Reports has it that President Muhammadu Buhari may reshuffle his cabinet early next year and following the signal from the Senate about 10 ministers may be affected in the reshuffling.
A reliable source from the Presidency had opted to inform the Senate ahead of the reshuffle in the spirit of their recent rapprochement with a view to averting a volatile and controversial screening process.
Apart from the reshuffling the cabinet, it has become compelling for Buhari to fill two present vacancies created by the death of Mr. James Ocholi, former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity in March this year and Minister of Environment, Ms Amina Mohammed, following her appointment as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).
A close source to both the Presidency and the National Assembly, said the Presidency was disturbed by a series of conflicts between it and the Senate in recent times, which had resulted in the rejection of various presidential requests.
The reliable presidency source revealed that some of the ten ministers that would be affected by the exercise would be dropped while others would swap portfolios.
It was also alleged that Buhari has the opportunity to put things in order in his cabinet having worked with the ministers for 14 months.
“There is an understanding that in the New Year, one of the key assignments the Senate will undertake aside the consideration of the 2017 budget is the screening of some ministerial nominees who will be replacing some of the ministers who are soon to be asked to leave the cabinet,” the source said.
It was also learnt that the exercise will affect appointees from various geopolitical zones just as both the Presidency and the Senate had rubbed minds together in their renewed resolve to work together in the interest of the country.
The Presidency was said to have opted to carry the Senate along in its subsequent plans because it was said to have been taken aback by some of the parliament’s recent decisions.
Recall that only last Thursday, the Senate rejected the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
It had also earlier rejected the president’s request to borrow $30 billion. It also returned non-career ambassadorial list and dropped some nominees of National Communications Commission (NCC). It also returned the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) before later re-considering it.
Meanwhile, a source in the Senate revealed that regardless of the Presidency’s search for smooth consideration of its requests, the forthcoming screening of ministerial nominees will not be a pushover for anyone.
“Senate will set a high standard. Security report will be taken seriously. There will be thorough screening. It will not be a tea party,” he added.