the constitution, Buhari must pick a minister from each of Nigeria’s 36 states.
“He will not submit the rest of the nominees to politicians until they have finished screening the first list”, the presidential spokesman said.