Expectations As New Ministers Are Inaugurated

LAGOS – Days after their confirmation by the Senate, President Muhammadu Buhari will today formally inaugurate and assign portfolios to minister- designates who will assist him in driving his Next Level agenda and consolidate on the gains made by his administration in his first term.

During the screening session which lasted for 5 days, lawmakers had recognized and acknowledged the performances of some nominees, who had served in various capacities as public office holders by according them the privilege of taking a bow without further screenings.

Others were asked questions pertaining issues of insecurity across the country, policy reforms, administration of criminal justice, foreign policies and programmes. Lawmakers also sought their input on how they intended to develop critical sectors of the economy, such as the oil and gas sector, Nigeria’s educational systems, healthcare services, improve job creation, gender inclusion/women participation in governance.

The 43 nominees were drawn from each of the 36 States of the Federation with Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara and Lagos State having additional nominees representing the six geo-political zones.

The ministers expected to be sworn in today are Uchechukwu Ogah (Abia); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); George Akume (Benue); Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi); Emeka. Nwajuaba (Imo); Olorunnibe Mamora (Lagos); Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun); Adamu. Adamu (Bauchi); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra); Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo); Mustapha Shehuri (Borno); Abubakar Aliyu (Yobe); Bashir Magashi (Kano) and Ramatu Aliyu (Kogi).

Others include Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa); Zubairu Dada (Niger); Chris Ngige (Anambra); Abdullahi Hassan (Nasarawa); Sunday Dare (Oyo); Muhammad Bello (Adamawa); Sadiya Farouq (Zamfara); Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna); Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti); Abubakar Malami (Kebbi); Hadi Sirika (Katsina); Osagie Enahire (Edo); Paullen Tallen (Plateau); Festus Keyamo (Delta); Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe); Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto); Babatunde Fashola (Lagos); Muhammad Mahmoud (Kaduna); Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Goddy Jedy-Agba; Engr. Suleiman Adamu ( Jigawa); Ambassador Maryam Katagun (Bauchi); Clement Agba (Edo); Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu); Engr. Saleh Mamman (Taraba); Sabo Nanono (Kano) and Alhaji Lai Mohammed (Kwara).

Already, a two-day retreat was organized by the Presidency for the incoming Ministers where they were made to study some government documents in other to be conversant with the Federal Government’s policies and programmes before they resume work.

While addressing the would-be ministers at the retreat, President Buhari appealed to them to work as a team for the full implementation of the programmess and policies of the government.

He also said eight years of his leadership will prepare the ground for 100 million Nigerians to be out of poverty in the next 10 years.

“I welcome you all to this meeting whose purpose is firstly, to familiarize ourselves with our colleagues with whom we shall be working closely for the next four years GOD willing; secondly, to reflect and assess the country’s position in 2015 and today; and thirdly, to chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future”.

“ I congratulate all the new comers who your country has chosen above others to join the first term Ministers whose performance has been outstanding. All of you are appointed to assist and advise the President in running the affairs of our country. At the end of the Retreat, it is hoped that all of you will be in tune with the roles and responsibilities of positions you will occupy in Government. Many national issues require unified decisions”.

“It is a great privilege for you to be called upon to serve in these Great Offices of State and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges. There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally”.

“Our Administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years,” Buhari told his ministers-designate at a retreat organised for them in Abuja.

“This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the world’s great nations.”

“Honourable Ministers-Designate, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in your various Ministries, Departments and Agencies in line with Government priorities. You must also ensure that Agencies under your Ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities. Honourable Ministers-Designate, we must work as a team”.

“Although you have been chosen to represent your states as a constitutional imperative, it is vital for all of you to work as Nigerians. Furthermore, working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing. You must open communications with your colleagues. Lack of communication leads to lack of cooperation and sub-optimal performance”.

While the portfolios to be assigned to the new ministers will be made public today, political analysts have predicted that former ministers who are reappointed will retain their portfolios with the exception of Babatunde Fashola, the former Minister of Power, Works and Housing. Experts are of the opinion that Fashola failed to effectively manage the affairs of the three ministries in the last dispensation and thus it may be assigned to three separated ministers.

Speaking on his expectations from the new Ministers, Ambassador Oluwadare Bejide, a former Nigerian ambassador to Canada, said the ministers must hit the ground running immediately they are sworn in because of the prevalent worrisome situation across the country.

According to him “Nigerians expect a quick intervention in areas of the economy and security of lives and property across the country. At present, the economy is in a bad shape having regard to high level of unemployment, inflation and low productivity. As a matter of urgency, the new minister of finance should immediately undertake a review of the economic policy of the federal government in collaboration with the central the National Planning Ministry and other relevant agencies/stakeholders to prevent the economy from going into a full-blown recession predicted on stagnation and lack of new policy direction since last year when , politicking and propaganda became the only function of the present administration”.

On his part, Chief Olisa Agbakoba, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) also said he can only make comment on the list because portfolios are not attached with it.

“The ministerial list will make complete sense when portfolios are allocated so as to determine the suitability of Ministers in the performance of their duties but the list has a mixed list of politicals and technicals and one hopes they are able to execute the massive task of turning Nigeria around”.

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