In an Unusual Move, President Tinubu Delays Key Constitutional Function, Raising Concerns
Forty-four days have passed since the inaugural Federal Executive Council (FEC ) meeting, held on August 28. Surprisingly, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not convened another meeting, leaving stakeholders anxious about the potential impact on the country’s governance.
The Federal Executive Council plays a crucial constitutional role by providing advice to the President. On August 21, President Tinubu swore in and inaugurated a total of 45 ministers, who subsequently attended the first cabinet meeting a week later. The meeting took place in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, where significant decisions were expected to be made.
Three additional ministers, Balarabe Abbas Lawal (Kaduna), Jamila Bio Ibrahim (Kwara), and Ayodele Olawande (Ondo), who were recently confirmed by the Senate, are awaiting their swearing-in. However, sources from the Presidency have indicated that their induction will occur during the next cabinet gathering.
In response to the surprising delay in convening another FEC meeting, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, the Senior Special Assistant on Print Media to President Tinubu, revealed that President Tinubu has a unique perspective on the council’s functions. He suggested that there is no specific timeframe mandated for FEC meetings. He explained, “Nobody said there are specific provisions for FEC meetings, and every government can work out things that will suit them. The most important thing is that ministers are working.”
Abdulaziz added, “In fact, the president has a different idea of the functions of the FEC because what we have seen, which a lot of experts have criticized, is how the FEC reacts to contract awarding, but that is not the principle of the FEC.”
“He (the president) will hold the FEC, but those policy advisory and supervision kinds of functions are not the traditional way of coming every week to announce contract awards,” Abdulaziz noted.
While this unusual delay in convening the FEC meeting raises concerns, it appears that President Tinubu intends to shift the council’s focus from contract awards to broader policy advisory and supervision, signaling a change in the way the FEC traditionally operates.
The government asserts that despite the delay in convening the FEC meeting, ministers remain actively engaged and that this delay has not significantly impeded their work or the consultation between the cabinet and the president. However, the situation continues to be closely monitored by stakeholders, who await further developments.