President Buhari picks new ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent names of two new ministerial nominees to the senate for confirmation.

Quoting a source, NAN said the letter which contained the names of the nominees from Kogi and Gombe states  arrived the senate late Tuesday.

The Kogi nominee will be replacing James Ocholi, the late minister of state for labour, while the one from Gombe would replace Amina Mohammed, former minister for environment, who is the current United Nations deputy secretary- general.

Buhari sent the list at a time when the senate is unhappy with the executive.

The upper legislative chamber halted the screening of resident electoral commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as requested by Buhari.

The senate shifted the exercise by two weeks, citing what it termed disregard for its proceedings as reason.

The lawmakers berated the president for appearing to be doing nothing about their rejection of Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC.


Source: NAN

Nigerian lawmakers propose bill to jail Ministers, others who defy them.

A bill that could see officials of the executive arm of government thrown into prison if they fail to honour a summon by the legislature has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.


The bill also recommended an alternative fine of up to N1 million for any official found guilty of contempt of the National Assembly.


The sponsor of the bill, Sunday Karim, said during plenary on Thursday that lawmakers were frustrated by frequent refusal of members of the executive arm of government, especially ministers and directors-general, to honour invitations of investigative committees in both the Senate and the House.


Mr. Karim said his bill seeks to bolster the provisions of the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act of 2004 which he said he been repeatedly desecrated by government officials.


“This bill is meant to assist our oversight functions,” Mr. Karim said.


Two lawmakers, Mohammed Soba and Iduma Igariwey, who raised a point of order to oppose the bill were ruled out by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, who presided over legislative activities for the day.


Source: Premium Times

President Buhari, Ministers Shun South-East Summit After IPOB Threat

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday stayed away from the maiden South-East Economic and Security Summit in Enugu, which started about 48 hours after some pro-Biafra agitators warned him not to set foot in Igboland.

Buhari was meant to be the Chief Guest of Honour at the summit, which held in the Enugu State Government House, according to the programme of the event.

Although the President was expected at the event, as noted by several speakers who spoke during the event, he did not show up, neither was he represented.

Also, ministers from the South-East, who were slated to make presentations at the event, all stayed away.

A pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, had in the build up to the summit, issued a statement, warning Buhari to stay away from the South-East, in his own interest.

IPOB, whose leader, and director of pirate radio channel, Nnamdi Kanu, is being held by the Federal Government, accused Buhari of ‘persecution’, and threatened ‘a breakdown of law and order’ should the President attend the summit.

While no mention of the IPOB warning was made throughout the opening session of the summit, Buhari’s absence was a major talking point as several speakers expressed surprise, and confusion, at the development.

The Chairman of the South-East Security and Economic Summit, former power minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji, in his opening remarks, observed, “We have not seen the President.”

Later on, in a presentation by the summit committee, Nnaji had to substitute Buhari’s name with that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who attended the event as the ‘Distinguished Guest of Honour’, in the introductory part of a prepared address where he was to thank Buhari for attending the occasion as the Chief Guest of Honour.

Instead of thanking Buhari for gracing the occasion as the chief guest of honour, as stated in the prepared address, Nnaji thanked Obasanjo for attending the event as the distinguished guest of honour.

Nnaji also thanked the Enugu State government for undertaking to sponsor some aspects of the President’s visit.

The chairman of the event, former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, drew attention to Buhari’s absence.

“I was going to start by saluting the representative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but I have not been told of such a person,” the retired diplomat said.

Anyaoku went further to express regrets that Buhari was not present at the event.

Rounding up his address with a call for the restructuring of the country, he said, “I had hoped that Mr. President would be here to hear me.

“Like Cato, the Roman senator who always ended his speeches by calling for the destruction of Carthage until his call was heeded, I will restate my assertion that if the Nigerian federation is restructured to have less federating units, this country will achieve greater stability and faster pace of development, and there will no longer be a need for the Federal Government to bailout many of the non-viable 36 states.”

Buhari was meant to be the Chief Guest of Honour at the summit, which held in the Enugu State Government House, according to the programme of the event.

Although the President was expected at the event, as noted by several speakers who spoke during the event, he did not show up, neither was he represented.

Also, ministers from the South-East, who were slated to make presentations at the event, all stayed away.

A pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, had in the build up to the summit, issued a statement, warning Buhari to stay away from the South-East, in his own interest.

IPOB, whose leader, and director of pirate radio channel, Nnamdi Kanu, is being held by the Federal Government, accused Buhari of ‘persecution’, and threatened ‘a breakdown of law and order’ should the President attend the summit.

While no mention of the IPOB warning was made throughout the opening session of the summit, Buhari’s absence was a major talking point as several speakers expressed surprise, and confusion, at the development.

The Chairman of the South-East Security and Economic Summit, former power minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji, in his opening remarks, observed, “We have not seen the President.”

Later on, in a presentation by the summit committee, Nnaji had to substitute Buhari’s name with that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who attended the event as the ‘Distinguished Guest of Honour’, in the introductory part of a prepared address where he was to thank Buhari for attending the occasion as the Chief Guest of Honour.

Instead of thanking Buhari for gracing the occasion as the chief guest of honour, as stated in the prepared address, Nnaji thanked Obasanjo for attending the event as the distinguished guest of honour.

Nnaji also thanked the Enugu State government for undertaking to sponsor some aspects of the President’s visit.

The chairman of the event, former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, drew attention to Buhari’s absence.

“I was going to start by saluting the representative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but I have not been told of such a person,” the retired diplomat said.

Anyaoku went further to express regrets that Buhari was not present at the event.

Rounding up his address with a call for the restructuring of the country, he said, “I had hoped that Mr. President would be here to hear me.

“Like Cato, the Roman senator who always ended his speeches by calling for the destruction of Carthage until his call was heeded, I will restate my assertion that if the Nigerian federation is restructured to have less federating units, this country will achieve greater stability and faster pace of development, and there will no longer be a need for the Federal Government to bailout many of the non-viable 36 states.”

Tell Buhari We Are Very Hungry, Youths To Ministers

Some ministers on Tuesday in Abuja appealed to Nigerians to exercise more patience, saying President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of hunger in the country.

They said the President and the Federal Government were working hard to alleviate their suffering.

The ministers spoke at the Special Edition of a Town Hall Meeting series dedicated to the youths.

The event was held at the Presidential Villa.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, hosted the event.

Also at the  programme were the  Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola(SAN);  Mrs. Kemi Adeosun (Finance) ; Chief Audu Ogbeh (Agriculture); Labour and Employment, (Dr. Chris Ngige);  Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung.

The ministers were responding to complaints by some members of the audience, who accused them (the ministers) of change in their lifestyles since they assumed office.

The youths insisted that the ministers must carry their message of hunger to the President.

Clapping as the questions were being thrown at the ministers, the youths said President Buhari and members of his cabinet must work to lift the country out of  the woods.

One of the youths from Kuje Area Council, said he would have preferred to send the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, to his principal about the level of hunger in the nation.

He, however, asked the ministers to take the message to the President.

He also asked them to know that the youths were waiting for the President and his team in 2019 when another election would be due.

The youth from Kuje asked, “I don’t know if the S.A on Media to the President is here. I would have loved to send him to the President. But honourable ministers, help us tell the President that we are hungry. Nigerians are very hungry.

“ If he has changed from his promises during the campaign, we are also waiting for him in 2019.”

While asking each of the ministers to answer questions directed at them, Mohammed said he was not going to come to the aid of any of them.

“Every minister would bear his own cross. I don’t have to repeat the questions,” the minister said.

But he said the present government was not responsible for the hunger in the country.

Read More: punchng

10 Ministers face sack as Buhari notifies Senate of cabinet shake-up.

President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to shake up his cabinet, a move that may affect no fewer than 10 Ministers.
According to THISDAY, the presidency has reached out to the Senate, informing it of its intention to reshuffle the cabinet.
With some of the Ministers to be sacked, the presidency is trying to avoid another controversial screening process, especially with recent occurrences.
The cabinet shake-up is also necessary, as Buhari needs to fill two existing vacancies, created by former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi’s death and the appointment of Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).
The source also told the newspaper, that while some of the 10 Ministers will be dropped, others will swap portfolios.
“There is an understanding that in the new year, one of the key assignments the Senate will undertake, aside from the consideration of the 2017 budget, is the screening of new ministerial nominees who will
be replacing some of the ministers that will soon be asked to leave
the cabinet,” the source said.
Buhari is also prepared to carry out the changes, following the criticism that it had put round pegs in square holes.

CCB threatens to prosecute ministers who fail to declare assets

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has threatened to prosecute ministers, public servants and government officials who ignore its invitation for asset verification.

Sam Saba, chairman of the bureau, said this in a statement, vowing that those who fall in this category would be taken to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

He commended the public servants who declared their assets within the time frame set by the bureau.

“Pursuant to paragraph 11 of part 1 of the 5th schedule to the 1999 constitution (as amended), every public officer is required to submit to the CCB a written declaration of all his properties, assets and liabilities and those of his/her spouse (if not a public officer) and his unmarried children under the age of 18 years,” he said in a statement.

“Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorized in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this code.

“To this end, the Bureau has commenced its 2016 4th Quarter cycle of conference and field verifications of assets of top public officers.

“Accordingly, letters of invitation have been dispatched to Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, service chiefs and other top public officers.

“This exercise is ongoing and is being carried out concurrently at the federal, state and local government levels.

“At a satisfactory completion of the exercise, public officers are issued with certificate of assets conference verification/field verification as the case maybe.

“CCB however, commends those public officers, who honoured its invitations promptly and submitted themselves for the exercise.”

Reps move to impose time limit on appointment of Ministers

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed for second reading a bill proposing that nomination for appointment of ministers should not be later than 30 days from when the president takes oath of office.

The bill also seeks to provide that nomination of commissioners shall be made not later than 30 days from the date a governor is sworn in.

Presenting the bill, Solomon Adaelu (PDP-Abia), said that the need to ensure improved efficiency in governance prompted the amendment bill which sought to alter sections 147 and 192.

According him, sections 147 and 192 of the Constitution are not explicit as to when the president or governors are to make the nominations for appointment of ministers and commissioners.

“Consequently, it is feasible and practically necessary to impose a constitutional time limit for a president to present nominated ministers and their portfolios to the Senate.

“Preferably, 30 days’ time limit after swearing in will be ideal as it provides sufficient time for the president to settle down into governance and carry out final vetting of his nominations.

“And also ensure that the running of governance is not necessarily delayed or held up by the absence of ministers to run the various government departments,’’ Mr. Adaelu said.

He emphasised that experience from other developed countries show that the president already had clear nomination list prior to swearing-in.

“And this is forwarded to the parliament within a short time of inauguration.

“This practice should be constitutionally mandated in Nigeria to improve the efficiency of governance upon a change in government.

“The experience of 2015 whereby it took almost four months after swearing in for the president to forward nominated names to the legislature resulted in a serious setback for governance.

“This adversely affected the serious handling of pressing national issues in the country; this must be prevented by constitutionally imposing time limit,’’ Mr. Adaelu said.

He said that attaching portfolios would facilitate effective screening and deliberation by the legislature on the competence of the nominated person for the particular role he would play in government.

“This will greatly reduce the fixing of round pegs in square holes which is the bane of governance in Nigeria.

“The discretion of the president to assign people to whatever department he deems fit after screening by the legislature is unhealthy as the legislature will not be able to adequately assess his suitability for that role,” Mr. Adaelu said.

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, referred the bill to special ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review.

Another APC leader asks Buhari to sack non-performing ministers.

A chieftain of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kaduna State, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to drop non-performing ministers.

Mr. Baba-Ahmed gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Sunday.

He also urged the President to quickly push through, policies that would reduce current high level of poverty in the country.

Members of the federal cabinet celebrated their one year in office last week. An analysis on the performance of the Minister by PREMIUM TIMES showed that most of the ministers under performed in their functions.


Hakeem Baba Ahmed


The call by Mr. Baba- Ahmed is coming after similar appeals by an APC senator, Dino Melaye.

It equally follows a similar appeal by PREMIUM TIMES in its editorial of September 27, 2016.

According to the APC chieftain “If you go by the opinion of a lot of Nigerians, some of the ministers are just filling up space.

“There is a case to be made for the argument that the president should critically assess his ministers and remove those that he believes have not performed as well as they should,” he said.

He then called on Mr. Buhari to replace the non-performing Ministers “with people who will bring greater energy, greater vibe and greater imagination in managing scarcity and high expectations in the context in which we live.”

Mr. Baba-Ahmed said the level of poverty in Nigeria requires urgent solution, adding that government should continue to mobilise resources to tackle the problem.

He urged the president to come up with policies that in the short time, can alleviate the crushing poverty being experienced across the nation.

“There are a lot of people who feed only once a day, there is a lot of hunger, frustration and bitterness.

“If we have N500 billion in the presidency now waiting to be disbursed, one would like to see an imaginative and productive use of that money, so that it reaches people that need it to feed, pay school fees, pay medical bills, rent and to go to places where they can earn a living.

“Government must mobilize resources directly and make sure that it gets to the people,” he said.

The chieftain, a retired federal permanent secretary, also called for caution on the desirability or otherwise of obtaining about $30 billion loan by the Federal Government for infrastructure development.

“I don’t think that there is anything wrong in getting the loan, however, I do think that we should draw appropriate lessons from the past.

“We borrowed money in the past and we paid a huge amount of interest and we haven’t seen the benefit directly from those loans that we repaid.

“I think that this particular loan has to be scrutinised, has to be rigorously interrogated by the National Assembly, and if they are convinced, then we should go ahead and get it.

“What is important is that the President needs to improve the manner he engages Nigerians in explaining to them why he needs to borrow $30 billion dollars, what are the benefits, what are the possible draw backs.

“Because this money, as I said before, is being borrowed for our children not for ourselves, it is important that we don’t leave them a legacy of huge debt,” he said.




Recall that Mr. Melaye, while making a similar, asked Mr. Buhari to take measures to remedy what he described as a “debilitating economic malaise” that is drifting Nigeria towards a “dangerous precipice.”

Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi State, said the time to take “drastic” measures to save the economy has come.


He asked the president to dismiss the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.

In PREMIUM TIMES editorial in September, we urged the president make changes in his cabinet if he must rekindle the badly needed investor confidence.

We highlighted that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s uninspiring record of performance, as well as his numerous ethical and corruption scandals that appear to have been swept under the carpet, constitute a key factor militating against foreign investor confidence in the Nigerian economy.

According to the editorial ” PREMIUM TIMES strongly believes that there is a need to bring in more renowned, experienced and highly reputed technocrats to lead the CBN and the federal ministries of Finance and National Planning

“Considering the dwindling confidence investors have in our economy, it is necessary that replacements for these positions to be persons with significant international name recognition, intellectual and professional stature and networks in international development finance and global capital markets; for this is what bolsters international confidence in practice.”

Senate uncovers govs, minister’s imported luxury cars in Lagos.

There are strong indications that influential Nigerians, including a serving governor and a minister, are among owners of about 1,500 exotic vehicles parked in the Volkswagen Yard, on the Mile 2-Badagry Expressway in Lagos since 2015.

Another governor from the South-East (name withheld) has also been identified as the owner of 15 Sports Utility Vehicles intercepted and impounded by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and parked in the agency’s office in Ikeja.

The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, led by its Chairman, Hope Uzodinma, had visited the VON premises last week on oversight assignment when it discovered that the place looked deserted with disused equipment in its assembly plant.

The officials of the company, who had earlier declined to open the store to the lawmakers for inspection, were forced to grant the visitors access into the warehouse when the lawmakers threatened to force the door open.

The senators, who were there in company with security operatives and officials of the NCS, saw no fewer than 1,500 pieces of various models of Volkswagen products and other brands of vehicles in the warehouse.

It was learnt that the senators were curious when they found out that there were port tags on the vehicles, indicating that they were imported.

One of the lawmakers said that his colleagues were not convinced by the explanation offered by officials of the company that the firm did not abuse the auto policy introduced by the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration with its action.

The senator added that the team discovered that about 15 Sports Utility Vehicles, on the premises of the NCS office in Ikeja, Lagos, which were impounded by the service when the dealer attempted to evade payment of duty, belonged to a serving governor in the South-East.

He said the vehicles carried Federal Government’s official number plates in an attempt to deceive officers of the customs service.

Uzodinma had alleged in an interview with journalists in Abuja that there were indications that the company was not assembling vehicles in Nigeria as it claimed.

He stated that his committee discovered different vehicle brands in the company’s warehouses which were already assembled before they were shipped to Nigeria.

The Managing Director of VON Automobiles, Mr. Tokunbo Aromolaran, however, refuted the Senate claim that the company was sabotaging the country’s economy.

Aromolaran said, “The Chairman of the Senate Committee, in company with about 30 people, comprising senators, officers of Nigeria Customs Service, journalists and police officers, descended on the VON premises on October 28, 2016, without prior notification.

“They were given free access to our plants and warehouses, and found nothing other than what you would expect to see in an auto assembly plant – an inventory of vehicles assembled, awaiting delivery.

“We also confirmed that applicable duties were paid at the ports when the components were imported into the country.

He said, “All applicable duties and levies on Volkswagen vehicles stored at VON have been paid to the NCS (SKD vehicle kits and fully built units). This can be verified by the service.

Uzodinma, however, said on Saturday that the committee was convinced that VON was sabotaging the nation’s economy, adding that a public hearing would be organised soon to unravel the alleged sharp practices.

The Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, said the affected vehicles had remained under NCS custody because duty was not paid on them.

Adeniyi stated, “There are no separate laws for top government officials or highly-placed Nigerians. The laws are the same for everybody and the laws specify that all imported vehicles attract duty. If duty was not paid, the vehicles cannot be released.”

He, however, added that if the owners paid the required duty, the SUVs would be released.

On the 1,500 vehicles found in the premises of Volkswagen, Adeniyi said, “I do not have details of that development.”

Replace nonperforming ministers, APC chieftain tells Buhari

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to replace nonperforming members of his cabinet.

Baba-Ahmed who gave the advise on Sunday also called on Buhari to tackle poverty and hunger in the country.

He said, “If you go by the opinion of a lot of Nigerians, some of the ministers are just filling up space.

“There is a case to be made for the argument that the president should critically assess his ministers and remove those that he believes have not performed as well as they should.

“Replace them with people who will bring greater energy, greater vibe and greater imagination in managing scarcity and high expectations in the context in which we live.”

He added, “What the government can do is what I think it is doing, trying to come up with policies that in the short time, can alleviate the crushing poverty.

“There are a lot of people who feed only once a day, there is a lot of hunger, frustration and bitterness.

“If we have N500bn in the presidency now waiting to be disbursed, one would like to see an imaginative and productive use of that money, so that it reaches people that need it to feed, pay school fees, pay medical bills, rent and to go to places where they can earn a living.

“Government must mobilise resources directly and make sure that it gets to the people.

“In the longer term, we need bold and imaginative policies that should reposition and restructure the economy, to reduce dependence on oil.”

Only Buhari Can Assess his Ministers – Presidency

Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari has said that only Mr President can assess his ministers’ performance level.

Adesina said this on Politics Today, Channels TV, anchored by Seun Okinbaloye on November 13, 2016.

The President’s adviser said against all odds, only the President can determine and judge his ministers’ performances.

When asked that some people would say that they are advising the President to re-jig his cabinet. Is there a possibility of that happening in the coming months, Adesina said: Let me refer you to the Good Book. It says, “who are you to judge another man’s servant? It is before his master that he either rises or falls.” The President assembled that cabinet, he has timelines and deliverables for them. So he is the one who can judge and assess them. If he is going to re-jig that cabinet, it is going to be his decision, his prerogative.


Buhari urges ministers to earn Nigerians’ trust through hardwork

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday urged his ministers to earn the trust of Nigerians through hardwork.

He gave the directive at the Federal Executive Council meeting ahead of the one year anniversary of their appointments.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, while speaking with State House Correspondents on Wednesday said the ministers reflected on achievements made so far.

He said, The challenges are still enormous, we read what you write and we get the feedback from the populace.
“We cannot afford to rest on our oars. We need to communicate to Nigerians what we are doing. We would find a way to speak individually about what we have been doing in the last one year.
“At the ministry level there, will be some kind of commemoration but noting extra ordinary.
“The President’s charge is simple. You know the President is not a man of many words. His charge to us is for us to just get on with it and ensure that we earn the trust of Nigerians by doing the best we can to serve the country.”

Afenifere wants Buhari’s ministers accused of corruption to resign.

Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has asked serving ministers who were fingered by some arrested judges for alleged corruption should resign.

The group said this in a communique issued at the end of its monthly meeting in Akure.

Afenifere said, “For the ministers who have been mentioned for attempting to pervert the course of justice , we are asking that such ministers should step aside immediately as ministers of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“After that, they should go through due process of the law to either ascertain their innocence or not, they should be punished according to the laws of the land . So we cannot be saying only judges that have accused should be investigated. Ministers too, who have been accused should step aside and face prosecution.”

Infographics Report Reveals Buhari, Osinbajo, Ministers, Presidential Aides’ Earnings

Inforgraphics as reported by The Punch reveals the earning of President Mohammed Buhari, Vice President Yomi Osinbajo, the 36 ministers and 15 presidential aides. See Infographics below:



What Buhari told his ministers, experts at economic retreat

I am delighted to be here with you at this Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget. The theme of the Retreat which is “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, especially as we are in the process of developing the 2017 Budget.

Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes at the National and sectorial levels. The Federal MDAs have not also benefited significantly from working together and building consensus around common national objectives. This has impeded growth and development of the country.

It is in this context that this Retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the State of the Economy and build consensus amongst Cabinet Members and top Government officials. The Retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.

This Retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors. It is with regard to the importance of this Retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.

This is in line with our Administration’s determination to lay a solid foundation for growth and development as outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of our Change Agenda.

Given that this Retreat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of the these sessions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and Departments for the effective formulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.

I also trust that the breakout sessions will enable you to discuss extensively amongst yourselves, the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritized projects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.

In this regard, let me inform you that because of the need to focus on our key priorities, some Ministries may get significantly less capital allocation than they received in 2016, while others may get significantly more.

You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are participants at this Retreat.

This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this Administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other arrangements, in order to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.

Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.

We are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria by the reforms we are introducing under the auspices of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business.

Let me reiterate that this Government will continue to strategize on how we can turn the current challenges into opportunities for our nation and especially for our vibrant youth on whose shoulders lies the future of this nation. This is why we have embarked on measures and actions that will open up the opportunities we have seen in the Power, Housing, Agriculture, Mining, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sectors, Tourism, Transport and other sectors.

I wish to reassure its teeming youth that this Government would remain steadfast in its effort to ensure greater progress and prosperity for you.

While Government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves. We will need, and we ask for the support and cooperation of the private sector’s domestic and foreign investors, the States and Local Governments, the National Assembly and the Judiciary as well as all well-meaning Nigerians in this important task. We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.

Finally, I trust that the cabinet members will learn from the experiences of the Resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.

I therefore urge the Honourable Ministers and other senior government officials here present, to actively participate in the Second Technical Session, which I believe will provide you with deeper insight into the complex issues that will open opportunities for you to identify critical priority projects and programmes for the 2017 Budget.

At this juncture, may I formally recognize and acknowledge the presence of the array of experts invited to serve as resource persons and facilitators at this Retreat. I am confident that Ministers and Senior Government officials will benefit immensely from your expertise and wealth of experience.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and look forward to receiving the report of the Retreat.

Thank you.

I’m Afraid My Constituents May Stone Me On The Street – Dino Melaye

A senator, Dino Melaye, on Sunday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take measures to remedy what he described as a “debilitating economic malaise” that is drifting Nigeria towards a “dangerous precipice.”


Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi State, said the time to take “drastic” measures to save the economy has come.


To stabilise the economy, Mr. Melaye, a member of President Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, asked the president to dismiss the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.


Mr. Melaye’s recommendations came in an update on his Facebook page Sunday afternoon. He accused two of the ministers of “gross incompetence.”


The Finance Minister has not only displayed gross incompetence on the job, she also lacks the basic and rudimentary grasp of economic fundamentals necessary to run a critical sector of the Nigerian economy like the Finance Ministry.


It is time for her to go now and pave way for a qualified and experienced person to steer the Nigerian economy away from the dark woods it has sunk presently under her stewardship,” Mr. Melaye said.


In Mr. Udoma’s case, Mr. Melaye said the former senator was a fine gentleman who lacked requisite qualifications to manage Nigeria’s budget and planning tasks.


It is akin to saddling a carpenter with a tailor’s responsibility,” Mr. Melaye said.


Mr. Melaye, a close ally of embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki who is being tried for false asset declaration, said he was calling for Mr. Emefiele’s head because he had allegedly committed a series of “policy flip-flops, summersaults, and inconsistencies as clear evidence of gross incompetence in the management of the nation’s fiscal and monetary policies.”


The Kogi Senator, who recently courted controversy when he allegedly threatened to beat up a female senator, said he was compelled to release the statement because he feared the hardship Nigerians are grappling with has reached a level that had never before been witnessed.


As I walk the streets of my constituency these days, I constantly harbor a foreboding that I could be stoned by my angry constituents for the failure of Mr President to fulfill his campaign promises and expectations to Nigerians,” Mr. Melaye said.


The hunger in the land is real, pervasive, widespread and debilitating for the poor masses,” Mr. Melaye said. Mr. Melaye, however, said his faith in Mr. Buhari’s ability to turn around the situation remained strong.


While there is a lot of hunger, anger, anguish and despair currently in the land, I have a firm belief that the situation is not beyond redemption for Mr. President, hence my call for urgent and drastic remedial action now,” he said.


Calls have continued to mount for President Buhari to fix the nation’s economy, which officially entered recession last Wednesday after months of low crude revenues and inflation.

FCT Minister Strips FHA Building Approval Powers

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, has directed the Development Control Department of the FCT Administration to take full responsibility for building plan approvals and construction supervision in the territory, in accordance with extant regulations.

The minister gave this directive in reaction to Thursday incident of building collapse in Gwarinpa.

He reminded the department that in line with the provisions of Section 7, Sub-section 1-3 of the FCT Act of 1976 and Part II, Section 27-41 of the Nigeria Urban & Regional Planning Law of 1992 amended in 1999, “no person or body is authorised to carry out any development within the FCT without the written approval of the FCT Department of Development Control.”

Bello also directed the department to ensure that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), that approved and was supervising the collapsed building, and other stakeholders in mass housing development sub-sector in the FCT, to henceforth adhere strictly to all regulations on property development in the Territory.

He further stated that the FCT Administration will no longer tolerate the construction of buildings on flood plains and will take necessary measures to correct the anomalies.

While sympathising with the victims of the incident, the minister said human lives often lost in the process of building collapse could be avoided if simple urban and regional regulations were sternly followed.

He emphasised that his administration would not fold its arms and watch the wanton waste of lives, stressing that human life is sacred and must be protected.

Buhari Meets Ministers Over Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a meeting of the Federal Executive Council where a major decision on the 2016 budget may be taken.

The meeting started at exactly 11am inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and most ministers are in attendance.
Credit: Punch

Ministers To Study 2016 Budget Details, says Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said on Friday that the 2016 budget details submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by the National Assembly are to be studied by each minister “to see how it affects his or her ministry”.


Mohammed said that the extraordinary Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari was “to avail every minister to look at the details of the budget”.


The minister stated this when he briefed State House correspondents in Abuja after the first session of the meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.


“As you all know we received the details of the 2016 budget from the National Assembly, yesterday, and an extraordinary meeting of the Federal Executive meeting was called this morning to avail every minister to look at the details of the budget and see how it affects his or her ministry.

“I must say that at this point, it is still work in progress, we have broken up.

“This is to say that; yes, we received it, we are studying it and we will come out with a statement later.’’


The meeting was attended by permanent secretaries and directors of finance from all the federal ministries.



FG To Restrict Business Class Travels To Ministers, Others

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) has accepted the recommendations of the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance to restrict Business Class travel to Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen of Federal Government Committees, as well as Chairmen and Chief Executives of Parastatals and Agencies.

The Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance is collaborating with OSGF and the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), to review the provisions of some extant government Circulars on Overhead Expenses one of which is on Travels.

Efficiency Unit is the initiative of the current Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and was set up to engender transparency and reduce government’s large expenditure through procurement in the various ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

The restriction of Business Class travel to Ministers and others was made known in a press statement by the SA Media to Minister of Finance, Festus Akanbi.

According to the statement, the Efficiency Unit, aside from its negotiation for discounts with local and international airlines also recommended other measures for reducing the government’s large expenditure on travels to the OSGF.

The statement read: “These include the need to restrict Business Class travel to Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen of Federal Government Committees, as well as Chairmen and Chief Executives of Parastatals and Agencies.  In the past, some government officials who should have been on Business Class usually travelled First Class, while many others travelled Business Class instead of Economy.

“The second recommendation bordered on the need to reduce the frequency of travels by ensuring that Board and Committee events such as meetings, workshops and conferences in Nigeria are held in locations where the institutions or persons participating in the event are domiciled.  Furthermore, such events should for the most part be held in Nigeria but where this is not possible, the prior approval of the Secretary to the Federal Government should be secured.”

It further stated that, “in line with the present administration’s commitment to reform public expenditure, the OSGF accepted the recommendations in full and has accordingly issued a Circular recently to effect the changes.  The buy-in and prompt reaction of the OSGF is an attestation of the common resolve by government to its change mantra and the spirit of collaboration among government institutions and officials.

“It is estimated that Travel Expenditure will drop by about 20% if the provisions of the new Circular issued by the OSGF are fully implemented.  A 20% reduction in Air Travel Expenditure, using the figure of N69.417 billion incurred on Travels in 2014 will result in a cost-cutting of N13.88 billion.  Such large savings from Travel, which should ordinarily not be a major expense item for the government, will become available for investment in capital projects such as roads, power, railways and public health facilities.”

“The savings are expected to be even larger when discounts secured from Airlines are added. Already, 11 Airlines have offered discounts on local and international routes for travel by MDAs while negotiations are on-going with others.  The discounts received so far vary across routes and airlines and range from 7% to 50%. The Efficiency Unit expects the implementation of the price discounts secured from Airlines to start in May 2016 when the Agreements would have been signed with the Airlines and MDA staff would have been trained and equipped for effective administration of the new process.”

“Other Overhead Expenditure items reviewed by the Efficiency Unit are those relating to Refreshments and Meals, Honorarium and Sitting Allowance as well as Advertising and Publicity.  Measures that will standardise spending on these items, cut costs and promote transparency on these items have been recommended to the OSGF and the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, from which further cost-cutting on Overhead Expenditure is to be achieved.”

Credit: DailyTimes

Names & Job Titles For Buhari, Ministers’ Relatives ‘Released’ In CBN Recruitment Scandal- Report

News website, Sahara Reporters, has published the positions and job titles of 91 children and relatives of politically exposed person secretly recruited by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Top government officials and party members whose children or relatives were hired in secretly hired by the bank include President Muhammadu Buhari, whose niece was employed; former Vice President Abubakar Atiku; Mamman Daura, a close ally of the president; Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase; the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, whose sons were hired, and the Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Danbazzau.

The presidency has not commented on the report, neither has any of the named ministers.

Quoting a top official of the CBN, Sahara Reporters said the governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had arranged the hiring as way of endearing himself to the presidency and in return for saving his job.

The website on Wednesday published the positions and job titles of 91 beneficiaries of the clandestine recruitment.

1. Fatima Baba Shehu – Assistant Manager Step 01

2. Carpenter Barka Muhammad – Assistant Manager Step 02

3. Abiola Ologburo Adeniran – Assistant Manager Step 01

4. Akinwunmi Ayodeji Akintola – Assistant Manager Step 01

5. Abubakar Mohammed Yahaya – Assistant Manager Step 01

6. Usman Buba Jalo – Assistant Manager Step 01

7. Aduwak Laraba – Deputy Manager Step 01

8. Aina Michael O – Deputy Manager Step 01

9. Taslim Ganiyu Olalekan – Deputy Manager Step 01

10. Ethel Isioma Ojije – Deputy Manager Step 01

11. Abdulnasir Haruna – Deputy Manager Step 02

12. Iheomamere Chikezie Chikwendu – Deputy Manager Step 02

13. Solomon Ezra Monde – Deputy Manager Step 02

14. Aminu Ahmadu Dauda- Manager Step 01

15. Sunday John Momoh – Manager Step 02

16. Mustapha Mariam Bukola – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

17. Ayoola Oluwabukola – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

18. Adefela H. Adejuwon – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 02

19. Owoade Adedamola Kazeem – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

20. Omitokun Omolola Temitope – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

21. Ibrahim Ahmed Lawan – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

22. Maryam Adamu Bahamas – Senior Supervisor 1 step 0

23. Olajide Tolani Kudirat – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

24. Temitope Adeola Odunowo – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

25. Mohammed Ameer Ibrahim Bunu – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

26. Hajara Sani – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

27. Abdulmalik Atta – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

28. Nagode Abdulrahman – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

29. Ahmed Aminu-Kano – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

30. John Irimiya Balewa – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

31. Na’abba Fatima Ghali -Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

32. Abdullahi Mohammed Nuradeen – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

33. Sadiq Inuwa Baba – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

34. Sadik Uba Sule – Senior supervisor i step 01

35. Olawunmi Adedoyin Kayode – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

36. Ibironke Ifeoluwa Adetunbi – Senior supervisor 1 Step 01

37. Ikyembe Terseel Ikyembe – Senior supervisor 1 Step 01

38. Princewill Eva – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

39. Abdul-hakeem Mohammed Ali – Senior Supervisor 1 step 01

40. Mbwiduffu Ibrahim Auta – Senior supervisor 1 step 01

41. Essien Innocent Joshua – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

42. Titilayo Tola Olowoniyi – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

43. Aminu Halimat Sadia Abdullahi – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 02

44. Abba Mustapha Shettima – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 02

45. Farida Zuhair – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 02

46. Ekayi Nyofo Shitta – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

47. Omoile Kingsley Ucheka – Senior supervisor 2 Step 01

48. Muhammed Hassan – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

49. Ukute Patrick Ewere – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

50. Ibrahim Kabir Tijjani – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

51. Maryam Abubakar – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

52. Odelola Oyekunle Isimenme – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

53. Yinusa Bilikis Orekuleyin – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

54. Muhammad Muhammad Magasa – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

55. Ayoola B Oyebanjo – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

56. Mohammad Ahmad Adamu – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

57. Alexandar Chukwuka Okakwu – Senior Supervisor 1 Step 01

58. Okocha Uzoma Meshwork – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

59. Hassan Usman – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

60. Dahiru Isa Abba – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

61. Joel Ugochukwu Jones – Senior Supervisor 2 step 01

62. Ibrahim usman – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

63. Fatima Imam – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

64. Yisa Daniel Nma – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

65. Yamani Sanusi – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

66. Ejike Emmanuel Ibe – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

67. Jibril Abdullahi Ibrahim – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

68. Shima Kuma – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

69. Loretta Laye – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

70. Hanafi Abubakar Mujeli – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

71. Ahmed Zainab Shehu – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

72. Musa Ibrahim – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

73. Oruche Chukwudubem Godwin – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

74. Yakub Umar Yakub – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

75. Idigo Ifeanyi Charles – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

76. Asuzu Obioma C – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

77. James Elizabeth Edidiong – Senior supervisor 2 Step 01

78. Salami Bashirat Omolola – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

79. Ibrahim Muhammed Kabir – Senior supervisor ii step 01

80. Kamaludden Tukur Tafida – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

81. Ibeh Nnadozie Nathaniel – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

82. Samaila Shehu – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

83. Mohammed Ali – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

84. Rabiu Musa Mbulo – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

85. Aliyu Aisha Yakubu – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

86. Yahaya Sani – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

87. Muhammad Isah Rumu – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

88. Onoja Uwane Jessica – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

89. Ahmad Aminu – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

90. Nasreen Mamman-Daura – Senior Supervisor 2 step 02

91. Babayo Abdulhakeem Abdullahi – Senior Supervisor 2 Step 01

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Nigerian-Born Son Of A New Jersey Minister Kicked Out Of School For Alleged Rape Reinstated

They both played football for Temple University and got accused of raping women they met on campus, but that’s where the similarities between Praise Martin-Oguike and Bill Cosby end.
Martin-Oguike, a Nigerian-born son of a New Jersey minister, was kicked off the team and out of school in 2012 after a woman accused him of assaulting her in a dorm room.
Evidence  that the encounter was anything but consensual was so lacking that a prosecutor later dropped charges, but Martin-Oguike found that counted for little at the Philadelphia school.

“I was just trying to prove my innocence,” Martin-Oguike, who missed the 2012 and 2013 seasons as be fought to clear his name, told “There were times where people were negative, trying to give me different scenarios and how I could be sent to jail for a long time. And being black, the odds were against me.”

Martin-Oguike, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 255-pound defensive lineman, rejoined his Owls teammates for the 2014 season, and just completed a 10-3 season that culminated in a bowl game. Some believe Martin-Oguike even has a shot at the NFL, a dream that if realized, would be testament to his tenacity.

Martin-Oguike’s nightmare began in May of 2012 when he was arrested after a senior at Temple accused him of raping her inside his dorm room. Martin-Oguike, who grew up in Woodbridge, N.J., and had never been in trouble with the law, claimed the sex was consensual.

But the school moved quickly, revoking his scholarship and expelling him. He missed the 2012 season, moved back home and wondered if the clock had run out on his future. The next season, while his former teammates were laboring toward a brutal 2-10 record, Martin-Oguike was preparing to stand trial and facing prison time.

As jury selection was about to begin in October 2013, the Philadelphia district attorney’s office suddenly announced it was dropping charges due to a lack of evidence.

“Upon further investigation, it was determined there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed to trial,” Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said at the time.

But the jury was still out on Martin-Oguike’s future at Temple. He was forced to plead his case for reinstatement before a board comprised of students and faculty, and his accuser, who was well known on campus, remained adamant that she had been raped.

“The student conduct process is an internal university administrative process that is independent of the criminal process,” a spokesman for Temple University said in a written statement. “The resolution of a criminal matter does not resolve a student conduct matter.”

Martin-Oguike prevailed, and insists he harbors no ill-will toward the school.

“They did not know me as a person and they had a process. They were just doing what they had to,” he said.

As he approaches his final season next year, Martin-Oguike said he has heard of potential interest from various NFL teams for the 2017 draft.

“I’d like to go to whoever pays the most,” he joked when asked where he would like to play before giving his real choice.

“I would like to play for the [New York] Jets,” he said. “They are close to home and have a lot of connections to Temple.”

Badejoko Adewale: All Hail Babatunde Fashola Nigeria’s New ‘Prime Minister’

Let me be the first to employ the word Fasholaism, which should today and henceforth be incorporated into the Nigerian vocabulary as a fervent believe in a superhuman named Babatunde Raji Fashola. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief; His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari shares my faith, albeit subtler in expression as the president isn’t a man to give away too many emotions, but then, giving one man about three ministries isn’t giving too many emotions, is it?

Who is this exemplar named Fashola isn’t the question I intend to answer in this piece, Wikipedia and Google are rife with articles on that subject already; why does he deserve to be taken into account, and at all serious, is what I propose to paint in my little object dart. Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the President inaugurated 36 ministers from all over the country, all of who will be administering, hands in glove, with him to ensure the smooth sailing of Nigeria, a country that appears to have been tilted overboard by previous administrations. Of these men and women of valour selected is of course Babatunde Fashola representing Lagos state.

Surprising to many but interesting to progressives, the man Fashola was appointed Minister for Power cum Minister for Works and Housing which has generated several ‘beer-parlour arguments’. Some regard the appointment as nothing but a compensation of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu’s efforts to the ascension of the president (Asiwaju figuratively representing Fashola’s political father). Others, based on ethnic or religious sentimentality just think the appointment silly. Why should he be given such posts, why can’t someone else be given the other positions instead of saddling him with ‘too much work’ some others have questioned?

Well, it will be entirely wrong to make sweeping statements that the above cited sentiments are completely devoid of any truth. Nobody gets into power without being helped, it’s no news Asiwaju played a vital role in the last presidential election, and so if he indeed worked why shouldn’t he be duly compensated, after all the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn shouldn’t be muzzled. As to the sentiment of ‘too much work’, here’s an unspoken rule in leadership many are ignorant of: The reward for good leadership or stewardship is more responsibility. Great leaders don’t (and won’t) die of too much work, truth be told, it brings the best out of them, it challenges them to go beyond themselves, break new boundaries and finding newer horizons. The president isn’t a fool; his ample leadership experience was why Nigerians voted him in in the first place, and with the depth of decay in the Nigerian society, there’s need for persons with not just head knowledge but great leadership skills to make the vision of change a reality.

Of course, there’s the case of the blind loyalists who doggishly cited “Fashola’s work” in Lagos state as an outright justification for his appointment, here’s my reply: whose duty is it to provide citizens with amenities and basic rights? Isn’t good road or good schools part of the government’s duty too? So why the incessant praise-singing for someone who has done what he was voted, and as a matter of fact paid to do. Or was Fashola’s time as governor of Lagos on a Charity basis? But in a deformed society as ours where government failure is the menu of the day, the few ones who perform expected duties a little above average deserves some commendation.

On a concluding note, it would be sheer stupid of anyone (the media especially) to pray or await Fashola’s fall on his new assignment; but to fail himself is to set unrealistic goals like the MDGs; who can eradicate world’s poverty? For when all is said and done, Fashola’s failure or success affects the 170 million Nigerians still waiting for the dividend of their democracy.

Written By: Badejoko Adewale. He is @tha_krone on twitter

President Buhari And New Ministers Fail To Hold Cabinet Meeting

Barely one week after they were sworn into offices and held their inaugural Federal Executive Council meeting, the Ministers failed to convene on Wednesday – the scheduled day for the FEC meeting.

There are reports that the meeting was only postponed last night.

No official reason has been given for the postponement of a meeting.

The FEC meeting is a weekly one and has held every Wednesday since the exit of military and return to democracy in 1999.

There have been really few instances when by a presidential directive, the meeting is moved to another day.

During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, federal contracts were usually ratified and approved during the meeting.

Source – Premium times

Tony Ademiluyi: Ministerial Musings

At long last we now have a cabinet. After months of endless waiting with some Nigerians not sure whether President Buhari was now a democrat as he appeared bent on ruling like a sole administrator, he finally unveiled the list of his ministers.  The lack of a cabinet made some pundits believe was responsible for some crisis in the capital market as operators were in the dark as to the direction of the economic thrust of the PMB administration.  They were proven wrong as the inauguration which held last week Wednesday did little to shore up the fortunes of the ailing market.

It is now no news that an unconstitutional improvise has been given to Babatunde Fashola who is now referred to as the nation’s de facto Prime Minister. This is the first time a mortal would handle the power, works and housing ministries and since Buhari is in charge of the petroleum sector, he is unarguably the most powerful minister in the cabinet.  Works and Housing used to be together before the split by Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003. The power sector has witnessed a privatization and so the duty of Fashola would be more or less supervisory. The real work would reside in the works and housing portfolio. It is speculated that Former President Goodluck Jonathan built 30,000 kilometres of roads. BRF as he is fondly called must do far more to surpass the record. The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is a death trap and must urgently get fixed. Millions of people ply through the popular road which has the status of a gateway path and government presence is urgently needed to redress the anomaly.  Road accidents as a result of our terrible roads should be a source of serious concern and he must think up winning strategies that can critically address this. One reason why there is so much corruption especially in the public sector is because of the lack of a mortgage system. It’s scary to work your head off and then retire as a mere tenant with an uncertain pension because of the prohibitive cost of acquiring a house. There must be a system in place to reward honesty whereby workers can purchase houses and pay back over a ten, twenty or even thirty year plan. Shelter is one of the three most basic needs of man according to the Psychologist Abraham Maslow. BRF must do something to make this a reality for millions of workers in the now near extinct middle class.

Rotimi Amaechi performed creditably well during his first term as the governor of Rivers state. He made education and infrastructure a core priority of his administration. However, he got distracted in a needless fight with former President Jonathan and the people of the state bore the brunt of it. The aviation ministry is now under his watch and he is effectively in charge of the railways and maritime as transport minister. He can also be described as a super minister perhaps arguably second in responsibility to Fashola. He has promised to continue the railway developments started by Jonathan. We thank God he didn’t allow emotion get in the way of his reasoning.  The conditions of the airports especially the international one in Port Harcourt  which was ranked as the worst in the world is sure cause for concern. Public transportation is terrible in the country. No wonder Senator Ben Murray-Bruce asked him to use it once a month to feel the pulse of the people. There must be a sturdy policy document for the rail, road, maritime and aviation modes of transportation which is worse than a national disaster. This is not the time for any needless nationalistic sentiments in the rumoured plan to bring back the national carrier.

I would have preferred Okechukwu Enelamah as Finance minister with his wealth of experience both at home and abroad. As the founder of the largest private equity fund in Nigeria, he is clearly no pushover. I expected a thorough investigation of the mind boggling petitions against Kemi Adeosun that she plunged Ogun state into unimaginable debt. A strange twist emerged in the removal of the budget function from that ministry and its transfer to that of national planning.  Will it be safe to say that she may be weakest finance minister this country has ever witnessed so far as a core function has been removed?

Professor Isaac Adewole and Osagie Enahire seem to be round pegs in round holes as they are both experienced in the healthcare sector. We expect crack policies that would stop the incessant strikes and brain drain. The moribund national health insurance scheme needs a total overhaul; we hope for change in this area.

Professor Anthony Anwuka’s role as Minister of State for Education is a big letdown. He had his postgraduate in the United States, been a professor for over two decades and has been an erstwhile vice-chancellor.  His profile towers greatly over that of Adamu Adamu, his boss. One would have expected him to be given full control of the ministry to tap from his gargantuan wealth of experience.

Many supporters of Kayode Fayemi expressed a deep disappointment in the portfolio given to him. They were expecting him to handle the foreign affairs ministry because of his training – a doctorate in civil-military relations from the prestigious Kings College London and his antecedent as a civil rights activist which made him get greatly exposed to leaders of countries around the world. At a time when our international image is so bad, one thought that his input would be greatly appreciated in shoring it up.  When he was interviewed by a Channels correspondent after the swearing in, he openly betrayed his ignorance when he said he would have to understudy the solid minerals ministry. After wasting six months in the cabinet constitution, does it now make any sense to have him still waste more time in trying to learn the ropes?

As usual the sports and youth ministry didn’t get a technocrat in that sector to man it. Sports especially football is the greatest unifier in the country and we thought that the change mantra which brought the Buhari government into power would witness the dawn of a new era in the much troubled sector. It was the same old thing as it was a mere compensation for political patronage. A country like Brazil saw the ascent of the popular Pele as its sports minister. Its high time sports became a revenue generation earner in the country and we are blessed with abundant talents. We just need a well-grounded visionary to hit the ground running. The appointment there was far from a master stroke.

Many pundits expected Abdulrahman Dambazzau to be defence minister given his pedigree and experience as a former Chief of Army Staff but the appointment of Brig-Gen Mohammed Dan Ali is also not bad because of his vast experience in the army. I am skeptical of the reality of the December end date for the end of the boko haram insurgency and we expect him to come up with a pragmatic counter terrorism insurgency plan to rout out the murderers by at least next year.

Audu Ogbeh has a large farm in his native Benue state and his appointment as agriculture minister is arguably a move in the right direction. However we hope he can adjust to the realities of the digital times.

Abubakar Malemi (SAN) may not have had a rock star performance during the ministerial screening but his antecedent as legal adviser to the defunct Congress for Progressive Change may be confidence of his abilities by Buhari. We hope he initiates judicial reforms and gives a helping hand in the prosecution of criminal cases especially by forming a solid partnership with the EFCC.

We hope the team act as servant leaders and not as noise makers as PMB had contemptuously expressed. We wish them the best of luck with Nigerians being the ultimate hirers.


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

President Buhari’s Speech At The Inauguration Ceremony of Ministers

Your Excellency, The Vice President;
Professor Yemi Osinbajo;
The Senate President, and the Hon. Speaker, House of Representatives;
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Justice Mahmoud Mohammed;
The National Chairman, All Progressive Congress, Chief John Oyegun;
National Leader of APC, Chief Bisi Akande;
Other APC Executive Committee Members here present;
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation;
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;
Honourable Ministers;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Members of the Press and Invited Guests.


Today we have reached another milestone in the evolution of our new government which Nigerians overwhelmingly voted into office in the March 28th, 2015 general elections. Today we witness the swearing-in of new ministers of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Since our inauguration on May 29, 2015, the Vice President and I have been mindful of the need to constitute a cabinet that will best deliver our expectations of a better country than we inherited. We want to work towards a prosperous nation respected for the right reasons, and whose citizens can hold up their heads anywhere in the world. And we are optimistic that bringing this set of ministers into the service of our country today is a step in the right direction, a timely move towards realising our positive goals for our country.


Since we assumed office in May, I have been mindful of the need to ensure that the appointment of new ministers translates into putting round pegs in round holes while showing sensitivity to our diversity as a people and our various positions as groups of stakeholders in our country.


I have also been conscious of the need not to repeat such mistakes of the past where the right people were allocated the wrong portfolios, which translated into their performing poorly to our collective detriment despite their obvious capabilities. Also, I have responded to the counsel to consult as widely as possible, given the need to build a stable and all-inclusive government by reaching across our various ethnic and political divides.


With the inauguration of ministers, our government shall continue more decisively to implement its policies in respect of the economy and in other areas. While working hard to maximise revenue from oil in the face of a sharp decline in the price for the commodity, we are determined to diversify the economy in agriculture to enhance employment and explore solid minerals as a major revenue earner.


The primary aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of such staples as rice and wheat and to become a major consumer and exporter of both items as well as solid minerals. We intend to pursue policies that will generate massive employment for millions of our youth.


We shall also continue with greater determination and focus to pursue our goal of ensuring improved security for our country and its citizens, and without letting up on our fight against corruption. Our commitment to defeat Boko Haram and all the threats it constitutes remains as strong as ever. So is our resolve to root out vices such as kidnapping and neutralise the various forms of criminalities that threaten the social peace of Nigerians.


While recognising the challenges we face and the need to surmount them, let us not fail to note the progress we have made in the short life of this government, as an indication of how much better we can do as a people driven by patriotism and a common resolve to do things right.


On the moral sphere, trust is slowly but steadily being re-established between the government and the people. Now, when the government speaks, the people listen; and when the people’s expectations are not met, they appreciate that it is not for lack of commitment or trying on the part of government. In effect, government business is now being conducted with transparency and cynicism is waning as a result.


Our adoption of the Treasury Single Account has resulted in the blocking of financial leakages in the public sector, making more funds available for the business of governance and ensuring the welfare of our citizens. The Central Bank of Nigeria has also assisted more than 30 States of the federation with concessionary loans to offset salary arrears for their workers. On the monetary side, the CBN has also implemented country-specific and innovative policies that have helped to stabilize the exchange rate and conserve our reserves.


Finally, our new ministers must proceed to work speedily and do their utmost to justify the confidence we have placed in them not only by their conduct but also by their performance in their various positions.


Over all our economy is poised for sustained job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Regardless of the present challenges we are confronting, I believe all Nigerians will keep hope alive and sustain their optimism about the future of our economic well being.


The Ministries have been rationalised and reduced to twenty-four. These are the Ministries and their Ministers.


1 Abubakar Malami – (SAN) Justice
2 Geoffrey Onyeama – Foreign Affairs
3 Khadija Bukar Abba – Ibrahim State Minister Of Foreign Affairs
4 Brig. Gen. Mm Dan Ali -Defence
5 Adamu Adamu – Education
6 Prof. Anthony Anwukah – State Minister Of Education
7 Mrs Kemi Adeosun – Finance
8 Okechukwu Enelamah – Industry, Trade And Investment
9 Ms. A’isha Abubakar – State Minister Of Industry, Trade And Investment
10 Dr. (Sen) Chris Nwabueze Ngige – Labour And Employment
11 Barrister James E. Ocholi – State Minister Of Labour And Employment
12 Muhammadu Bello – Federal Capital Territory
13 Abdulrahman Bello Danbazau – Interior
14 Udoma Udo Udoma – Budget And National Planning
15 Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – State Minister Of Budget And National Planning
16 Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu State Minister Of Petroleum Resources
17 Babatunde Raji Fashola (San) – Power, Works And Housing
18 Mustapha Baba Shehuri State – Minister Of Power, Works And Housing
19 Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh – Agriculture And Rural Development
20 Heineken Lokpobiri – State Minister Of Agriculture And Rural Development
21 Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi – Transportation
22 Senator Hadi Sirika – State Minister Of Aviation
23 Isaac Folorunsho – Adewole Health
24 Dr. Osagie Ehanire – State Minister Of Health
25 Senator A’isha Jummai Al-Hassan – Women Affairs
26 Pastor Usani Usani Uguru – Niger Delta
27 Claudius Omoleye Daramola – State Minister Of Niger Delta
28 Barrister Adebayo Shittu – Communications
29 Lai Mohammed – Information
30 Amina Muhammed – Environment
31 Ibrahim Usman Jibril – State Minister Of Environment
32 Eng. Suleiman Adamu – Water Resources
33 Barrister Solomon Dalong – Youth And Sports
34 Kayode Fayemi – Solid Minerals
35 Abubakar Bawa Bwari – State Minister Of Solid Minerals
36 Dr Ogbonnaya Onu – Science And Technology

Best of Luck
Muhammadu Buhari


Ministry Of Power Scrapped By President Buhari

There will be no minister of power in the cabinet inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday. Although Louis Edozien, former executive director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company, was named as the permanent secretary of power on Tuesday, he may turn out to be the most senior officer in the ministry. A special adviser on power, who will co-ordinate the sector, is expected to be named by Buhari.

TheCable was informed that because of the conclusion of the privatization of the power entities, there is no need to have a ministry of power any longer. “After the generating and distribution companies have all been privatised, the only company left is the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN),” a presidential source told TheCable. “What the government will do now is the regulation of the market. All the agencies to do that are in place. The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will play in key role in that. You also have the Nigeria Electricity Management Services Authority (NEMSA).”

The power sector reform embarked upon by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005 led to the unbundling of PHCN into  18 successor companies: six generation companies and 11 distribution companies. The privatisation was concluded by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013. TCN is managed under contract by Manitoba, a Canadian company

Source- Cableng

Ministers Take Oath Of Office Today

The long wait will finally come to an end on Wednesday, as Nigeria’s ministers-designate will take oath of office at the Presidential Villa.

The stage is now set for the ceremony to take place but some of the ministers will not have portfolios, considering the merger of some ministries by the President.

Going by the plans of the Presidency, the ceremony may not be an elaborate one, as each minister-designate is allowed two guests.

In all, 36 ministers-designate have been confirmed by the Senate, but indications from the Presidency showed the ministries have been slashed to 25.

Credit: ChannelsTV

FG Set For Swearing In Of Ministers Tomorrow, See Photo

Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, gives us a glimpse into the swearing in ceremony of newly appointed ministers set for tomorrow. He shares a perfectly capture photo of the event stage which has been decorated and set ready for tomorrow. See IG post below:

Philips M. Ndahi: President Buhari’s Ministers; From Honorable To Honorary

It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari is proposing (or has made up his mind) to have Cabinet Ministers without portfolios. And different persons have given their take for and against what seems a first of its kind in our Democracy.

Chief among the President’s reasons as asserted by him during the presentation of the Report of Ministerial Conformation by the Senate President is the state of the Nation’s economy. And truly the signs are everywhere that there is a decline in accruals to government and certainly this will or should call for measures to cut financial spendings on the part of any forward looking administration. But how exactly is the amount government spends on say a total of 36 Ministers assuming the package enjoyed by the last Cabinet? Many believe the pay wa(i)s draining the coffers. But isn’t a cut in their salaries/allowances a better option?

So if financing 36 plus Ministers is the President’s headache what happen to a bit of sacrifice on the part of his Cabinet? After all we have news gossips about some would – be Ministers who said they are ready to work for free. The President needs to explore this offer.

The second reason being pushed is the needlessness of the 36(7) Minister as called for by the Constitution. It is true that a lot of the Ministries and Agencies at the Federal level are more or less a split of another and; therefore the need to reduce their numbers. Now with say 17 or 18 Ministries one should have expect each to have a Minister and that of State. And I think the President could have bought the commitment of his Team to tow this line without necessarily putting pressure on the Federal purse instead of having a Cabinet of non portfolio holding Ministers

In the alternative since the Constitution didn’t say in black and white when a President should appoint his Ministers or the tenure of Office of same, Buhari should have used the last five months in pursuing a Constitutional change to effect a reduction in the size of a Federal Cabinet. And one sure way to ensure Federal Character and spread is to say give each of the Six Geo – political Zones say Three slots.

An argument is also brewing that the President cannot have Ministers without assigning them portfolios. Then he have the Nigerian past time of ‘marginalization’ to battle with because definitely cries will come from some quarters how their indigenes are made ‘redundant’

In conclusion, what President Buhari needs are COMPETENT and HONEST Advisers to guide him in settling down for the best option.

Philips M. Ndahi,


T: @pm_ndahi

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Buhari To Swear In Ministers On Wednesday, Assign Portfolios After Inauguration

President Muhammadu Buhari is to swear in members of his cabinet on Wednesday, a presidency statement said on Sunday, ending a five-month wait for a cabinet to be installed in Africa’s most populace nation.

Buhari was inaugurated in late May, has been criticised for waiting until September to name his ministers, who then underwent a month-long Senate vetting process. Portfolios will be assigned after ministers have been sworn in.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will officially inaugurate a new Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, November 11, 2015,” said the emailed statement from Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina.

“Before the commencement of the inaugural session of the council, the ministers-designate will take their oaths of office in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa,” it said, adding that this would begin at 10 am local time (0900 GMT).

Credit: Reuters

Buhari Bars Ministers From Using Large Convoys

President Muhammadu Buhari has outlawed the use of large convoys and retinue of aides by the ministers-designate.

This revelation was made by a minister-designate, Dr. Chris Ngige, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of a two-day retreat held for the 36 ministers-designate at the Presidential Villa on Friday.

According to him, the order was in line with the nation’s economic reality.

Asked whether Buhari told them anything about the economy, Ngige said: “Yes, lean economy because we are going to block areas of leakages, retinue of aides, protocol staff, large convoys of cars are things that will not fly in this administration.”

On ongoing debates on portfolios for ministers, he said: “If you have portfolio, if you don’t have portfolio, it is one single Federal Executive Council (FEC). You bring whatever it is on the table. That is not a problem at all. We have a right to discuss things around the ministries because it is one single cabinet.

“The important thing is that we want to move our people from where they are now, they are in abject poverty which concerns about 75 percent of the populace.
“So, we need to actually restructure the political and social moment of the country and that is what we are going to do. That means poverty will reduce.”

Credit: ThisDay

Olalekan Waheed: Ministerial Screening And The Dance Of Shame

After all the drama characterising the screening of those who are to work with President Muhammadu Buhari as ministers, the Nigerian senate in performing its constitutionally-assigned duty cleared all those nominated. Though, legally speaking, we might conclude it is a forgone conclusion about the screening, the dusts raised by the exercise, especially with the screening and confirmation of the immediate past former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, is still with us!

Before the ministerial list was officially announced, the social and traditional media were filled with rumours of Amaechi been “used and dumbed” by “Hausa/Fulani cabal” having worked tirelessly for the emergence of the present administration. In fact, the ethnic juggernauts and tribalistic harlots amongst us have done their utmost to on the one hand prevent Amaechi from becoming minister while on the other hand praying earnestly for his appointment so as to serve as a propaganda tool to blackmail Buhari’s anti-corruption stance. Their scripts were soon to be revealed soon after Amaechi was confirmed by the Nigerian senate with the senators elected on the platform of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) reportedly staging a walk out. My question then is: Can the PDP appoint ministers for President Buhari?

Many sophisticated Nigerians appear to have seen through the PDP’s antics. Most Nigerians probably know that their worst fear is that Amaechi, who is expected to hold a powerful position considering his role in the titanic 2015 election, will further sink party’s ship in its comfort zones. If they could not control him while he was governor under the PDP platform, how then could they control him if given a powerful postion in the All Progressives Congress (APC) government?

It is on record that Amaechi’s only offence against PDP was that he, against all odds, supported a Daura man from Katsina as President against “our son” from Otuoke. He is on record to have, as chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum(NGF) demanded that things be done properly and according to due process. The misappropriation of the Excess Crude Account(ECA) and other oil revenues  under the President Jonathan administration which is still the subject of investigations, was a revelation of Amaechi’s NGF. The high chance of Amaechi’s protégé, Dr Dakuku Peterside, carrying the day at the re-run election can at best compound the party’s woes-hence he must be stopped whatever the costs!

The fact that Amaechi is a dogged fighter who hardly loses any battle scares the PDP even more than death. He, without having to solicit for votes won the River state Gubernatorial election in 2007 which can be better described as the beginning of the end of impunity in our history which the forces of reactions will never like to hear!

Need we say that if the history of the 2015 presidential elections were to be written today, Amaechi will be described as the David who conquered the Goliath Jonathan, by effectively ending the 16-year old PDP Empire? Can all these be why they fear him so much to have engaged in such a dance of shame on the floor of the senate?

Let me look at the issues a bit from PDP’s lenses. Amaechi is corrupt; a River state Government Panel has found him to have misappropriated some amount of money; the government “White Paper” is before the Senate and on the basis of this, Amaechi cannot be a Minister of the Federal Republic. One will only be left to wonder if the party suffers from amnesia. If not, how come they forget so soon?

I will address the question raised above latter. But let me still address, to the best of my ability, the question of whether Amaechi can be minister with the “White Paper”. As far as the laws of Nigeria are concerned, allegations remain allegations until proven otherwise. As far as the law is concerned, at the four corner of my room I can say for as long as I like that my step father stole public money, even going on the pages of newspapers to lay bare my allegations. Let us even say that I got my step dad arrested on the basis of my allegations, he was interrogated and later released for want of evidence. Does that make my step dad guilty just because some unpatriotic elements in the police got him arrested for an offence they hastily investigated?

Again, the PDP recites it like a nursery rhyme that none of its members is guilty of corruption until proven by a competent Court of Law. When the Buhari’s anti-corruption trail got to Diezani Alison-Madueke’s doorstep, the party was quick to shout “witch-hunting”(even though the witches now walk in the day time), but heaven must fall because a doctored “White Paper” says Amaechi Stole some money. If this is the case, I guess PDP’s situation then my best guess is either that the party is confused or ridiculously ignorant of the provisions of the law. Witches are only hunted when they are becoming a nuisance to the community, just as the farmer will not wait for the goats to finish the yams just because he thinks he will eat the yams as part of the goat’s meat!

Lest we forget, some months ago, a certain Musiliu Obanikoro was to be screened and confirmed minister in the teeth of protests from all APC senators, he was confirmed not minding the fact that all the three senators from Lagos, the state he was appointed to represent, opposed his nomination as the Senate Rules states. The PDP-controlled senate saw nothing wrong in appointing “Koro” as he is often called, screening and confirming him as minister even with a damning petition on his involvement in election rigging earlier in Ekiti. If there was nothing wrong in “Koro”, then nothing is with Amaechi’s nomination.

Close observers will also see the fact that PDP is appears not to know what it is afraid of. It, on one hand insists on “Federal Character” with one of its senators saying that the Senate will not approve Buhari’s ministers unless he appoints ministers from the 36 states; on the other hand it fears Amaechi’s appearance in the Cabinet could only spell doom for it. The walk out some of them staged could be best describes as a dance of shame!

Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN, a political analyst and strategist, writes from Lagos.

+2348136502040, +2347081901080


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

You Must Be Agents Of Change, Buhari Tells Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday charged the ministers- designate to ensure they key into the goals of his administration and be the agents of change that will transform the country.

Buhari spoke during the opening session of a two-day Presidential Retreat for the 36 ministers- designate at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.

The theme of the retreat is: “Delivering Change: From Precepts to Practice.”

The President also told the ministers- designate to observe the rule of law and shun impunity in the conduct of government activities.

Stressing that they must count themselves privileged to have been chosen to serve among millions of Nigerians, he said the retreat was aimed at getting them acquainted with the direction of his administration.

Credit: NationOnline

Buhari To Ministers-Designate: “Avoid Wastage, Impunity”…

President Buhari has charged the minister-designates to avoid wastage and impunity while in office. Buhari gave the charge during the ongoing retreat for the 36 ministers-designate holding at the state house Abuja. The retreat started yesterday November 4th and will end November 6th.

He called on the ministers-designates to be change agents and work as a team to achieve his administration’s dream for Nigeria. He also asked them to use the office of his chief of staff as official communication Channel inline with the presidential system of government.


Why All Ministers Won’t Get Portfolios- Buhari

Buhari thanked Saraki for the Senate’s clearance of his nominees, adding that he followed constitutional provision in picking his team.

The Constitution, he said, stated that there must be a minister from each of the 36 states.

“That was why I limited the number to 36”, the President noted, adding:

“The Constitution said there must be one member of the cabinet from all the states but the Constitution did not say I must have 36 ministries.”

He said the country could not afford a large carbinet because of the prevailing economic realities.

The economy, he said, had been battered, explaining that he was being factual by saying it as it is and “not to scare investors as the opposition is claiming”.

“Any investor who is interested in investing in Nigeria will know about the economy. So, when I talk about the position of the economy, I am also looking for investors,” Buhari said.

Credit: NationOnline

Ministers Without Portfolio Not New In Nigeria- Saraki

Even with the quantum of criticism that greeted his statement that Nigeria at the moment can’t afford to pay 36 ministers in far away India on Friday, last week, president Mohammad Buhari Tuesday in Abuja ruled out the possibility of assigning portfolios to all the confirmed 36 ministerial nominees by the senate.

Though he gave vent to the constitutionally mandatory 36 ministerial slots, he also reiterated that the economy was battered to accommodate the number.

This came as the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki said that the idea of having ministers without portfolio was not entirely novel in the Nigerian political system.

President Buhari spoke when he received the second and last batch of the screened nominees from the senate president at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Saraki had at a brief ceremony to mark the presentation stated that the senate had concluded the assignment.

In an interview session after the brief event, the Senate President said it was not new to have ministers without assigned duties.

He however urged Nigerians to focus on “major issues”.

According to him, the appointment of the ministers would give room for serious government works to better the lots of the citizenry.

Credit: Vanguard

Buhari Insists There Will Be Ministers Without Portfolio, Reason Being…

It is now confirmed that the screening and confirmation of the ministers has been concluded.

This is because the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has handed over the final list of ministers who scaled through the confirmation process.

During the meeting in the Presidential Villa, the President again explained that the Federal Government might not be able to fund all the existing ministries, given the unavailability of funds.

President Buhari emphasized that his administration would not have 36 ministries because of the economic downturn.

Recieving the list of 36 ministerial nominees confirmed by the Senate from Dr Bukola Saraki, he commended the Senate for a job well done, especially as the National Assembly passed all the names he submitted.

Telling his critics that they cannot stop him from telling the country the truth, he insisted that some of the ministers would stay without portfolio following an economy that has been battered.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Buhari Inaugurates Ministers Next Week

Save for any change in programme , President Mu­hammadu Buhari will, next week, inaugurate and assign portfolios to ministers con­firmed by the Senate today.

The number of minis­ters that will be inaugurat­ed will, however, depend on the outcome of today’s confirmation of the sec­ond batch of the ministe­rial nominees, 16 in number, whose screening ended yes­terday. Senate confirmed 21 ministries last week.

If the 16 nominees scale the confirmation hurdle to­day, the total number of min­isters that would be sworn in next week will be 37.

Credit: Sunonline

Zayyad I. Muhammad: “President Buhari Needs To Create A Ministry For Rural Development”

Buhari should create a Ministry solely dedicated to rural development. Buhari’s government needs this Ministry for three main reasons: the easiest and feasible way to fight poverty, an effortless way to unveil comprehensive and feasible post-war programmes and projects to restore communities in the war torn northeast to their pre-war peaceful and productive statuses as well as tackle the age-long cry for development in the in the Niger Delta creeks.
To a large extent, Nigeria’s rural development strategies have been mainly targeted at the country’s agricultural productivity. Though, majority of Nigeria’s rural dwellers are peasant farmers; rural development should go beyond agricultural productivity. It should also be directed at the development of human and natural resources; rural road, energy, education, culture, social order, and political awareness. The creation of a Ministry solely for rural development will make rural development in Nigeria conform with the global concept of rural development- “quantitative change or uplift in the standard of people in the rural areas, brought about through integrated approach, by both governmental and non-governmental agencies and the people themselves”.
President Buhari’s rural development approach should be systematic as well as systemic. Systematic in the sense of using both reductionism and holism, while systemic in the sense of remodeling the three known rural development strategies (the technocratic, reformist and the radical).
Many countries have tried the three rural development strategies; some countries have recorded some successes while others, colossal failures. The objective of the technocratic strategy is to increase agricultural output within the framework of capitalist ideology. The reformist strategy aims at redistributing income and increasing agricultural output. While the radical approach with socialist outlook is targeted at completing social change, redistributing political power and factors of production.
As earlier suggested, Nigeria’s rural development approach should be systematic -employing reductionism and holism. Using reductionism, this implies rural development programmes and projects would target one, two or a few rural communities in each of the 774 local government council of Nigeria at a given time. And using holism, selected rural communities will be equipped with basic rural infrastructure -school, water supply, electricity, health facility and sanitation, agricultural implement and extension service. This will help communities in the war-torn Northeast and deep creeks in the Niger Delta.
Good facilities and infrastructure can be built in rural areas; but maintenance of such could be a problem. Taking cognizance of the insufficient funds and near absence of government administrative machineries in these areas, the best solution is community involvement. Government facilitates education, culture, social order, and political awareness and provides the basic infrastructure. And it hands over the responsibility of maintenance and care to the community. Considering the peculiarity of most Nigerians when it comes to managing public resources and trust, extra measures will have to be put in place to avoid mismanagement and abuse. These measures could include legislative protection and guidance, governmental checks and balances, occasional inspection and evaluation. Facilities should be provided for manageable units of the community so as to avoid giving excessive control to community heads, who could take advantage by imposing some illegal levies or taxes on such facilities.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980. He blogs at
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Ministerial Nominee Names Read Out By The Senate President #TheList2

After a closed-door session during plenary today, Senate President Bukola Saraki announced the following names of ministerial nominees from the second list he received on Monday:

Adamu Adamu, Hajia Bukar Ibrahim, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, James Ocholi, Anthony Anwuka, Isaac Adewole.

Others are Dan Ali, Okechukwu Enelamah, Brig. MM Dan Ali, Okechukwu Onyeama, Ms. Aisha Abubakar…

We listed them below:

  • Khadijat Buka Ibrahim
  • Omoleye Daramola
  • Anthony Anwuka
  • Jeffrey Onyema
  • Dan Ali
  • James Ocholi
  • Zainab Ahmad
  • Okechukwu Enelamah
  • Hadiza Abdullahi
  • Aisha Abubakar
  • Heineken Lokpobiri
  • Adamu Adamu
  • Isaac Oyewole
  • Mohammadu Bello

Ministerial List: President Buhari Won’t Be Designated As Petroleum Minister But … – Adesina

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Femi Adesina, was on Channels TV, yesterday, where he fielded questions on the list of Ministers. Adesina affirmed that Nigerians should not judge the ministerial nominees whose screening by the Nigerian Senate begins on Tuesday, on the basis of their chronological age, but on their mental alertness. He also explained that President Buhari is not going to be designated as Petroleum Minister. Excerpts:

A lot of Nigerians are asking when will the President submit the full ministerial list and when will the remainder of that list come to the Senate?


Well, if we look at how ministerial lists were presented in the past , they did not come in one fell swoop . They came in batches. The figures may have been different. In this one, we have 21, in the other ones, they may have had more than 30, but they didn’t come in one batch. And there is no law that says it should come in one batch.

So, when will the second tranche of the list come?

That depends on the President, we can assume that it won’t take long.

You have asked us to assume now , is the list almost getting ready because the Senators are saying that without the second list, they won’t allow the full screening process to be concluded?

No, they didn’t say that. Somebody raised it, but it was not a consensus of the whole house.

Ok, let me go into some other matter, people are saying that the representation of nominees and their states, for example , Mrs Aminat Mohammed, is she from Kaduna or Gombe?

The list was read by the Senate president and I guess that question should be directed at him because he is the one that will say who is representing which state. It is not a question that should come to me.

Why I’m asking is because the Senate actually gave us a copy of the letter and did not actually include the states that the nominees come from. That’s why some people have petitioned and they also need clarification of where she comes from…

(Cuts in) That’s why there is going to be a screening process and I believe that is one of the things that will come up during screening.

A lot of people have asked about the issue of technocrats and lots of Nigerians are saying that there are old hands coming to play and there is no youth representation. Is the President concerned about Nigerians’ agitation on representation?

These people who have been nominated are qualified and are Nigerians. Talking of age, there is a saying that “age does not matter. It does not mind, if you don’t mind it.” I don’t think that age is an issue. And talking of age, you should rather talk about mental and chronological age. If you have a chronological age of 30, which makes you a youth, and mental age is not at par, what do we gain? Nothing.

And you may have a chronological age of 68, which is the age of the oldest of the nominees, if that nominee now has a mental age of 15 or 20, what do we gain? We must rather talk of the mental age rather than the chronological age. It is not the chronological age that matters as long as that person has what he is bringing to the table.

The average age of the 21 names is 53, do you think that is healthy enough?

There is nothing wrong with that…

When we talk about youth participation, and only 14 per cent of women on that list, do you think this is fair enough on the womenfolk?

God himself is ageless, so you can’t be talking of whether someone is old or not. Talking about women, yes, three women in this list ,15 yet to come, if all the 15 are now women, what would you have to say? Just be sure that the President is mindful of fair representation in the country and he will do what is needful.

Alright, we will wait and of course, you will come to talk to us then? But tell me, is the President still going to be the Minister of Petroleum?

He is not going to be designated as Minister but will supervise the Ministry. When former President Olusegun Obasanjo while in office supervised that ministry for 6 years, was he called a petroleum Minister? No, he was not. President is going to supervise and maybe, he would have Minister of State to work along with him. I daresay, he has all it takes to supervise that ministry having been oil minister for 3 and half years in the past.

Tell me, we are talking about pruning the number of ministries and people are saying, is there a possibility of a cut down of ministries? How many ministries are we expecting President Muhammadu Buhari to have?

President Buhari would respect the constitution. And the constitution says Ministers must be appointed from each state and that means there must be minimum of 36 ministers. He would respect that.

Did the President actually consult the state governors especially those from the All Progressives Congress (APC) before he brought out the list?

Well, remember in the past, the President had said when the governors were appointing commissioners in their states, he never interfered, so he didn’t expect them to interfere in the choice of his ministers. That was the original position and then later, he came back to say when he had his list ready that he was going to run it by the governors, that is the position. I guess there must have been some consultations but it does not mean that the position of any government will be sacrosanct on the nominee.

Source –

Fayose Asks Ekiti Senators To Support Fayemi’s Ministerial Nomination

Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has asked Ekiti state lawmakers to ensure his predecessor and ministerial nominee, Kayode Fayemi have a hitch free screening exercise at the floor of the senate come 13th October 2015 when screening of the country’s ministerial nominees will commence. Fayose made the call while speaking with student leaders of Ekiti origin at the conference hall of the governor’s office yesterday October 7th.

 “Ekiti is my number one priority, I called all the house of reps and senators that went to Abuja from here, some people petitioned the national assembly, stating how Fayemi sunk Ekiti into heavy debt, I have told the members not to do that.
It is God that judge people, not we. You must support him there. If a child would die, it shouldn’t be from the mother. They should not go to the house and oppose Kayode Fayemi, NO, they must never do that. An Ekiti man is an Ekiti man. I appeal to everybody, you must support him. All former ministers from here in the time past practically really have nothing to show because we pull one another down, we pull one another down… We must not pull them down. If they are behaving like that, we must live a better life. Promotion does not come from man but from God Almighty”he said.

Tony Ademiluyi: Buhari’s Ministerial List; The Anti-Climax

At last ‘Baba Go Slow’ as Buhari’s critics and adversaries would love to dub him has finally brought out his ministerial list albeit the first tranche. After keeping the nation waiting and guessing, the Senate President Bukola Saraki brought this suspense to an end when he reeled out the names of twenty-one of the nominees on October 6, 2015.

To say the list was disappointing is to put it mildly. What was the rationale behind the over sixteen weeks wait if many of the names that were propped up were familiar ones? We thought angels will make up the crop of the list as the body posture of Buhari seemed to loath the idea of working with the same establishment politicians. Alas our hopes were brutally dashed. Was the wait worth it? Where were the much touted technocrats that could give life and meaning to the change mantra which was the fulcrum on which this government was ushered in? The youngest age on the list was 48 years old. Is that fair to the youths that were the main drivers behind the emergence of the apple cart upsetting that saw the power of incumbency which former President Goodluck Jonathan wielded torpedoed? Is Buhari opining that Nigerians in their 30’s or early 40’s can’t be trusted with leadership positions?

There is always the need for political expediency in compensating politicians who worked for the party after the elections but there are other ways this can be done. Board and Ambassadorial appointments could fill in the lacuna. The kitchen cabinet should parade the brightest and the best who can most deftly articulate the policies of the government in order for the goods to be delivered. I understand the inclusion of former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in the list because he stuck his neck and fought Jonathan who incidentally hailed from his South-South zone and risked all he had as Buhari’s presidential campaign coordinator but did all that make him deserving of a ministerial appointment? This was a man who locked up the courts for a year in his state because the National Judicial Council was not positively disposed to his candidate becoming the Chief Justice of the State. This was immaturity at its apogee as the larger society bore the brunt of it. Cases were unnecessarily stalled for much longer than necessary and there was chaos as a result of that ill-conceived decision borne out of sheer ego. He boldly said no one could probe him in the Punch Newspapers on September 4. Is he above the law? Why shouldn’t he be subjected to a probe which is the regular routine of past public office holders? Was he in office through the Divine Right of Kings Theory? It is ludicrous that such a man touts himself as a democrat.

Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN throve more on propaganda. Taking a critical look at his eight year rule in the economic nerve centre of the state, one is forced to ask: what really were his achievements? He ran an elitist government with most parts of the state especially on the mainland and the outskirts left in utter neglect. The Lekki-Epe expressway was a brutal way of extortion and the cruelest form of an anti-people policy. His undemocratic tenet showed up when policemen were dispatched to spray teargas on unarmed protesters led by popular Lagos lawyer, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa who were protesting the tollgate – a modern symbol of feudalism. The debt profile in the state by his admission skyrocketed to 418 billion naira. He could not sustain the free education policy as the dilapidated Lagos State Schools now subject their students to some form of levies to make up for the sparse government funding.

Audu Ogbeh was a minister for communications and mines and power from 1982 to 1983 under former President Shehu Shagari. That was over three decades ago and times have changed. Does he have what it takes to cope with demands of the new digital age? What more does he really have to offer Nigerians as he would have better suited as an elder statesman reeling out advice from his farm in an advisory capacity.

Chris Ngige was the beneficiary of a stolen mandate brazenly done by his erstwhile godfather, Chief Chris Uba. After the infamy was exposed, he portrayed himself as a defender of the masses by refusing to hand over the state treasury to the Uga born politician but he still tenaciously stayed put in the government house in a Macbeth like manner. It took three years of doggedness by Peter Obi to get him thrown out of the government house. It was then he discovered his ‘democratic credentials’ by pitching his tent with the then Action Congress of Nigeria and chanting the change slogan. How hypocritical!

Kemi Adeosun allegedly left Ogun state in a huge debt mess through reckless borrowings. These allegations need to be thoroughly investigated through scrutiny by the Senators on October 13 as we don’t want a rehash of this at the federal level as this would set the nation aback by another score or more. The agony of the Babangida years is still fresh in our memory.

There was no clear departure from the usual practice of not assigning portfolios to ministers. The only minister that we all know is Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as he will be the Minister of State for Petroleum since Buhari has admitted that he would supervise that ministry. For the rest, it resides in the mind of the President. This is wrong as the screening would be rather shallow. What will the Senate screen them for? How will we know their competence level for their proposed assignments? If the Senate could make a departure from allowing former Senators to merely take a bow, it should have put its foot down and insisted that Buhari should assign portfolios to enable them do a much more thorough job. After wasting four months, we can’t afford to have another God knows how long wasted again on trial and error.

It is a shame that after this long, we are still waiting for the second set to be sent and one wonders how long that will be! Let us see how well Buhari can make of this ‘crack’ team.

So much for waiting!


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Senators Give Terms For Confirming Ministers

As the Senate today, unveils the ministerial list it received from President Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday, some senators have provided insight into how the screening and confirmation of nominees would be done.

Some of them, who spoke on the terms and conditions that would guide the screening at the National Assembly yesterday hinted that the upper legislative chamber would adopt stringent measures in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

The senators made it clear that any list that does not cover the 36 states of the Federation will meet serious opposition on the floor.

A People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senator, representing Abia North, Mao Ohuabunwa, said the list of ministerial nominees is expected to be complete in line with the Constitution.

“The Constitution does not support appointment of ministers in batches. Every state must be represented but if the number is not complete, some of us may raise constitutional issues. If we have to wait for another three months for him to send another list comprising representatives of other states, it means those states would be non-functional,” he said.

Read More: ngrguardiannews

Senate Gets Buhari’s List Of Ministers Today

It is certain that the list of ministers is ready, and President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the prized document should be submitted immediately to the Senate, which resumes from its six-week break, today.

The list was said to contain the names of people like former Rivers State Governor, Mr Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi; a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu; former Army Chief, Lt-Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazzau, and activist lawyer, Femi Falana, among others.

It was gathered, yesterday, that President Buhari handed the list to his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, and directed him to forward it to the Senate President.

Read More: vanguardngr

“Ministers Are Noise Makers, Civil Servants Are the Real Workers” – President Buhari

The delay in the appointment of ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari may not be unconnected with the believe by the president that civil servants and technocrats are the ones who do the job of governance more than the ministers.

Although the president said he intends to stick with his decision to name his cabinet before the end of the month, he however opined that ministers are only there to “make a lot of noise”.

He stated this during an interview with French television station, France 24 on Wednesday.

Asked if the absence of a finance minister was affecting the Nigerian capital market and economy, Buhari said: “No. It is what we know –and which we learnt from the western system. The civil service provides the continuity, the technocrat. And in any case, they are those that do most of the work.”

“The ministers are there, I think, to make a lot of noise; for the politicians to make a lot of noise. But the work is being done by the technocrats. They are there; they have to provide the continuity, dig into the records and then guide us, [those of us] who are just coming in.”

“They have been there, some of them for 15 years, some for 20 years. So I think this question of ministers is political. People from different constituencies want to see their people directly in government, and see what they can get out of it.”

“As for the cabinet, I said we will have one by the end of the month, and time flies. The end of the month is coming too quickly for my liking.

“Yeah, I will stick to it. I will send the names to the national assembly.”

Reminded by his interviewer that “some have quipped that the country runs better without ministers”, the president said: “When you started introducing me, you said I was around 1983 to 1985. “Even then we had ministers. So under this system, we have to have ministers; and we are going to have ministers.”

Zayyad I. Muhammad: The Ministers President Buhari Will Appoint

Nigerians are anxiously waiting for President Buhari’s list of ministers. Buhari’s delay in appointing his ministers have attracted curiosity from most Nigerians on the type of ministers he will appoint.
Many Nigerians expect Buhari to take a different direction from the previous style of presenting names of ministerial nominees to the Senate without their portfolios.  If Buhari can be bold enough to send the names of ministerial nominees with their portfolios attached against their respective names, it will make a great difference and make the screening easier for the Senators while also giving Nigerians a foreknowledge of how each nominee may fare in his/her post. Though, one must admit that being eloquent on stage does not necessarily translate into performing very well in the field. Buhari should also endeavor to include young individuals in his cabinet; it will enliven his cabinet with new ideas and ‘young minds passion’ for adventures.
This government needs some young adventurers- great thinkers, silicon-valley-like-thinkers; men and women who can move the government with the speed of the imagination of most Nigerians. Buhari needs individuals whose senses of judgment is centered on the challenges of un-locking the future for ordinary Nigerians.
Supporters and admirers of Buhari should not be deceived. Buhari also needs politicians in his cabinet; complete sidelining of politicians may be a political suicide for Buhari. He needs them in some areas- especially to hold the political front for him when the need arises.
There are some ministries that Buhari should hold dear- petroleum, finance, solid minerals, rural development, education, health, and agriculture. These ministries should be manned by professionals. Mr. President should be very strong in this regard. If he finds competent professionals from a village in Bayelsa who can effectively steer these ministries, he should be brave enough to appoint them. When professionals are appointed to man very important ministries, they know what is expected of them. They know they are called to rebuild a system that will shift the governance away from the traditional method of concentrating on only ‘off-the-shelves’ way of improving our society. They will not only saddle themselves with the responsibilities within their portfolio; but also be team players that will bring new and feasible ideas that will trigger development in all spheres of the society. They will help put in place, systems that will bring dynamism into governance.
Buhari needs to start a yearly continuous assessment of ministers. Each minister should be given realistic and measurable targets to achieve within a year or two. This is will leapfrog development; bring new thinking and fresh approach to governance. This will also make the cabinet an engine-room to provide broad variety of services to Nigerians, ranging from health to industrial development, security, a sound legal system, and the provision of effective infrastructure and education system and human capital development.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980. He blogs at
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Ministerial list: Falana, Oyinlola, Odimegwu Others Undergo DSS Screening

There are strong indications that the Department of State Service, (DSS) has completed a screening process for some of the ministerial nominees to make up the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ministerial listAmong the list of those who were said to have been screened by the DSS are, former presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, Femi Falana (SAN), a former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former finance commissioner in Lagos State, Mr. Wale Edun and Former Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Limited, Mr. Festus Odimegwu.

Others in the list are, Abubakar Malami (SAN), former Chief of Army, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazu (retd.); an former chief executive of the Federal Inland Revenue, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okaru;.

Vanguard gathered from a source very close to the presidency who pleaded anonymity that the aforementioned nominees had appeared before the DSS for their screening at the weekend.

However, the nominees are yet to give any confirmation on the supposed screening which may not be far-fetched from the fact that appointments of this nature are treated cautiously in the official circle.

It was gathered that no fewer than 20 nominees had been so far screened by the DSS operatives since the exercise started.

Recall that the President had indicated in a chat with journalists in Accra, Ghana, on Monday that he would keep his promise of announcing names of his ministers this month.

Our source revealed that the screening process by the DSS involved conducting background checks on the careers of the nominees and operatives were also checking for records of the nominees with anti-graft and security agencies.

DSS Screens Buhari’s Ministerial Nominees – Report

The Department of State Services has commenced the screening of ministerial nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, The PUNCH has learnt on Wednesday.

It was gathered that no fewer than 20 nominees had been vetted by the DSS operatives since the exercise started.

The President was said to have sent to the agency a total of 36 names of would be ministers for security checks. The identities of the nominees were top secret as of Wednesday.

The President had indicated in a chat with journalists in Accra, Ghana, on Monday that he would
keep his promise of announcing names of his ministers this month.

Investigations showed that the screening process by the DSS involved conducting background checks on the careers of the nominees and operatives were also checking for records of the nominees with anti-graft and security agencies.

One of our correspondents gathered that people on the list included mainly those who worked with Buhari when he was in the military and during his stint as the chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund.

The DSS could not be reached for comment on Wednesday as it had yet to appoint a spokesperson.

‘Security screening not public’

When asked if the Presidency had directed security agencies to vet ministerial nominees, the Special Adviser (Media) to the President, Femi Adesina, simply replied via a text message, “Security screening is naturally a behind-the-scenes matter, thanks.”

Top ranking members of the governing All Progressives Congress have also refrained from speaking about ministerial appointment by Buhari.

One of the APC leaders, who asked not to be named, said, “The truth is that the President is someone who believes in due process.”

“His choice of Daura (Lawal Daura), a member of the old guard, as the DG DSS should tell you something; even those contacted for screening know that any leak of information traced to them could ruin their chances,” the source added.

The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, has been out of Abuja for almost one week.

Calls to his mobile phone indicated that it was switched off.

Repeated calls to the mobile telephone number of the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Lai Mohammed, were neither picked nor returned as of the time of filing this report.

The ministerial list is yet to be forwarded to the Senate as it is still undergoing security screening.

The President, in an interview he granted the Hausa Service of the BBC on Tuesday, had given a hint about what influenced the appointments he had so far.

He had said, “If I choose people who I know quite well in my political party, people whom we came (together) all the way right from the All Paeoples Party, Congress for Progressive Change and the APC and we have remained together through good and trying times, what then is the reward for such dedication and suffering? They did not defect because of positions; they did not involve themselves in the pursuit of personal gains.”

Such considerations are also likely to influence his choice of ministers, sources indicated.

It will be recalled that Buhari had in July said his cabinet would be made known in September.

The President, in an article published in Washington Post on July 19, said it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound judgment for him to have formed his cabinet immediately he was inaugurated on May 29.

He said it was necessary for the country to first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place before he could make critical appointments into his government.

The article was published ahead of his historic meeting with President Barack Obama of United States in July.

He said it was noteworthy that Obama did not have his full cabinet in place for several months after first taking office.

He said the US did not cease to function in the interim despite that delay.

“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim,” he had said.

Buhari withdraws diplomatic passports of ex-govs, ministers, others

The Nigerian Immigration Service has directed former Nigerian public office holders to immediately surrender official and diplomatic passports issued to them while they were in office.

The action, officials say, is based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The categories of officials affected by the directive are former governors, former ministers, former senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and former members of state Houses of Assembly.

Others are former commissioners, for special advisers/special assistants, former chairmen/deputy chairmen of local government areas, all retired heads of parastatals and retired public servants.

“These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect,” the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, said in a statement Monday.

“Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorized possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”

The Federal Government had on August 24 directed the Immigration Service to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.

“The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to the fact that some Nigerians who are not entitled to hold diplomatic and official passports are in possession of these documents,” a statement by Yusuf Isiaka,the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, said at the time.

According to the statement, the measure was intended to protect and promote Nigeria’s integrity in the comity of nations in addition to ensuring law and order.



Pres. Buhari Withdraws Diplomatic Passports Of Ex-govs, Ministers, Others

The Nigerian Immigration Service has directed former Nigerian public office holders to immediately surrender official and diplomatic passports issued to them while they were in office.


The action, officials say, is based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The categories of officials affected by the directive are former governors, former ministers, former senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and former members of state Houses of Assembly.

Others are former commissioners, for special advisers/special assistants, former chairmen/deputy chairmen of local government areas, all retired heads of parastatals and retired public servants.

“These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect,” the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, said in a statement Monday.

“Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorized possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”

The Federal Government had on August 24 directed the Immigration Service to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.

“The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to the fact that some Nigerians who are not entitled to hold diplomatic and official passports are in possession of these documents,” a statement by Yusuf Isiaka,the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, said at the time.

According to the statement, the measure was intended to protect and promote Nigeria’s integrity in the comity of nations in addition to ensuring law and order.

Anti-Corruption War Is Non-Negotiable, Buhari Replies Jonathan’s Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday replied former Nigerian ministers who questioned the sincerity of his anti-corruption war, saying it is not intended to rubbish the name of anyone.
The ministers, who served in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had in a statement cautioned against selective anti-corruption war and warned against labelling the Jonathan government as corrupt.
In his response, Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, asked the country’s latest “trade union formation, the Association of Ex-Jonathan Ministers to do a bit of self-reflection on the sort of government they handed to President Muhammadu Buhari back in May to determine for themselves if it would have been right for any incoming government, not just this one to ignore the issue of the
brazen theft of public assets, perhaps the first of its kind we have ever seen in this country”.
“Earlier statements made in this regard that there is no witch hunt or malice against anyone in the pursuit of the county’s stolen assets still stands” Shehu said in a statement, Sunday in Abuja.
He added that the war against corruption knows no friend nor foe, he said .
Mr. Shehu said there was no intention to deny anyone of their good name where they are entitled to it and that President Buhari reserves the highest regards for the country’s former leaders including Mr. Jonathan who he continues to praise for the way and manner in which he accepted defeat in the last election.
“For the purpose of emphasis, the issue of fighting corruption by President Buhari is non-negotiable.
It is sine qua non to the overall reconstruction of the economy and social systems which suffered destruction and severe denigration under the last administration. President Buhari will not be deterred or blackmailed into retreat and surrender” he said.
He added that no one in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, can accuse President Buhari of undermining the economy when “all they handed over to him is at best, was a tottering economy hobbled by corruption and the absence of due process”.
He added that the situation in Nigeria has become worsened by the continuing fall of oil prices, which is expected to fall even further with the imminent full return of Iran to the global oil market. According to Mr. Shehu, all the president has been doing is to put things together, organize to defeat Boko Haram, pay outstanding salaries, clean up the mess left behind, improve security and restore Nigeria’s relationships with neighbours and the world.
“So what are former ministers afraid of in these things? Have they become a new trade union?
“Let this collection of ex-VIPs allow the President the peace he needs to handle the reconstruction of the economy and the nation in a manner that most serves Nigeria’s best interests.
“President Buhari does not need these types of distraction presented by the so-called association of former ministers”.

Non-Appointment Of Ministers Shows Buhari’s Military Hangover – Nwabueze

Renowned law scholar and leader of the Concerned Igbo Leaders of Thought, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for delaying the appointment of ministers into his cabinet.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria described Buhari’s refusal to appoint ministers over 80 days after taking office as a reflection of Buhari’s military personality.
He said this was why former President Olusegun Obasanjo (also a former soldier) failed to appoint ministers on time as well.
He stated that the country’s constitution does not allow the President to govern the country for more than two months without ministers.
Nwabueze, in an article titled, “Constitutionality of President Buhari Ruling Nigeria For More Than Two And Half Months Without a Council Of Ministers: The Concerns of the Igbo Leaders Of

Thought,” a copy of which was sent to The PUNCH on Wednesday, said the President was expected to consult with “various executive bodies” before presidential actions.

According to the professor of law, it is not likely that anyone other than a retired army general and former head of a military government would ever think of ruling the country for more than two and half months without ministers, knowing full well that the governmental system established for the country by the constitution does not permit him to do that.
“And yet, knowing his antecedents and the influence they must have on him, Nigerians elected him as ‘civilian’ President in the March 2015 election. His election cannot but portray Nigerians as incapable of learning from past experience, a people lacking the degree of political maturity and sagacity required for the successful working of constitutional democracy,” Nwabueze added.
The article read in part, “Since his inauguration on May 29, 2015, as elected ‘civilian’ President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general and former head of the military government, has been ruling the country for more than two and half months without ministers.
“The President ruling for more than two and half months without ministers is really incredible, but, incredible as it is, we Nigerians, as a people, ought to have foreseen it from our experience of the dictatorial way former President Obasanjo who, like President Buhari, is a retired army general and former head of the military government, rode roughshod over the constitutional limitations on his powers.”
Source: The Punch

Buhari Working Independently To Assemble Ministers Without Inferences- Oyegun

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, has said President Muhammadu Buhari was working hard independently without any inferences to assemble the best hands as ministers in the next few weeks.

Oyegun revealed that President Buhari has spent the last two months understanding the situation he inherited from the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led government.

Oyegun at the national Secretariat of APC yesterday, during a visit by the Association of Northern Students on the occasion of his 76th birthday and one year in office as national chairman of APC, said the President will appoint his ministers in a few weeks.

“What some of us in the progressive movement that has now transformed into governance of this country cannot accept is that the nation needed to be as bad as it is today. Yes, the circumstances of last 15 years ago are different, the nature of economy is different, people have evolved but the basic fact remains the same and that is for any nation, for any government to have any legitimacy, its key emphasis and the whole justification for its existence must be the welfare of the people, who have entrusted that party or that leader with the governance of their common affairs. That is the key thing…”

Read Morenationalmirroronline

Absence of Ministers Delays U.S Assistance to Nigeria

Notwithstanding the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United States of America last month, the US government was said to have informed him that it would not start to address the requests brought by the Nigerian government until Buhari sets up his cabinet.

Buhari had gone to the US with a number of requests including seeking assistance from America in Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram, support in the reconstruction of the North-east, support in the war against corruption, assistance in tracking down Nigeria’s stolen funds by past corrupt government officials, and increased trade and investment between Nigeria and the US.

But he US government made it clear that while it was willing to help Nigeria address some of its challenges, its officials advised Buhari during his three-day visit to the country to set up his cabinet and put in place a crack team that could help address the multi-faceted problems of the country.

Reports provide that the issue was raised during some of the meetings the US government officials held with Buhari and his team, when the US, led by its president, Barak Obama, said it had expected Buhari to come to Washington with crucial members of his cabinet in order to hold fruitful and productive deliberations.

According to a source at the meetings, the US officials were somewhat disappointed with the president’s team during the visit, which comprised mainly civil servants, adding that the US reckoned that the civil servants would not be able to address any of the country’s requests or provide policy direction until Buhari sets up a team that would help him realise his plans for the country.

Although the source maintained that Buhari’s US visit was “highly successful”, given the renewed relations between the two countries, he stated that Nigeria should not expect much from the US until Buhari’s cabinet emerges, adding that the US was quite emphatic on Buhari’s team before lending support to Nigeria.

He revealed that the position of the US was reiterated during Buhari’s meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Read More: thisdaylive

A Lot Of Knowledgeable Nigerians Have Been Compromised, Buhari Explains Why It Is Taking Time To Appoint Ministers

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari has once again explained why it is taking him time to appoint ministers, saying that a lot of knowledgeable Nigerians fit for the position have been compromised and it is very risky to appoint such people into office. He explained that appointing ministers who will be taking instructions from ‘powerful people’ outside the cabinet will take Nigeria back to square one and that is part of what he is running from. Read his exact words below…

“From what I have seen so far, we need very patriotic Nigerians (to be ministers); Nigerians that can work very hard with knowledgeable experience; committed Nigerians to be in charge of ministries.

“A lot of institutions in Nigeria are compromised, everybody for himself and God for all of us. It is most unfortunate. We have people, educated and experienced people, but everybody seems to be working for himself on how much they could get away with as soon as possible.

“We have to look for technocrats and politicians. We have to look out for decent people in this class to give them the responsibility of being in charge of ministries and important parastatals.

“It is taking so much time (to appoint ministers) because a number of knowledgeable people have been compromised. They have been compromised by people who will like to depend on them to damage our economy and security; a lot of them have been compromised.

“The worst thing that I think can happen is to get a compromised person to be in charge of institutions. There is no way he could be efficient or patriotic. Somebody behind the scene will be manipulating him at the expense of the nation.

“This is what we are trying to avoid and I assure you that so much damage has been done to Nigeria. We cannot rush to give this responsibility to people that have unfortunately been compromised.

“This is because there is no way you can effectively supervise, let’s say 20 ministries, you have to give it to people you trust and you allow them to perform according to the Constitution of the country. If you appoint compromised people, then we will be back to square one and Nigeria will be the loser.”

“One Million Barrel Of Stolen Crude Was Being Sold By Some Former Ministers Per Day”- President Buhari

President Muhammadu  Buhari Tuesday in the United States vowed that his administration would trace the accounts of individuals who stashed away ill-gotten oil money, freeze and recover the loot and prosecute the culprits.

President Muhammadu Buhari 

Reacting to questions from members of Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) in the United States and Canada at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC on the third day of his visit, the President lamented that “Corruption in Nigeria has virtually developed into a culture where honest people are abused.”

According to him, “250,000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude are being stolen and people sell and put the money into individual accounts,” adding that the United States and other developed countries “are helping us to trace such accounts now.

We will ask that such accounts be frozen and prosecute the persons. The amount involved is mind-boggling. Some former ministers were selling about one million barrels per day. I assure you that we will trace and repatriate such money and use the documents to prosecute them. A lot of damage has been done to the integrity of Nigeria with individuals and institutions already compromised.”

Citing the example of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), President Buhari said unlike what obtained during his tenure as Federal Commissioner for Petroleum under military regime when the NNPC had only two traceable accounts before paying oil proceeds into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), “now everybody is doing anyhow.”

The President, who expressed skepticism on the existence of oil subsidy, said if subsidy was removed, transport, housing and food prices would go out of control and the average worker would suffer untold hardship.

While agreeing that the “economy is in an extremely bad shape,” following 16 years of bad government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ran down the oil refineries and had the “treasury in their pockets,” he said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration would fulfill its three-pronged campaign manifesto of providing security, turning around the economy with a major focus on youth employment and fighting corruption. According to him, agriculture and mining would receive priority attention as faster job-creation avenues for the teeming unemployed youth, adding that some foreign investors had agreed to take advantage of the immense business opportunities in Nigeria.

President Jonathan when asked if the Federal Government (FG) would agree to negotiate with the Boko Haram insurgent and terrorist organization to pave way for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, replied that the FG would only negotiate if genuine and confirmed leaders of the militant sect came forward and convinced the FG of the current conditions of the girls, their location and the sect’s willingness to negotiate. “Our objective is that we want the girls back, alive and returned to their families and rehabilitated. We are working with neighboring countries if they will help,” he said.

On when he would form his cabinet, the President, who observed jokingly that the question was chasing him around the world even to the point that at home he had been nicknamed, “Baba Go Slow!”, noted that not even the PDP during all the years it ruled the country ever never formed a cabinet within the first four months. “I am going to go slow and steady,” he assured, as he called for patience to allow the new administration “put some sense into governance and deal with corruption.”

President Buhari promised that his administration would at the right time tap into the enormous talents available amongst members of NIDO especially as consultants while their requests for voting right in 2019, a Diaspora Commission and opening of new consulates in parts of the United States and Canada would be looked into.

The President had earlier met at the same venue with a group of young professionals in the United States and assured them of his government’s resolve to fight corruption, remain steadfast and invest heavily in education which he said was the answer to taking the youth out of poverty and ignorance.  The youth in their huge numbers took turns to express their best wishes for the President and the country.


Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

Why I Won’t Form Cabinet Until September – Pres. Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government for him to have formed his cabinet immediately he was inaugurated on May 29.

He said it was necessary for the country to first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place before he could make critical appointments into his government.

Buhari made the clarification in his article titled, ‘Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror’, published by the Washington Post ahead of his historic meeting with President Barack Obama of United States.

He said it was noteworthy that Obama himself did not have his full cabinet in place for several months after first taking office.

He said despite that delay, the US did not cease to function in the interim.

He said, “As I meet with President Obama today (Monday) the first time a President of the United States will encounter a Nigerian counterpart following the peaceful transfer of power in a contested election in our history — I will be discussing my plans for critical reforms.

“So, too, will I discuss why the formation of my administration is taking time and, crucially, why it must. Already, there are voices saying these changes are taking too long — even though only six weeks have passed since my inauguration. I hear such calls, but this task cannot and should not be rushed.

“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim.

“In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.

“I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.”

Buhari said there were too few examples in the history of Nigeria since independence where it can be said that good management and governance were instituted at national level.

He said the lack of a governance framework had allowed many of those in charge, devoid of any real checks and balances, to plunder.

The President said the fact that he now seeks Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150bn stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former, corrupt officials was a testament to how badly Nigeria has been run.

This way of conducting the nation’s affairs, he said, cannot continue.

He also argued that failure of governance has been as much a factor in Nigeria’s inability thus far to defeat Boko Haram, as have been issues with the military campaign itself.

“So, the path we must take is simple, even if it is not easy: First, instil rules and good governance. Second, install officials who are experienced and capable of managing state agencies and ministries. And third, seek to recover funds stolen under previous regimes so that this money can be invested in Nigeria for the benefit of all of our citizens.

“We seek the support and partnership of the United States in these tasks. The importance of the fight against terrorism and corruption in Nigeria, Africa’s most powerful economy and largest populace, cannot be underestimated.

“Our allies can provide much-needed military training and intelligence as our soldiers take the war effort to Boko Haram. Similarly, we look to US businesses as well as the Obama administration to help develop governance initiatives that can ensure that Nigeria’s wealth benefits all its people, not just a few.

Buhari To Appoint Ministers At Fullness Of Time – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari will appointment Ministers only when it is feasible, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said Tuesday. Speaking exclusively to Vanguard in reaction to massive public concern on why the president has not formed his cabinet, Adesina said that the president is preparing the grounds for the Ministers, saying that they would be appointed at the fullness of time.

He said: “The appointment of Ministers is constitutional because the constitution prescribes that there must be a Minister from at least one state of the federation and President Muhammadu Buhari will do what is constitutional. So, he will constitute a cabinet. “But then when he does it is his prerogative. He is the one who will determine when he needs that cabinet. But for now, he has said that he wants to lay a proper foundation for the administration and that’s why he has been working with bureaucrats; the various Permanent Secretaries. “For the past two week and still going forward, the Permanent Secretaries have been briefing him on the state of their ministries and then, I am sure at the fullness of time, the Ministers will be appointed.” –

Don’t Rush Buhari To Hasty Action, Gowon Pleads With Nigerians

Following the recent 30-day assessment of the new government led by President Buhari, and Buhari being referred to Baba Go-slow, former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has pleaded with Nigerians not to rush the new president.

Speaking exclusively with the Nigerian Tribune, in Ibadan, Gowon said;

Give him a chance. You cannot solve any problem within two or three days. People say they want a change but as far as the problem of Nigeria is concerned, you cannot do it in one day, in one month. It will take time before a lot of these changes would be done and done effectively.”

“Let us give Buhari the chance to do things in the proper way to be able to get a good result. I have read it in some papers where people question him that in 30 days nothing has been done. It is unnecessary.”

“They criticised me when I was Head of State that the civil war was taking too long. I said, Yes, do they know some of the problems that are involved in dealing with some of those problems?”

Ministerial Appointments: Delay Aimed At Assembling Best Hands – Al-Makura

Nasarawa State governor Tanko Al-Makura has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s seeming delay in the appointment of ministers and other key government officials has nothing to do with the leadership crisis rocking the party.

He added that it also has nothing to do with insinuations that the president is finding it difficult to take action because he is torn between patronising those who contributed to his victory and those who can really deliver the goods.

Al-Makura, who stated this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Lafia yesterday, said the president is taking his time to appoint people he can trust and work with.

He said, “The issue of wanting to please people who have facilitated campaigns or worked hard to ensure the victory is not the question now; it has gone beyond that”.

“The issue of appointing helmsmen goes beyond just giving jobs to the boys because we are in a very critical situation handed over to us that is close to that of a failed state, so the issue of such appointments has to do with people he can trust. You don’t just start appointing people because you want to impress the public”.

He noted that for Buhari to adequately address the myriad of problems confronting the nation, he needs time and patience from Nigerians.

He observed that while the high expectations of Nigerians for change is understandable given the traumatic experiences they endured under past administrations, it would be counter-productive for the president to engage in quick-fixes for the sake of public applause.

Senators Will Return From Break To Screen Ministers On One Condition- Saraki

President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, on Tuesda, has promised that senators presently on break would rush back from their homes to screen ministers any time President Muhammadu Buhari sends his ministerial list to the upper Legislative chambers.

According to him, the 8th Senate was prepared to support President Buhari to effect the positive change expected from his administration by Nigerians, just as he also pledged the cooperation of the National Assembly with the executive arm of government in accomplishing the programmes of the administration.


Buhari To Appoint Ministers In 2 Months

President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers may come in two months at the earliest as the new administration seeks to come to grip with what its officials claim as the rot it inherited.

Insiders in the new government claim that this is due to the acute state of affairs of government finances and resources. It was also disclosed that President Buhari would in the next few days take very painful decisions akin to “pulling off the tooth” of a man without painkillers.

A source close to the president, who made these known to reporters at the weekend, spoke in reference to assertions of the president’s slow take-off as reflected in the failure to appoint key actors of government. The source dismissed suggestions that the activities of government had been crippled on account of the failure to appoint ministers as a blackmail by politicians keen to get into the pie.

Read More: vanguardngr

Buhari Wants To Clear The Rot Left Behind By The Past Government Before Appointing Ministers – Report

President Muhammadu Buhari may not have ministers any time soon, as the new administration seeks to come to grip with the rot left behind by the previous administration, reports Vanguard.

The news platform stressed that the Buhari-led administration’s stand was due to the acute state of affairs of government finances and resources.

A source close to the president made this known to reporters at the weekend. He spoke in reference to assertions of the president’s slow take-off as reflected in the failure to appoint key actors of government. He dismissed suggestions that the activities of government had been crippled on account of the failure to appoint ministers.

He added that Buhari was very determined not to build his government on a “very rotten foundation.”

“You cannot even begin to imagine the situation we have met on the ground,” the source who has unfettered access to the president and is one of those presently working with him behind the scenes said.

“Almost everything is in a state of decay. There is absolutely no way the new government can hope to achieve anything long-lasting without first building a new foundation.”

In view of the present situation, the source said that the president may take some very hard decisions to salvage the country.

“President Buhari’s plan of action will be likened to that of a doctor who first has to break a poorly set bone afresh, before resetting it to allow for smooth and proper growth.

“The president plans to cut down the number of ministries and parastatals. He wants to cut down the cost of running government. He wants to make sure that all the loopholes that enable corruption to thrive are blocked. All these are procedures that require time and careful planning. You cannot do it in a rush.”

“Remember that he has to make sure that all this is done without any job losses or mass retrenchments,” he said. “All this is not a day’s or one-month job.”

Lawyer Threatens To Sue Buhari Over Appointment Of Ministers

A Kaduna-based lawyer, Sunny Akanni, has threatened to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in court if he failed to appoint ministers from each of the 36 states of the federation as stated in the Constitution.

He said it would amount to gross violation of the Nigerian constitution if the President failed to appoint ministers to represent each state of the federation.

According to him, the constitution is so clear on ministerial appointments by the President, wondering why the President would be contemplating reducing the number of ministers in order to cut cost.

Read More: punchng

“President Buhari , Appoint Ministers Now Or Step Down” — Lagos lawyer

Controversial Lagos lawyer and activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has filed a fresh suit against the Buhari government for ‘delaying to form a cabinet and for running the affairs of Nigeria as a lone ranger as well as in a dictatorial manner.’

In a suit he filed today at the Federal High Court, Lagos, the lawyer said the continued stay of action of President Buhari on the appointment of his Ministers was contrary to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The lawyer therefore requested for the determination of the following questions:

That : 1. Whether under and by virtue of section 147(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the 1st Respondent is not obliged and under a duty to appoint qualified persons into offices to function as the Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, upon his swearing in and oath of office since May 29, 2015.

2. Whether the failure, omission or neglect by the 1st Respondent to appoint qualified persons into offices to function as the Ministers of The Federal Republic of Nigeria is not illegal and a contravention of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, such as to disqualify the 1st Respondent from continuing to function in office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

3. Whether the 1st Respondent is entitled to run and administer the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as his personal family empire or as a lone ranger and in a dictatorial manner, without appointing qualified persons to run the affairs of the country with him in the Federal Executive Council in contravention of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

4. Whether under and by virtue of Section 148(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the 1st Respondent is not under a duty to hold regular meetings with Ministers of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, duly appointed by him, to formulate policies for and plan the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to be running and operating same as a private family empire or as a lone ranger or as a dictator.

5. Whether the 1st Respondent, upon his swearing in and oath of office since May 29, 2015, is entitled to abandon, discard or jettison the office and residence of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, otherwise known as Aso Rock Villa, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and to be running the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from some illegal and unknown location or premises other than the said Aso Rock Villa.

6. Whether under and by virtue of Section 150 CFRN 1999, the 1st Respondent being a commissioned officer of the Nigeria Army (now retired) trained strictly in warfare and garrison affairs is so qualified, fit and proper to run the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria alone and without a qualified person appointed into the office of Attorney General of The Federation.

Credit –

Rep Advises Buhari Over Appointment Of Ministers

Member, House of Representatives, Mr. Edward Pwajok, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to make the error of appointing less than 36 ministers. Pwajok said that doing so would be against the provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

The member, who represents Jos East/Jos South Federal Constituency of Plateau state, said in an interview that the constitution was explicit on the number of ministers to be appointed into the cabinet of the Federal Republic.

He said that the constitution stipulates that the president must choose ministers from each state of the federation and Abuja, adding that what it means is that it could be more than 37 ministers, but definitely not less than that. Pwajok added that if Buhari felt strongly that because of the down turn in the economy, he needed to have fewer ministers, the constitution must first be amended before then.

According to him, “Although Mr. President has not sent his nominees to the senate for confirmation as ministers, there are speculations in the media that he intends to appoint less than 36 or 37 ministers because of the down turn in the economy.

“The constitution is very clear on the number of ministers to be appointed, especially Section 147 of the constitution. It says that there must be at least one minister who must be indigenous to each state of the federation.

The meaning of this is simple; the president can choose to have more than 37 ministers, but he cannot have less than that.” Pwajok, who was a former Attorney–General and Commissioner for Justice in Plateau State added, “There are 36 states and Abuja as provided for by the constitution.

There is a reason as it gives every component unit of the federation a sense of belonging to that federating unit of the country so that each state will be part of the decision making of the federal executive council. “Where a state does not have a minister, the state will feel short-changed: that it is not part of the decisions that are being taken on how the country should be governed.”

On why Mr. President should tread softly, Pwajok said, “That is why I said he should look at the constitution. If he is not comfortable with the position, the constitution has to be amended first before he can act contrary to the provisions in the constitution.

“The spirit and letters of the constitution is what we should look at and which is to engender unity, a sense of belonging to all the federating units in the country and to choose capable hands, which abound in every state of the country.”

I Don’t Know Why People Are Anxious For Ministers- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari explained, yesterday, that he was yet to appoint his ministers because his predecessor’s transition committee submitted its report on the previous administration to him late.

Buhari, who spoke to newsmen at the Summit of the African Union in Johannesburg, South Africa, said he was being careful in order not to make mistakes in appointing individuals especially to key positions such as in the finance and petroleum ministries.

His words: “I don’t know why people are so anxious about ministers. But eventually we will have (them). But the main reason is that I have an interim committee which I agreed with the former President Jonathan that the ministers of the outgoing government should hand over their notes or their documents to this interim committee so that a position can be prepared for the new government to start from with clear records from ministers.

Read More: vanguardngr

Buhari May Appoint Non-APC Members As Ministers- Oyegun

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun on Monday said that Nigerians who are non card carrying members of party were likely to serve as Ministers in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oyegun also said that he was not interested in the office of the secretary to Government of Federation, SGF as being speculated in different quarters of the country.

According to APC National chair, Buhari’s government and APC as a political party were more concerned with assembling technocrats and other competent hands who would key in to the vision and objectives of the present government.

Oyegun who spoke to Journalists in Abuja added that the background of such persons does not matter as long as he was capable to deliver and serve the Nigerian people, even as he explained why the list of ministers was yet to be made public.

He said: “There is absolutely no dispute between the party and the president. We agreed that we shall use all manner of people: politicians, technocrats, all manner of people even if not politicians, who can deliver and who subscribe passionately to the agenda of the president to move this country forward, irrespective of where the people come from; irrespective of whether the person is a card-carrying members of the party.

“What is important is the qualification of the person and the ability of the person to deliver on the ideas of Mr. President. What we are interested is in the ability of the people to bring up the ideas that will help Mr. President achieve the set objectives and the ability to deliver on what the President wants.

“Secondly, this is an executive function and the President has the right to consult as widely as possible. This means he might pick people within the party; people outside the party. It is a prerogative the President should exercise and we cannot question that. We are quite happy about the way he is proceeding.


President Buhari To Present Ministerial List To National Assembly Next Week

Baring any last minute changes, President Buhari is expected to present his ministerial list to the National Assembly members for screening and consideration next week. The ministerial list is expected to be made up of only technocrats who he believes will be very productive in whatever capacity they are to function in.

Names like ex Lagos governor, Babatunde Fashola, Oby Ezekwesili, Kayode Fayemi, former Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Abdurrhaman Dambazau amongst others are rumored to be in the list.

There are also reports that the President will be picking his Ministers from all 36 states which is against his wish as he is reported to have wanted a smaller number of Ministers for cost effectiveness.
The constitution however dictates that all states must be represented in the Federal cabinet.

Fayose Writes Buhari, “e’ Sir I Have A Minister For You”

The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to grant him the privilege to nominate a candidate to fill the slot of the state in the Federal Executive Council.

Mr. Fayose, who made the request in a letter to the President dated May 31, 2015, said if the request was granted by the President, he would send a worthy and competent Ekiti professional for appointment in the federal executive council.

He said, “Should the request be favourably disposed to, I shall be happy to nominate a worthy and competent professional who can always oblige your excellency and your cabinet the benefit of a second opinion in the serious business of governance.”

He noted that he wrote the letter based on the declaration made by the President that he would put the overall interest of the country above political partisanship and biases.

The governor also hinted that his letter was on the strength of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria section 147 sub (2) and (3) which states that, “Any appointment to the office of the Minister of the government of the Federation shall if the nomination of any such person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.

“Any appointment under sub- section (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provision of section 15 (3) of this constitution provided that in giving effect to the provision aforesaid, the President shall appoint at least one minister from each state who shall be indigene of such state.”

Mr. Fayose argued that since Ekiti is a Peoples Democratic Party state where the state governor, the National Assembly and the state assembly members are PDP, it was expedient that he be accorded the honour of naming the minister that would come from the state.

He noted that this would not be new, saying that late Bola Ige, who was the leader of the Alliance for Democracy and the party’s National Chairman, Ahmed Abdukadri, were made minister and special adviser respectively by the PDP government of Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Lere Olayinka, confirmed the development.

“Yes, he wrote the letter and it has been delivered to the President,” Mr. Olayinka told Premium Times

Source: Premium Times

Buhari Considers Cutting Down The Present 31 Ministries To A Lesser Number

In view of reducing the high cost of governance, the incoming administration of Muhammadu Buhari may retain only 19 ministries from the present 31. Consequently, most of the candidates being considered for the federal executive council (FEC) will end up as ministers of state, after all.

However, the president-elect is said to be considering the feasibility of announcing his Chief of Staff, Principal Secretary and a handful of Special Advisers before Friday so that there can be some semi-official interface between the outgoing government and the incoming one in the context of handing over of tangible assets in the State House.

Categorically, Ahmed Joda, chairman of the transition committee of the APC has collected a copy of the Oronsaye panel report from the former Permanent Secretary State House. The former Permanent Secretary, Finance, Stephen Osagiede Oronsaye confirmed the development on telephone last night.

In the same vein, a retired federal permanent secretary, who was pioneer director-general the federal government’s reform bureau, has just completed a book in which a cost-of-governance reduction strategy too is a major chapter. The book on the expediency of radical reform of the civil service recommends 18 ministries, among other features that the advisers of the APC and the president-elect are said to have adopted.

How I Will Choose My Ministers – Buhari

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed the ministerial lists in circulation on the social media as fake because his ministers will not emerge the way the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) picked members of its Federal Executive Council (FEC) in the last 16 years.

Buhari made this known in an exclusive interview he granted senior editors of Daily Trust at his country home in Daura, Katsina State on Tuesday.
As the May 29 handover date draws closer, there have been speculations about those who would make the next government’s ministerial list. Most of the persons who featured on the speculative list were picked from across the 36 states and the six geopolitical zones, to rhyme with the PDP’s tradition of appointing a minimum of one minister from each state of the federation and six others from the geopolitical zones.

In the interview, Buhari dismissed the speculations, by stating that “I am not speaking about it; I have
not put anything on paper, so nobody has seen it and I haven’t discussed it with anybody; I am just keeping it close to my chest.”

The exclusive interview was conducted in-between a series of emotional activities in which the president-elect met with his primary and secondary school mates and other personal friends to exchange banters because, as he put it, as from May 29, he would be too busy with the affairs of Nigeria, hence it would be difficult to find time to socialise with his cherished friends from his childhood.

Providing an insight into how his ministers would emerge, Buhari said, “I am ardent listener of Hausa Service of Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from 6am to 7am every morning. I am going to quote myself because I heard in one of the interviews that I said the type of people I am supposed to appoint, like in the cabinet and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and service chiefs, will be different. Definitely my approach is going to be different from what we had under the PDP where governors nominated ministers.”

The president-elect said if state governors are at liberty to appoint their commissioners, he, too, should be at liberty to choose those who would serve with him in the Federal Executive Council.
According to Buhari, he was still looking around for the kind of persons who could help to transform the country, stating that, “I have been around long enough to know people that I can approach for things like that… Deliberately we will look for competent people, dedicated and experienced to head ministries and, of course, there will be schedules for ministers and we will expect them to fill them. Economically we will try and stop a lot of wastages and encourage austerity so that we can fund the ministries. Education and healthcare will get more attention. Of course, security is Number One. Certainly, there is a lot to do but we are hoping that we ‘ll get good people to be in charge of ministries who can apply themselves to their responsibilities so that in no time Nigerians would begin to see the difference.”

When asked if he would present the list of his ministers to the Senate in the first week of the proclamation of the new legislature, Buhari simply responded “I will not make that known before you.”
He spoke extensively on why he is insisting that the principle of separation of powers among the three arms of government should be obeyed; the power sharing in the All Progressives Congress (APC); fuel subsidy; the lack of progress made in the handover from President Goodluck Jonathan to him, and much more.


Transition: Buhari Disappointed With Jonathan’s Outgoing Ministers Uncooperative Attitude

Exactly a week to transition of government on May 29, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed disappointment with ministers of the outgoing government under President Goodluck Jonathan for their uncooperative attitude towards a smooth handover.

A statement issued by the President-elect’s directorate of media and signed by Mallam Garba Shehu on Thursday, said Buhari made his feelings known after he received an interim report from the transition committee set up to assist him transit smoothly to the Presidency under the leadership of Alhaji Ahmed Joda.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the committee chairman, Alhaji Joda, said his committee received tremendous cooperation from members of the organised private sector (OPS), Nigeria’s international development partners, as well as other stakeholders from across the country.

Joda revealed that the committee worked hard through four sub-committees to arrive at the interim report, adding that, however, the report did not receive any input from the outgoing administration.

He was, however, optimistic that the final report of the committee would include the input of the present administration, provided it was made available.

According to the statement, the interim report dealt with issues of good governance vis-a-vis the executive, legislature and judiciary arms of government, including finance, economy, as well as core sectors like agriculture, oil and gas and solid minerals.

The report also looked at Infrastructure, power, national security, education, health and social welfare which featured in the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were also intensely studied and recommendations made.

Responding, Buhari thanked the committee for doing a
thorough job and presenting an interim report within the time allocated to it.

“Buhari, however, expressed disappointment that ministers and other government leaders were not at hand, so far, to brief the committee, but assured that since the bureaucrats who wrote the reports would be at hand after the departure of the politicians, whatever it was would be known eventually.

He requested the Joda-led committee to be ready to resume work the moment the outgoing government’s handover notes were received.

Present at the event were APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Chief Bisi Akande, APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

Anxiety Grips Ministers As Jonathan Holds Last Days Meeting

Anxiety on Tuesday gripped ministers and other top government officials in Abuja ahead of the last meeting of the FEC under the Goodluck Jonathan administration scheduled to hold on Wednesday.

The apprehension was triggered by a report credited to the Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki, that President Jonathan would dissolve his cabinet during a “valedictory session” of the FEC.

The FEC is the highest decision-making body of the Federal Government and it consists of the President, the Vice President, all ministers, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, the Head of Service of the Federation and some top presidential aides.

The council members meet every Wednesday to take decisions on national issues.

Since the tenure of the current administration expires on May 29, the council’s valedictory session has been fixed for this or next Wednesday.

A minister, who spoke with Punch on the issue, said “I am not aware that the council will be dissolved. Some of my colleagues had actually called me to find out. Since I don’t have any information on it, I am also still reaching out to know the true situation.”

“The news is everywhere that Mr. President may dissolve the cabinet on Wednesday (today). I have been trying to confirm this but I have not been able to do so. Let us wait and see what happens.

“But dissolving the cabinet during Wednesday meeting will mean that the President will be running the affairs of the country alone as a sole administrator till May 29,” another FEC member said.

Burundi President Fires 3 Ministers After Failed Coup

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, has announced a partial cabinet reshuffle in addition to firing the ministers of Defence, foreign affairs and trade, replacing them with trusted figures after a failed coup attempt on May 13 by the military.

The decision was made public a few hours after thousands of people took to the streets of the capital of Burundi, in a new set of protests against Nkurunziza’s intention to seek an unconstitutional third presidential term, sparked after five days of relative calm in the African country.

APC Disowns Ministerial List Circulating On Social Media, Calls It A “Fiction”

The All Progressives Congress on Sunday disowned a list of possible ministers being circulated by some online journalists as “mere fiction.”

According to the APC, the party has nothing to do with the list and urged Nigerians to wait for an authentic list of nominees, which would be made public through the “appropriate channels.”

This was the sentiment of the latest a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Abuja.

According to Mohammed, “Nigerians should disregard these lists and await the authentic list which will be communicated through the appropriate channels at the right time.”

The APC also cautioned the media against using statements attributing actions to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, without clarification.

The party said journalists should clarify with authentic party officials and the Buhari Campaign Organisation on any issue having to do with the actions of the President-elect, in order to avoid presenting falsehood as facts.

“The appeal becomes necessary following recent media reports on the actions which the President-elect will purportedly embark upon once he is sworn into office.

“Various people have been quoted in the media on what the President-elect will do or will not do once he assumes office.

“The truth is that these people do not speak for the President-elect, hence the need for the media to clarify such issues with the Chairman of the party, its National Publicity Secretary or the spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation. These officials are always available to clarify issues,” Mr Mohammed concluded.

My Ministers And I Will Be Persecuted, Says Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday gave an insight into the fate that awaits him under the incoming government of the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), saying he and ministers as well as other aides who served under him would be persecuted.

He said he and his ministers would have hard times because of some critical decisions they took while in office.

Jonathan also looked back at all the benefits that had come his way as a Nigerian, saying he was ready to pay the supreme price for the nation.

The President spoke at a thanksgiving and farewell service organised in his honour at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Gwarinpa, Abuja.

Jonathan who was accompanied by his wife, Patience, said considering what God had done in his life, he wished he could dance like the biblical King David but he kept missing his steps whenever he made attempts.

He said only a few Nigerians within his age bracket were as lucky as he is because he had not suffered any lack, not because he is hardworking but by the grace of God.

He said after reflecting on the benefits which included the scholarships he enjoyed in school and the various political offices he had occupied, he should be able to do anything in the interest of the country, including paying the supreme price.

He added that he is leaving office of the President as a fulfilled and very happy man.

Jonathan said, “I want to thank God for what he has done for me and my family. I wish to dance more than David, if I tried to dance, I missed my steps.

“I have all the reasons to thank God. Very few of those in my age brackets have been that lucky. All through my education I was on government scholarship. I have not suffered lack not because I am hardworking, but by God’s grace.

“When I look at the whole picture of my life up to when I became the President of this country, I say that if soldiers and police officers that have not received 0. 5 percent of the benefits that I have received from the state can lay their lives for this country, I should do anything in the interest of Nigeria, including paying the supreme price. “As long as live, I will continue to do my best for the state because the state has helped me as a person.

“I have to thank Nigerians especially my state for giving me the opportunity to serve as deputy governor and the whole country gave me the opportunity to serve as Vice President and then President, first was to complete the tenure of the late president and later serve as President from which I am exiting now as a very happy and fulfilled man.”

Saying that hard decisions have their own cost, Jonathan said he was ready to pay for some of the costly decisions he took while in charge of the country. He said experience had shown him that people would at a time desert anybody who takes tough decisions like he did.

He said he had always hold the belief that more of his friends would desert him as time goes on.

Read More: saharareporters

APC Govs Submit Ministerial List, As Buhari Prepares Cabinet

With just about three weeks remaining for him to be sworn in as Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has started putting his cabinet together.

In view of this, the president-elect has reportedly directed governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to forward three names each of their ministerial nominees.

Vanguard learnt that while giving the directive, Buhari said only those who are technically competent and of proven integrity, as well as loyal to the party could be elected.

Buhari, it was learnt, told the governors that once they sent three names each, he reserved the right to choose anyone he thinks was best from the submitted names.

The incoming president, who has often lamented the cost of governance is expected to cut the number of ministerial nominees to the barest minimum, with the slots for ministers of state set to be scrapped. Nigeria have 42 Cabinet ministers, an unnecessarily bloated cabinet, when compared with America’s 15.

However, a source told Vanguard that the staus quo may well remain if Buhari bows to pressure. The incoming president, according to the source, is being pressured by the APC to accommodate ministers of state to “at least compensate women in the party. Left to Buhari, he wouldn’t have more than 20 ministers but there is a lot of pressure on him to use it to compensate the women”.

Aside pressure from his party, the constitution mandated that political parties and cabinet positions reflect the “federal character” of the nation. As such, political parties were required to be registered in at least two-thirds of the states, and each state was required to produce at least one cabinet member. Buhari is therefore expected to have at least 36 ministers.

Meanwhile, APC governors would be meeting with the president-elect today to congratulate him on his imminent assumption of power. At the meeting, issues relating to the party’s interests are expected to be discussed, especially that of zoning of National Assembly leadership slots like Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives among others.

Credit – Vanguard

Buhari Screening Candidates For Ministerial Roles

President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are screening officials for ministerial roles in the incoming administration. The party’s election campaign team said these officials would be expected to fulfill expectations of the nation when the party assumes power next month. “Those expectations will mostly be gauged directly from the quality of people who will be in this government,” APC stated.

“Up for grabs are powerful positions in Ministries and parastatals where the country needs progressive and definitive action in areas like Power, Education and Agriculture to mention just a few.”

The party said to achieve any significant progress, the Government must “hit the ground running”.

“Behind the scenes, Buhari and the Vice President-elect Yemi Osinbajo are already vetting people who need to surround them in the process,” said APC’s campaign team. The APC secured victory in the Federal Government level, a majority in the Senate and lower house of assembly as well as a significant win in Lagos.


We Have Not Zoned Offices, Ministerial Appointments Yet – APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has urged Nigerians to disregard media speculations concerning the appointment of ministers and the zoning of political offices under the incoming Buhari Administration.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said there is no truth to anything that has been dished out anywhere, concerning the issues of appointment, especially the zoning of the National Assembly’s principal positions and other offices.

The party said that in the true tradition of the APC, all issues of public interest will be handled transparently and conveyed to Nigerians through the usual communication channels.

“No appointments have been made and no offices have been zoned. The main concern of our party at the moment is to ensure a smooth transition and to hit the ground running, in the overall interest of the long-suffering people of Nigeria.

”At the appropriate time, Nigerians will be informed of the appointments made and the offices zoned,” APC said.

Source – Oak Tv

Buhari Considering Reducing Ministers To Minimize Cost Of Governance

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, is said to be considering the reduction of the number of ministers as part of his strategies for reducing cost of governance.

This was said to be part of the cost-saving proposals which Buhari presented during the All Progressives Congress’s National Working Committee meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

The NWC which is yet to conclude its deliberations on proposals, according a high-ranking member of the APC NWC, include scrapping the minister of states, streamlining the ministries and parastatals.

The meeting, which was chaired by the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, also reviewed the just-concluded general elections, the deadlock in the Taraba State governorship poll as well as the alleged electoral fraud in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed confirmed that the NWC reviewed the governorship election.

Read MorePunch

My Ministers Must Declare Their Assets – Gen. Buhari

President-Elect Buhari spoke exclusively with SaharaTV on how he plans to deal with corruption which is rampant in Nigeria today, managing of government’s finances, Boko Haram, and Nigeria’s economy.

Most notably he blamed the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Okonjo-Iweala for the financial mess in Nigeria, and insisted that Ministers must declare their assets publicly.

When asked about statements from Okonjo-Iweala on the fiscal conditions and government spending in the country, Buhari said “I’m afraid the Finance Minister has no cause to complain because the governors cannot force the central government to act outside the Constitution.”President-Elect Buhari firmly stated that “all those that were governors, ministers, permanent secretaries, head of foreign staff and all those with political appointments will have to declare their assets on the assumption of their appointment and definitely with the courts. And once they leave they have to re-declare their assets.”
 He said that would ensure greater accountability among public servants.However, he said he does not plan to interfere with the judiciary and whatever action it may take pursuing corrupt public officials. He stated that his administration would not “become embroiled in investigation every ministry, then the government will not have time to move forward.”On the contentious issue of Oil Block ownership in Nigeria, and an equitable distribution of the country’s wealth, he suggested that partisan politics in Nigeria is the cause of inequitability in the oil sector. President-Elect Buhari claimed that he wanted to professionalize the oil sector in Nigeria. He said that the “proliferation of oil fields to people who don’t even know what it is, is one of the messes partisan politics has brought.” Within the equitable distribution of wealth and job creation for youth, the President-Elect pointed to the APC manifesto calling for greater emphasis on mining and agriculture development.When pressed on rumors that ex-president Obasanjo was exercising inordinate influence on him, Buhari said, “I think that people have to accept the realities of Nigeria’s political development. General Olusegun Obasanjo is the only living Nigerian that led Nigeria for more than 11 years, so for anybody to think that General Obasanjo is irrelevant or he was trying to push his influence over issues, I think is being uncharitable and not being fair to Nigeria’s political development.” 

Photo Credit – Lola shoneyin

PDP Defectors Won’t Be Ministers In My New Govt- Gen. Buhari

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari said ?the All Progressives Congress (APC) has nothing to fear over mass defection of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members to the party.

“I have no fears of PDP defectors,” he said in an interview in his Daura residence on Saturday.

Buhari said the PDP chieftains will have very little influence in the APC government.

He said APC has all the capacity to manage the large numbers of PDP defectors.

“The people who are defecting will only have influence in their constituencies. Since their constituencies are now controlled by the APC their influence is therefore limited,” he said.

?Though the president-elect said only the party can handle the issue of defections, he said the PDP bigwigs will be wise enough not to jostle for positions in the new government.

“I hope the people that are defecting will accept the fact that they are joining the people who succeeded. So, I don’t think they will just come and say they want to be ministers next month simply because they were ministers before,” he said.

Source – www.

Ekiti Saga: Pressure Forces Jonathan To Give Obanikoro A Poor Ministerial Position

President Goodluck Jonathan assigned ministerial nominees to their portfolios, dumping Musiliu Obanikoro, the shady former Minister of State for Defense, in an “insignificant” ministerial position.

Jonathan unveiled the ministerial deployments at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja on Wednesday. Obanikoro was named as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, a position starkly lower in prestige than his former position as minister of state for defense.

Several civil society groups, columnists and opposition senators had opposed Obanikoro’s nomination on account of his involvement in an illegal scheme to use the military to rig last year’s governorship election in Ekiti State.
Sahara Reporters had obtained an audiotape where Obanikoro and some PDP men ordered Brigadier General A.A. Momoh to have his troops detain supporters of then incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi in order to boost the electoral prospects of the PDP’s governorship candidate, Ayo Fayose.

Despite the widespread opposition to Mr. Obanikoro’s confirmation, Senate President David Mark wangled a senatorial clearance for the former junior rank Defense minister. Mr. Obanikoro’s senate clearance was stalled twice, before Mr. Mark used underhanded tactics to get him approved. Most opposition senators walked out of the chambers to protest what one of them termed “the Senate president’s act of bad faith.”

A source at the Presidency told Sahara Reporters that President Jonathan was so shaken by the widespread and strong opposition to his nomination of Obanikoro as a minister that he decided to assign the controversial former minister to one of the most obscure cabinet posts. “Even PDP stakeholders in Lagos and the southwest were against Musiliu Obanikoro,” the source disclosed.

During his stint as junior Defense minister, Obanikoro had access to a full range of military arsenal, which included naval choppers that ferried him around Lagos whenever he visited the state.

Obanikoro’s new humiliating post is equivalent to an ambassadorship, a source within the cabinet said.

We Complied With Our Legislative Procedures For Ministerial Screening – David Mark

The Senate president, David Mark, has stated in strong terms that the Upper House complied with all the legislative  practices and procedures in the confirmation of all the ministerial nominees that appeared before the Senate.
This is coming on the heels of the screening of former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, last week in the Upper House which generated controversy.
The Senate president has come under knocks from some quarters as it was alleged that he put party interest over national interest.
A statement issued by his special adviser, Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The attention of the office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to the needless controversies concerning the screening of ministerial nominees on the floor of the Senate with particular reference to the confirmation of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
“We will like to state without any form of ambiguity that the president of the Senate complied with all the legislative practices and procedures in the confirmation of all the ministerial nominees that appeared before the Senate.”
“It is strange that those who hold contrary views have laid claims to the tradition of the Senate that where three senators are opposed to a nominee, such a nominee is automatically disqualified and cannot be confirmed by the Senate. This is misplaced”.
He further explained that the Senate found itself in a situation where two of its traditions were in conflict, adding that the Senate president took the option available in such cases by putting the question through a voice vote.

Mugabe Fires More Cabinet Ministers

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has fired two cabinet ministers and five deputy ministers, the presidency announced late Sunday, in an apparent purge targeting allies of his former deputy Joice Mujuru. The move came after months of political upheaval in Zimbabwe over the succession to 90-year-old Mugabe when he dies or steps down.

Mugabe, who is currently holidaying in Asia, dismissed Flora Buka, minister of state for presidential affairs and Sylvester Nguni, minister of state in the office of the vice president, saying “their conduct and performance were below expected standards”, according to a presidency statement.

The two were seen as allies of former vice president Mujuru, who was dismissed two weeks ago along with seven cabinet ministers and a deputy minister.

Five deputy ministers — for health, justice, rural affairs, work and transport — were also dismissed on Sunday. Once seen as favourite to step into Mugabe’s shoes, Mujuru has since come under constant attack, notably from Mugabe’s increasingly powerful wife Grace.

Mujuru has been accused of plotting to assassinate the president, fomenting factional divisions in the ruling party, and of dodgy business dealings. Mujuru was replaced as vice president by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time ally of Mugabe.

Credit: Yahoo News