Abuja, Nigeria : Zainab Ahmed who was appointed the supervising Minister of Finance last week has fully taken charge of the ministry as she has relinquished her former portfolio as the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, the Presidency announced on Wednesday.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, confirmed this to State House correspondents after the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Council Chamber Presidential Villa Abuja that Zainab was no longer Minister of State following her redeployment to the Finance ministry.
Asked to clarify whether she was a substantive minister, Adesina affirmed that Mrs Ahmed will now be the Minister of Finance, saying that she was indeed addressed as such at the FEC meeting.
According to him, “You know she was minister of state budget and national planning, she will relinquish that or she has relinquished that to go and oversee the finance ministry, so that is her status for now.”
Pressed on whether Zainab was a supervising minister, overseeing minister or acting Minister of Finance, he said,“It is a matter of nomenclature. Yes, but she is overseeing the ministry.”
Asked how she should be addressed, the presidential spokesman further answered, “What you call her is a matter of nomenclature but if she is overseeing the ministry, then she is.
“But note that she is no longer minister of state budget and national planning for now until anything contrary happens. But for now, she is in charge of the Ministry of Finance.”
Citing the statement announcing Zainab’s redeployment, Adesina stated: “Well, you know that statement was written in English and that statement says she will oversee the ministry of finance. Let’s leave it like that.
“I just told you she is no longer Minister of State budget and National Planning, she will be Minister of Finance. In fact, that was how she was addressed at Council.
“Don’t forget it is also a legal thing, if a minister is going to be appointed there are procedures that is why it is a deployment.”
Many cabinet members had before the commencement of FEC flocked around Mrs Ahmed instead of going straight to their seats to exchange pleasantries.
She had sat on the seat usually occupied by Adeosun which is placed between the seats of the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in the hall.
Ahmed, who was the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning before last Friday, normally walks in to the chamber alone and moved straight to her seat and only greeted few cabinet members on her way to her seat.
The exchange of pleasantries with Ahmed ended when President Buhari arrived the Council chamber few minutes past 11a.m to start the FEC meeting.
The Muslim opening prayer was said by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, while the Christian prayer was offered by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah
Zainab Ahmed was last week appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the supervising Minister of Finance following the resignation of Mrs Kemi Adeosun from the cabinet over the allegation of parading forged National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, exemption certificate.
EARLIER : Zainab Ahmed Acts As Nigeria Finance Minister After Adeosun Ouster
Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, will oversee the Ministry of Finance, henceforth. The appointment was announced by President Muhammadu Buhari Friday, after accepting the resignation of the holder, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
The President thanked the Minister for her services to the nation and wished her well in her future pursuits.
Ahmed was born in Kaduna State. She got her first degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University in 1981, after-which she proceeded to Ogun State University for her MBA.
Adeosun bowed out today after an allegation by the online newspaper, Premium Times, that she presented a fake NYSC exemption certificate as part of the requirements for clearance as a minister by the Senate.
Until today, Adeosun kept quiet until she was faced with a report that concurred with the publication and declared the certificate fake.
“I have, today, become privy to the findings of the investigation into the allegation made in an online medium that the Certificate of Exemption from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) that I had presented was not genuine. This has come as a shock to me and I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign”, she wrote in her letter to President Buhari.
“Your Excellency, kindly permit me to outline some of the background to this matter. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, indeed my parental family home remains in London. My visits to Nigeria up until the age of thirty-four (34) were holidays, with visas obtained in my UK passport. I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of thirty-four (34) and when I relocated there was debate as to whether NYSC Law applied to me. Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve. Until recent events, that remained my understanding.
“On the basis of that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status. I then received the certificate in question. Having never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to nor familiar with their operations, I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine. Indeed, I presented that certificate at the 2011 Ogun State House of Assembly and in 2015 for Directorate of State Services (DSS) Clearance as well as to the National Assembly for screening. Be that as it may, as someone totally committed to a culture of probity and accountability I have decided to resign with effect from Friday, 14thSeptember, 2018.”