The President-elect, Muham-madu Buhari on Thursday expressed regret that the Federal Government did not seem to appreciate his intention of setting up the Transition Committee and the terms of reference given to it.
Buhari blamed this lack of proper understanding for the refusal of the government to provide the committee with the needed information to carry out its duty.
Buhari’s concern followed the complaint of the Chairman of the APC Transition Committee, Ahmed Joda, who regretted that the government committee headed by Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo was yet to provide them with information to work with and that they had to make do with what they could develop on their own initiative.
Speaking while receiving the interim report of the committee at the Defence House, Buhari said he was disappointed that “the incoming government was being misunderstood”.
“It is not that we are preparing for indictment. We are trying to get a starting point, where exactly we are going to start from. We have seen the debt profile now and the performance of the economy.
“The question is what can we say about it especially the urgent ones like social security and lack of fuel in the country and fraud. The list is endless,” he said.
Buhari thanked the committee for the job well done, adding that “subsequent submission by the government team will make the job of the transition committee easier and more efficient and tell us where to begin from”.
It was gathered that rather than bring facts and figures in documents, all the Sambo-led committee has been doing is to organise seminar-like sessions where the Buhari transition committee members are expected to take notes and fill in the gaps.
“No document, no paper, no file, nothing whatsoever has been given to us,” a member of the committee, saying that the presidency had explained that all such information would be encompassed in the handover notes that will be given to Buhari on May 28.
However, the worry is that such a method will make it difficult for the Buhari administration to ask any question or seek clarification on the content of the hand-over notes, because the various ministers would have gone and would be under no obligation to give clarifications.
According to Buhari, “What we expected was for the outgoing government to make a presentation to this committee and for this committee to study the document and make submission to the incoming government.
“For your simple mindedness, you went to work. But unfortunately, this committee is accused of being a Federal Government. From then on, this committee was constrained to take this initiative and breaking into various subcommittees and assigned various tasks to study the most important issues nationwide and see what they can put on record.
“I thank you very much for this efforts which you have made and I want to assure you that we will find time to read your initial report and when the government decides to finally present to you their own records, you will study them and merge with the report of the various committees and present to the incoming government.
“My expectation was that each ministry makes their own presentation. The politicians know that they are going while the bureaucrats who do the jobs know they are staying.
“They are the ones who are going to do the job and they are going to be available to help cross check the information. I think that this research you have made will help the incoming government to cross check the information on paper given by the outgoing government.”
Joda explained that the committee had to prepare the first interim report without the input from the government.
He also said that they were expecting the government to make a presentation to the committee on Friday (today).
Joda, who was accompanied by other members of the committee to the Defence House, assured the president-elect that when they eventually get input from the government committee, it would be built into the final report which would be submitted to him after inauguration.
He said despite the constraint of time for the committee’s assignment, the 19-member committee was able to cover all areas by breaking into four different sub committees.
While providing more insight, Joda said the committee had received lots of contributions from Nigerians especially those who have served the country both in the private and public sector in various field.
He said they received tremendous support from the organised private sector, the Lagos Business School and international development partners on how to move the nation forward.