Presidential spokesperson, Mr Femi Adesina, on Wednesday clarified the current status of former minister of state for budget and national planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari redeployed Ahmed to finance ministry to take over in supervisory capacity following the resignation of former minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
Adeosun resigned her appointment in the wake of a report which revealed she procured and had been parading a fake National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate used to secure the appointments.
Adesina, who spoke with reporters at the end of federal executive council meeting on Wednesday, confirmed that Ahmed, by virtue of her redeployment, had relinquished her previous portfolio.
“You know she (Ahmed) 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,” Adesina said.
Pressed to know if Ahmed would be referred as ”supervising minister”, ”overseeing minister” or acting minister of finance, Adesina said ”whatever title she (minister) bears is a matter of nomenclature”.
“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 for budget and national planning for now until anything contrary happens. But for now, she is in charge of the ministry of finance.”
On whether the government was contemplating on placing her on a substantive position as minister of finance, the presidential spokesperson said that would ”need to follow due process”.
“Well, the 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 (FEC).
“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,” Adesina said.
To appoint a new minister, the law requires that the name of the new minister be submitted to National Assembly to initiate a formal screening process.