….Directs Osinbajo to seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision
SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 17- It appears that president Muhammadu Buhari has drastically reduced Vice President Osinbajo’s powers within the government with recent moves that have undermined his supervision of the country’s Economy.
First, the President scrapped the Economic Management Team, which was chaired by the Vice President, and replaced it with the Economic Advisory Council(EAC), which reports directly to him.
Now, media reports indicate that President Buhari has directed VP Osinbajo to seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision, from henceforth.
Today’s Echo gathers that under the laws setting up the agencies, the president is empowered to give final approvals but that the provisions were not followed during the first term. It was a widely-held assumption that due to his intellectual acumen and experience as a technocrat, the Vice-President had been given a free hand to supervise Nigeria’s economic development.
Currently, Osinbajo is the chairman of the governing boards of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the National Boundary Commission (NBC) and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA).
He is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), a limited liability company owned by the federal government and Niger Delta states.
With the new memo, the vice-president will now have to seek approvals for contract awards, annual reports, annual accounts, power to borrow, and power to make regulations, among other key functions.
On Monday, Buhari appointed and Economic Advisory Council (EAC) and disbanded the Economic Management Team led by Osinbajo.
Buhari had appointed Osinbajo chairman of EMT during his first term, although the position was held my ministers of finance under previous administrations.
There are unconfirmed reports that NEMA and National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) will now be moved from the office of the VP to the newly created ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, headed by Sadiya Umar Farouq.
By law, the vice-president is the chairman of NEMA, NBC and BCDA but the acts also state that presidential approvals are needed for some key decisions and actions.
Sections 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 24 of the NEMA act provides that “funding, expenditure, contract awards and regulations” must receive presidential approval.
Sections 24, 25, 27, 28 and 33 of the NBC act empower the president to direct on annual reports, annual accounts, power to borrow and power to invest.
Under the BCDA law, the president also has similar powers.
“Suffice it to say the president has finally taken control of his government,” a minister, remarked on the development, according the TheCable