Former governor of Anambra State and a minister-designate, Senator Chris Ngige, said ministers would not operate with huge retinue of aides and large convoys of vehicles as a result of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to run a lean economy .
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of a two-day presidential retreat organised for ministers-designate by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, with the theme “Delivering Change: From Precepts to Practice,” Ngige said the President has resolved to block all leakages in the economy.
“Yes, we shall operate a lean economy because we are going to block areas of leakages, retinue of aides, protocol staff, large convoys of cars are things that will not fly in this administration,” he said.
On President Buhari’s statement that not all ministers would be assigned portfolios, Ngige said the most important thing was for all ministers to join hands and move the nation forward.
He said, “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 the 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.”
Meanwhile, the retreat, was declared closed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, behind closed doors.
The Friday session started with a directive to all ministers-designate to treat all papers delivered at the two-day retreat as confidential, hence they should not be made available to the media.