With just 19 days left in office, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has given reasons why it continues to approve the awarding of multi-billion-dollar naira contracts, insisting that it remains in office and will work until the last day.
The explanation came after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, considered 37 agenda items in a marathon session on Wednesday before announcing the award of contracts in various sectors.
Speaking at the post-FEC press conference, Senior Special Assistant to the President Garba Shehu described Wednesday’s session as quite extraordinary, saying, “It’s been a very long day for everyone, 37 agenda items were considered for The meeting today. Quite extraordinary.
Responding to questions about why the administration had waited late before producing the contracts on Wednesday, Transport Minister Mu’azu Sambo said the administration will continue to perform its duties until May 28.
He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, without any malice intent, this government was elected to run from 2019 until precisely May 29, 2023. Should we stop running a month before the next appointment because we are nearing the end of the tenure?
“This government must work. We hope that the next government will also work until the last day of its term.”
The Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu, also spoke, explaining that the contracted processes take time, saying that even if the administration cannot finish what it has started, since the government is continuous, it will be a matter for the incoming government.
He said: “If I may add, there are processes and this process has started. We are still operating the 2022 budget, we have agencies. These things are not done in a single day. We had a lot of submissions from BPP to ICRC, all the agencies involved in the acquisition, and they have to prepare.
“So anytime they’re ready, that’s when we have to present. And as the Transport Minister said, we’re still technically in office until May 28.
So, we still have to operate. And this is the instruction we have from the president.
Since the elections took place, that government must continue to function regardless of the elections, etc. And so we are only doing our duty as we should serve the country.
“We do not control the process, but when it is complete and we are still in office, we have a duty to bring these memos to Council for Council approval. The government is a continuum. There are still many memos.
“I can assure you that many contracts will not see the light of day in the next one or two weeks. And for those, we have no choice but to let the process continue. And then the next government comes and continues. That is what we face too.
“Some of the first memos that we presented to the council in 2015, for me, I had no idea when they started, but they had to inform me, that’s the way it had to be and then they brought us here. . So, the government is a continuum. And it should be seen as such.
“And I think this administration should be given all the credit because, to a large extent, we have continued since 2015 to implement projects and programs that we didn’t start and that, in our assessment, were good for the country. We are continuing them, we are not ruling them out, and we are confident that the incoming administration will do the same.”