President Muhammadu Buhari says his party didn’t
know what they were getting into before making so
much promises to Nigerians, and as such made life
difficult for themselves with the high expectations
from Nigerians because of the long list of promises
He said his party identified only three major
items…Security, Economy and Corruption.
Speaking on Monday when he hosted state house
correspondents at the presidential villa in Abuja,
Buhari said he and his cabinet members have been
doing their best to deliver the change which the All
Progressives Congress (APC) promised Nigerians
during the electioneering campaign.
The president described his ministers as
hardworking, saying they toil day and night to
ensure that his administration succeeds.
“One of the men I pity is Lai Mohammed.
Everyday he is on TV explaining our
performance or lack of it,” he said.
“The ministers sit down day and night to
work. Some of them have literarily lost
weight because they were sleeping less
and eating less (while working on the
budget). They were working on every kobo
to be spent.
“We recently just found out that we are
poor because we don’t have anything to
fall back to. This is the condition we found
ourselves and this change mantra had to
go through hell up till yesterday.
“And for you to talk to whoever came to
visit us throughout that year, I wonder
how each of your diaries would be,
because people were expecting this
change mantra in their own way.
“How do you define change? Luckily our
party identified three major items,
security, economy and corruption.”
The president spoke on why he reduced
the number of ministries from 42 to 24. He
also revealed that some of the permanent
secretaries were disengaged because of
lack of commitment.
Buhari added that there is a possibility of the
economy recovering in the last quarter of the year.
“When we came there were 42 ministries
we cut it to 24. We had to do it on our own
because we found out that government
could not continue with 42 ministers and
the paraphernalia of office so we cut it
down to 24,” he said.
“I underrated the influence of the PDP for
16 years watching from outside.
The experience of the staff, their
commitment and zeal is different from
what it is now compared to when I was in
government. Sixteen years of development
in the life of a developing nation is a long
“Most of the permanent secretaries were
sent out because it was time for some of
them to go and for others for one thing or
the other. Because were not part of those
16 years this is where we found ourselves
and this is no joke.
“We had to cut down half the number of
permanent secretaries and then do some
The permanent secretaries that were there
for the past five, seven, 15 years the only
thing that they know is how things were
done in the previous years.
Whatever we did in the campaign, in
fact we were saying rubbish and that
made it very difficult for us.
“Things were even more difficult during
the budget which you all know about. For
somebody like me, for the first time I
heard what is called padding.
“I think we will recover by the fourth
quarter of the year, what padding means
especially for ministers who had
implement what padding contains.
There were very serious developments
which I never knew about.”