Reducing cabinet will affect performance, Tinubu insists

President Bola Tinubu has justified his cabinet of 47 ministers saying the number reflects the diversity of roles required to run an efficient government.

The president expressed doubt about reducing his cabinet, saying no guarantee this would boost performance

He also urged the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria to propagate the message of tolerance and hope amongst Nigerians, warning that the opposite could damage the country beyond repair.

Tinubu, who emphasised the role of faith leaders in fostering unity and peace in the country, also said his administration would not relent in addressing corruption and other vices as such endeavour sets the country right for the prosperity of all Nigerians.

“If you combine too many ministries because you want to save money, you will have a future of non-performance and no results,” Tinubu said when he received a delegation of the CAN, led by its President, Daniel Okoh, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this in a statement he signed on Monday titled, ‘President Tinubu to can leadership: we will continue to fight corruption; Nigeria is ours to fix.

Tinubu acknowledged criticisms over his heavily-staffed cabinet. However, he said merging portfolios would only heap some officials with more burdens than they can bear.

Former Presidents Muhammadu Buhari, Goodluck Jonathan, Umaru Yar’Adua, and Olusegun Obasanjo had maintained relatively smaller cabinets. In his first and second tenure, Buhari appointed 36 and 42 ministers respectively.

In 2011, his predecessor, Jonathan, named 33 ministerial-nominees, retaining nine persons from the Yar’Adua administration.

In 2007, Yar’Adua appointed 39 persons into his cabinet. Obasanjo initially named 42 ministers in 1999 but later shed two roles. He also reduced the number of ministries to 20 before the end of his tenure in 2007.

However, President Tinubu named 48 ministers, the highest in Nigeria’s 24-year return to democracy.

Justifying this move, he said, “I have had a number of criticisms, including the rationale behind the size of my cabinet. If you want efficient, mobile, and resourceful people, we have to give people a load they can carry.”

“If you combine too many ministries because you want to save money, you will have a future of non-performance and no results.

“Nigeria needs to turn the corner to grow, and we must give people challenges they can manage, and that is what we are doing,” the President added.

President Tinubu also called on Christian leaders to support the administration’s ongoing fight against corruption by encouraging Nigerians to have a change of mindset on money-related matters.

He said, “Let us dialogue because public condemnation of a nation is not what makes any citizen a good one.

“We must admonish Nigerians to have a change of mindset and not to make money our god or master. I believe we will get to the Promised Land, and Nigeria will flourish.”

The President also called for inputs from the clergy saying his administration will continue to maintain its open-door policy.

“We are here to listen, and if you observe any inadequacies in my government, let us know. I am here today because of your prayers and the will of God Almighty. What I have challenged myself to do each day is to be fair to all Nigerians.”

In his remarks, Okoh urged President Tinubu not to relent in providing good governance by ensuring security, inclusivity, and peaceful co-existence in the country.

He said, “You have extended a hand of fellowship to us, and we embrace you and your family with the love of Christ and promise to partner with you in nation-building, for the task is quite daunting. You will not stumble, and you will not fall.

“We believe that you have the sagacity to give leadership in battling our challenges and turning around the fortunes of our nation, Nigeria, within a short time. You have shown that you are a listening leader, and we appreciate this.

“CAN has maintained an active presence at all levels, from the national to the grassroots, and we have remained non-partisan. You will always find our association as a ready and willing partner in nation-building.”

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