President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday stated that civil servants and technocrats are more involved in the process of governance than ministers, who are only there to “make a lot of noise”.
He said civil service provides the continuity, “and in any case, they are the people who do most of the work.”
Buhari was attempting to defend his delay in presenting his ministerial list more than 100 days after his election as president.
The president who spoke in an interview with French television station, France 24 said the absence of a Finance Minister was not affecting the Nigerian capital market and economy.
Buhari said: “No. It is what we know –and which we learnt from the western system.
“The ministers are there, I think, to make a lot of noise; for the politicians to make a lot of noise. But the work is being done by the technocrats. They are there; they have to provide the continuity, dig into the records and then guide us, [those of us] who are just coming in. “They have been there, some of them for 15 years, some for 20 years. So I think this question of ministers is political. People from different constituencies want to see their people directly in government, and see what they can get out of it.”
He however promised to name his cabinet before the end of the month.
“As for the cabinet, I said we will have one by the end of the month, and time flies. The end of the month is coming too quickly for my liking. “Yeah, I will stick to it. I will send the names to the National Assembly,” he noted.
Comparing his current experience as the nation’s number one citizen to his time as a military ruler Buhari said: “The last time I was here, I was in the barracks, this time I’m in a palace, I still need to find my way, it’s so big and must be very very expensive to maintain, but it’s there and cannot be removed.
“I believe firmly that multiparty democratic system is the best form of government but elections must be free and fair, otherwise, it’s the same old problem.”