Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari may soon carry out a minor cabinet shake-up with the imminent exit of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, from his administration, THE PUNCH has learnt.
Our correspondent however learnt on Sunday that the exercise might not be carried out until early next year when Mohammed is expected to leave.
The Secretary-General-elect of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, was said to have appointed the minister as his Deputy.
A government source told our correspondent that Mohammed had already made the development known to Buhari and some of her colleagues.
“For her, she would have loved to stay back and continue to serve this administration but this new appointment is a big one and is also good for her. Unfortunately for us, she has to leave in January,” the source said.
Mohammed who represents Gombe State in the cabinet acted as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals after serving three presidents over a period of six years.
In 2005, she was charged with the coordination of Nigeria’s debt relief funds toward the achievement of the MDGs.
From 2002-2005, Mohammed coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education for the UN Millennium Project.
By the time she will be leaving the cabinet in January, the number of vacant positions in the cabinet would have risen to two.
Since the March 6 death of a former Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), Buhari has yet to name a replacement for the politician.
The situation is already causing agitation among groups and individuals from Kogi State where the deceased hailed from.
Ocholi died alongside his wife and son in an auto crash that occurred on March 6 on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.
Since his death, Kogi State has remained without a representative in the Federal Executive Council.
This is contrary to the provision of the Constitution that stipulates that all the 36 states of the federation must be represented in the cabinet.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday said Mohammed remained a minister.
Shehu said any development on the matter would be formally conveyed to Nigerians.
“There is a lot of exuberance on the Internet concerning a UN job for Mrs. Amina Mohammed. She remains our Minister of Environment.
“If there is anything on this that is released officially, we will let Nigerians know. I’m pleased to know that she enjoys so much goodwill,” the presidential spokesman wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday. (Punchng.com)