President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees’ list finally made it to the National Assembly on Wednesday just hours ahead of the September 30 deadline set by the president to unveil the men and women that would constitute his cabinet.
- Senate President Bukola Saraki confirmed receipt of the list in a tweet
- The Senators had earlier adjourned plenary to Tuesday next week after eagerly awaiting the list
- Several APC chieftains are reported to be on the list
- Screening of the nominees is expected to commence on resumption of senate plenary next week
- Buhari justifies the delay in his Independence Anniversary message (Full text of message below)
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who confirmed the presentation on his Twitter handle, said the list was received at 5pm on Wednesday.
Saraki said, “I can confirm to you that I have just received the list.”
The list was presented to Saraki by Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari accompanied by the president’s Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.
Acting spokesperson for the Upper Chamber, Senator Dino Melaye had earlier told newsmen that the ministerial list failed to reach the National Assembly before the Senate adjourned plenary to Tuesday October 6.
“I want to advise there is no need for agitation. September expires 12 midnight today. And I want to assure Nigerians as soon as we get possession of the list, we will communicate to them.
I also want to assure Nigerians that we will deal with the ministerial list expeditiously and diligently. It is not going to be business as usual. We are going to properly screen the nominees and only those who meet the constitutional and moral requirements will be cleared,” Melaye said.
President Buhari’s ministerial list contains a number of familiar All Progressives Congress (APC) names such as Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos State, and Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers State.
TheCable reports that Lai Mohammed, national publicity secretary of the ruling party, and Kayode Fayemi, who lost his Ekiti governorship re-election bid in 2014 to Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are also on the list.
From the Southeast are the likes of Chris Ngige, former governor of Anambra State and former senator of the federal republic; and Ogbonnaya Onu, first executive governor of Abia state and former national chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), on whose ticket Buhari contested and lost the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections.
Udoma Udo Udoma, a former senator who represented Akwa Ibom south senatorial constituency at the national assembly, is said to have made the list too.
Buhari also nominated for ministerial appointment, Aisha Alhassan, who was on the brink of becoming the first elected female governor before eventually losing the Taraba state governorship election to Darius Ishiaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
From his days at the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Buhari picked Malami Abubakar, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former legal adviser of the defunct party; Hadi Sirika, a former pilot and former CPC senator who represented Katsina north senatorial district; as well as Adebayo Shittu, former governorship candidate of the legacy party in Oyo state.
Ibe Kachikwu, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum (NNPC), is a surprise appearance on the list. But with Buhari already declaring himself minister of petroleum resources, it is likely that Kachikwu will combine his current portfolio with that of the minister of state for petroleum resources.
Amina Mohammed, former special adviser to the Nigerian president on millennium development goals (MDGs) and current special adviser to United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on post-2015 development planning, is also a nominee.
Kemi Adeosun, former commissioner for finance in Ogun state, was nominated as well, among others.
Thecable quotes its source as saying that the ministerial list contained 21 names, in line with the president’s pledge to reduce the burden of public office holders on the economy.
Rationale for delay/Independence Anniversary Message
Meanwhile, president Buhari has justified the delay in unveiling his ministerial nominees. In his message to the nation on the 55th independence anniversary, Buhari said:
“It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalised the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.
Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the Senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course.”
Being text of speech by President Muhammadu Buhari to mark Nigeria’s 55th Independence anniversary.
OCTOBER 1 is a day for joy and celebrations for us Nigerians whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in because it is the day, 55 years ago; we liberated ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our long march to nationhood and to greatness.
No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop us from honoring this day. Let us remind ourselves of the gifts God has given us. Our Creator has bequeathed to us Numbers – Nigeria is the ninth most populated country on the planet. We have in addition:
- Arable land
• Oil and gas
• Solid minerals
We have all the attributes of a great nation. We are not there yet because the one commodity we have been unable to exploit to the fullest is unity of purpose. This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress.
Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.
Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate. We have witnessed this year a sea change in our democratic development. The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system. Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences.
As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view to join me in working for the nation.
My countrymen and women, every new government inherits problems. Ours was no different. But what Nigerians want are solutions, quick solutions not a recitation of problems inherited. Accordingly, after consultations with the Vice President, senior party leaders and other senior stakeholders, I quickly got down to work on the immediate, medium-term and long-term problems which we must solve if we are to maintain the confidence which Nigerians so generously bestowed on us in the March elections and since then.
As you know, I toured the neighboring countries, marshal a coalition of armed forces of the five nations to confront and defeat Boko Haram. I met also the G-7 leaders and other friendly presidents in an effort to build an international coalition against Boko Haram. Our gallant armed forces under new leadership have taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities. Boko Haram are being scattered and are on the run. That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets such as IDP camps is indicative of their cowardice and desperation. I have instructed security and local authorities to tighten vigilance in vulnerable places.
On power, government officials have held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost effective way. In the meantime, improvement in the power supply is moderately encouraging. By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country. All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better.
Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitise NNPC and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum. Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped.
In addition to NNPC, I have ordered for a complete audit of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation. Prudent housekeeping is needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that is important.
We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted. The new APC government is embarking on a clean up, introducing prudence and probity in public financing.
At an early stage, the Federal Government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest. The APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the owing states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.
Fellow Nigerians, there have been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly. We received the handing over notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over. Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its report on the re-organisation of Federal Government structure after studying the hand over notes. It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalised the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.
Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for CHANGE is all about.
I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for CHANGE. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring change about. We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behavior in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.
Happy Independence celebrations. Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.