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Zainab Ahmed is Substantive Finance Minister, Says Presidency

Zainab Ahmed
Zainab Ahmed

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, is the substantive Minister of Finance, Presidency confirmed wednesday in Abuja.

The clarification cleared the uncertainty about the real status of Ahmed who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to “oversee” the Ministry of Finance following the resignation of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun at the weekend.

Adeosun had resigned over allegations that she forged National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate.

But against the background of the uncertain status of Ahmed in view of the earlier presidential pronouncement that she should only oversee the ministry, and her eventual movement into finance minister’s office as well as taking over Adeosun’s seat in the council chamber yesterday, the presidency was asked to clarify the real status of Ahmed yesterday.

Responding, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Ahmed was no longer the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, saying following her recent deployment to finance ministry, she had automatically relinquished her initial status.

“You know she 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,” he said.

Probed further if she would only be playing supervisory roles or just serving as the acting Minister of Finance, Adesina said, “it is a matter of nomenclature, yes but she is overseeing the ministry.”

Not yet satisfied, journalists probed him further, asking if she should be addressed as the overseer of Finance Ministry, Adesina again responded, saying, ‘what you call her is a matter of nomenclature but if she is overseeing the ministry, then she is.”

He added: “But note that she is no longer Minister of State, Budget and National Planning for now until anything contrary happens. But for now, she is in charge of the Ministry of Finance.”

Still dissatisfied, journalists asked the president’s spokesman if Ahmed should then be described as the substantive Minister of Finance.

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