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Nigerians applaud, reject Buhari’s Ministerial portfolios
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Nigerians applaud, reject Buhari’s Ministerial portfolios

Story by Harold Udoka

It was a mixed bag of opinions yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari  swore in his Ministers and also announced their respective portfolios.

As expected the reactions to the decision of the president has generated different  feelings on the duties assigned to the appointees, in fact, Public Commentator and Law Professor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Akin Oyebode predicts that there would be a reshuffle of cabinet in no distant future to right the wrongs of these appointments.

Accessing the Ministers, Prof. Oyebade applauded the allocation of the Works, Power and Housing Ministries to Former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN. He noted that going by his antecedents, Fashola was a go-getter who would bring his health of experience to bear on the new role. He said after the kind of work he did with Independent Power Projects (IPP) in Lagos and the regeneration in terms of facilities, he was on familiar turf, but in the area of Housing, he said Fashola now has to change tactics because he was seen as implementing an elitist housing policy now that he has to fill a housing gap of 17 million, he has to design a mass housing real low cost housing schemes and an effective mortgage system.

Professor Oyebode knocked the choice of former Ogun State Finance Commissioner, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun as the Minister of Finance. According to him, having only a first degree in Applied Economics from University of East London, not Oxford not Cambridge or London School of Economics with working experience in an investment banking firm in Nigeria, she does not have the capacity for such a huge role.

He said she would as a matter of urgency get across to top economists like Bismarck Rewane and Henry Boyo to help her fashion out an economic agenda that is much needed in these days of low oil sales.

On Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Prof. Oyebode described the Akwa Ibom nominee as a friend with experience on the board of various blue chip companies but he does not know how he would function in the new Ministry of Budget and National planning. He said Udoma has the right contacts in both Public and Private sectors that would help him do his job which will actually be the huge considering the fact that the government has vowed to cut waste.

Professor Oyebode reserved his most caustic criticism for Mr. Adamu Adamu, Buhari’s choice for Minister Education while making Prof. Anthony Onwuka, the Minister of State for Education. He said this is a case of the tail wagging the dog.

In his words “I have read Mr. Adamu Adamu ‘s column in the past, he has good insights, but with all due respect, Prof. Onwuka was a Vice Chancellor of a University, in actual fact, we served as VCs aat the same time ten years ago. Running a Univeristy is like running a state, and I do not know the experience Adamu Adamu has in this sector that will warrant his choice as Minister.

“On e of the major problems we have today in our quest for industrialization is human capital development, we cannot get it right if our education is in shambles as it is today, we needed a firm and assured hand in that Ministry, I am sorry, I do not see Adamu Adamu as the man to change the tide there.

Also reacting to the nominees, Mr. Ini Akpabio, the Managing Director of Nanet Group says that having waited this long it was necessary to allow the Ministers to settle down. Mr. Akpabio who applauded the merging  and scrapping of some Minsitries says a lean government would us a world of good in these harsh economic times.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the ministers to urgently settle down for business and concentrate on the economy.

According to a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief  Olisa Metuh,  the present administration has so far played heavily on what it termed, dramatizing routine procedures and processes, which was even glaring in the prolonged swearing-in ceremony of the ministers.

Metuh said, “The much-expected assignment of portfolios to the ministers did not inspire confidence that there is indeed any change being introduced in the system. With the inauguration, the APC administration should fully resolve the issues on the actual position of the nation’s economy and the direction therein.

“Whereas President Muhammadu Buhari had announced that the nation is bankrupt to the extent he cannot pay his ministers, his new Minister of Information had contradicted him directly by stating how the government is buoyant and ready to deploy $2.5 billion infrastructure fund, saved N1.4 trillion with another N2.5 trillion ready as special intervention fund, which goes to say that the country is not actually broke.

“Furthermore, we counsel the ministers, especially those who will be the face of the government, to note that the campaigns are over. Nigerians, therefore, will no longer condone propaganda, lies and deceit but expect a responsible dissemination based on truth, honesty and openness”.

Also, as soon as the list was released yesterday, the social media was agog with tweets and comments for and against, even Senator Ben Murray-Bruce weighed in.

Reacting to their appointment on Twitter, Bruce wrote: “Congrats to @Gov_Rajifashola. Lets #Challengeourminister of power to confirm he wont use generator so he’ll feel what Nigerians are feeling.”

“Congrats to @ChibuikeAmaechi. Lets #Challengeourminister of transport to confirm he will use various public transport at least once a month.” Others countered that it was too early for the Senator to criticise. Then, Adebanji Samuel @Adebanjiexploit wrote

“Ben Bruce is an unfortunate man, Fashola has good records and critics is way to early. How can u look like Obama and reason like Obanikoro”.

 

 

The Ministers and their assigned portfolios are:

  1. Chris Ngige – (Anambra) – Minister of labour & Employment
    2. Kayode Fayemi- (Ekiti) – Minister of Solid Minerals
    3. Rotimi Amaechi – (Rivers) – Minister of Transport
    4. Babatunde Fashola -(Lagos) – Minister, Power, Works and Housing
    5. Abdulrahman Dambazau- (Kano) – Minister of Interior
    6. Aisha Alhassan – (Taraba) – Minister of Women Affairs
    7. Ogbonaya Onu- (Ebonyi) – Minister of Science and Technology
    8. Kemi Adeosun – (Ogun) – Minister of Finance
    9. Abubakar Malami – (Kebbi) – Minister of Justice
    10. Sen Hadi Sirika – (Katsina) – Minister of Aviation
    11. Barr. Adebayo Shittu – (Oyo) – Minister of Communication
    12. Suleiman Adamu – (Jigawa) – Minister of Water Resources
    13. Solomon Dalong – (Plateau) – Minister of Youth and Sports
    14. Ibe Kachikwu – (Delta) – Minister of State, Petroleum Resources
    15. Osagie Ehanire – (Edo) – Minister of State, Health
    16. Audu Ogbeh – (Benue) – Minister of Agriculture
    17. Udo Udo Udoma – (Akwa Ibom) –Minister of Budget and national Planning
    18. Lai Mohammed – (Kwara) – Minister of Information
    19. Amina Mohammed – (Gombe) – Minister of Environment
    20. Ibrahim Usman Jibril – (Nasarawa) – Minister of State, Environment
  2. Hajia Khadija Bukar Ibrahim- (Yobe) – Minister of State, Foreign  Affairs
    22. Cladius Omoleye Daramola (Ondo) – Minister of State, Niger Delta
    23. Prof Anthony Onwuka (Imo) – Minister of State, Education
    24. Geoffrey Onyema (Enugu) – Minister of Foreign Affairs
    25. Monsur Dan-Ali (Zamfara) – Minister of Defence
    26. Barr James Ocholi (Kogi) – Minister of State, Labour and Employment
    27. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna) – Minister of State, Budget and National Planning
    28. Okechukwu Enelamah (Abia) – Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment
    29. Muhammadu Bello (Adamawa) – Minister of the FCT
    30. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Bornu) – Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing
    31. Aisha Abubakar – Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment
    32. Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa) – Minister of State, Agriculture
    33. Adamu Adamu (Bauchi) – Minister of Education
    34. Isaac Adewole (Osun) – Minister of Health
    35. Abubakar Bawa Bwari (Niger) – Minister of State, Solid Minerals
    36. Pastor Usani Uguru (Cross River) – Minister of Niger Delta Affairs

 

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