Nigeria’s economy on standstill as Buhari delays ministerial appointments

Reminiscent of what happened in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari took four months to appoint his minister, he seems to be gearing up to extend the record not minding the ripple effects on the fragile economy.

The delay in the appointment of ministers is apparently a classic case of the past repeating itself. In other words, it is reminiscent of 2015, the same year that eased the country’s economy into recession.

Without the appointment of Ministers, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies cannot access funds because of the low approval limits of Permanent Secretaries. The capital dilemma is apparently affecting them all and restricting work on on-going projects; including those which are considered critical projects.

Also, the President’s failure to appoint his Ministers on time is fueling uncertainty among investors. Usually, the stock markets respond either positively or negatively to pre and post-election activities.

Therefore, in view of the low growth already projected for Nigeria’s economy, coupled with the delay in the appointment of critical Ministries, investors’ confidence has continued to be affected. In all, the delay will affect the implementation of policies.

President Buhari’s second term began in May 2019. Almost three months on, there is no Ministerial list yet. President Buhari is not in a rush.

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, had hinted that President Buhari will submit his Ministerial list this week. However, that might no longer be the case because the President is reportedly fighting back the pressure that forced him into appointing his cabinet team within four months after inauguration four years ago.

According to him, he doesn’t want to make the same mistake he made in 2015, when was reportedly hastened into appointing those recommended by his party, the political party – the All Progressive Congress. Instead, he needs more time to select the right candidates for the job.

“I’m under tremendous pressure on it. But the last cabinet which I headed, most of them, the majority of them I didn’t know them. I had to accept the names and recommendations from the party and other individuals.

“I worked with them for three and a half years at least – meeting twice or two weeks in a month. So, I know them. But, this time around, I’m going to be me –me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know.”