How well and how far President Muhammadu Buhari can depend on five of the 46 bills rushed through the floor of the Seventh Senate in just 10 minutes on its last day of sitting is yet to be seen. He has also explained the delay in naming the ministers and special aides that will form his cabinet.
But the president is planning to assent to these bills, make them laws and then employ them as weapons in his fight against corruption.
Presidency sources disclosed that a committee of legal luminaries, led by the vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo handpicked the five bills which can help fight graft and have since passed them on to the President for further scrutiny and possible assent.
The five bills are the Office of the Financial Ombudsman Bill 2015, National Convicts and Criminal Records Bill 2015, Electronics Transactions Bill 2015, Whistle Blower Protection Bill 2015 and the Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill 2015.
Buhari explained that one reason he could not appoint new ministers was that Jonathan’s government did not cooperate in submitting handover notes with clear records on time.
Another reason is that he didn’t want to appoint ministers that might jeopardise the integrity of his government especially in key ministries like finance and petroleum.
Buhari recalled that during his time as Minister of Petroleum under former Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had only three accounts, whereas during Jonathan’s administration, the NNPC and the Ministry of Finance did not know how many accounts they had. He described the development as unfortunate and improper.