Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has opened up on why he is yet to constitute his cabinet more than six months after taking the oath of office for a second term.
Obaseki spoke on Wednesday while responding to questions from State House Correspondents after meeting with Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The meeting was about the planned return of artifact from foreign countries to Nigeria and his intention to build a museum in collaboration with federal government.
The governor said he had spent the last six months restructuring the process of government, particularly the civil service.
He said: “No matter how great a cabinet is, if the government and the functions of government are not operating properly, the executive cannot function optimally.
“So, the last six months, we have tried to redefine the structures of governance, working through every layer of the civil service, define the roles, the responsibilities, trying to understand the resources available, and put in place key performance indicators and scorecards for every Ministry, Department, and Agency (MDA) in government.
“And this we did, such that the civil servants have no excuse to say they couldn’t do what they’re doing because of political interference. So, we have tried to keep politics out of government in the last seven months.
“And we are now ready for the political class, for the commissioners, to now step into government and do what they are supposed to do and give political direction to the process of government.”
Obaseki said he had mandated wards and local governments to give nominations, adding the selection team is being put in place to screen the candidates before their names would be forwarded to the state House of Assembly.
Asked if he was still a friend of President Muhammadu Buhari even after leaving the APC, Obaseki said: “You know, for a man who did so much for me, how can I not ever be friends with him? You know, he is someone I admire and you know, he is someone I have a lot of respect for.”