The President Bola Tinubu’s administration may create new ministries from the existing ones, Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, disclosed on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ministerial list was submitted to the National Assembly today by Gbajabiamila and was read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.
‘’Mr President intends to separate portfolios or restructure the ministries in such a way you might be hearing of new ministries that were not standalone ministries before. So the process continues.’’
The 28 minister-nominees include Abubakar Momoh, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Ahmed Dangiwa, Hannatu Musawa, Chief Uche Nnaji, Dr Betta Edu, Dr Doris Aniche Uzoka, David Umahi, and Nyesom Wike.
Others are Badaru Abubakar, Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai, Ekperipe Ekpo, Nkeiruka Onyejocha, Olubunmi Tunji Ojo, Stella Okotette, Uju Kennedy Ohaneye, Mr Bello Muhammad Goronyo, Mr Dele Alake, and Mr Lateef Fagbemi.
The rest include Mr Muhammad Idris, Mr Olawale Edun, Mr Waheed Adebayo Adelabu, Mrs Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, Prof. Ali Pate, Prof. Joseph Utsev, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, Sen. John Enoh, and Sen. Sani Abubakar Danladi.
Gbajabiamila said that the nominees were chosen after undergoing strict personal screening by the President.
He said that a second part comprising 13 names would be sent to the assembly, adding that this was part of the process of having a cabinet for the administration.
‘’As you know he had 60 days from the time of inauguration, as stipulated in the constitution. He has fulfilled that requirement of the constitution by submitting 28 names today.
‘’As his letter stated, and was read on the floor of the Senate, the remaining names, not sure how many, probably about 12, maybe 13, will be forwarded to the Senate in the coming days.
‘’As far as the nominees themselves are concerned, and like I said, Mr President took his time to sift through those names,’’ he said.
The Chief of Staff said that the president decided to toe the line of tradition by not attaching portfolios of the nominees in the letter to the Senate in order to give room for reviews.
‘’As good as that sounds, it straitjackets the president to pigeonhole one person in an office or the other. What happens then if you change your mind, do you then bring the person back for screening again, because the president is at liberty to change your mind?
‘’For instance, if I decide I want somebody as Minister of Labour, and then after sending the name, later on, I decide that this person would actually be better with another portfolio. And meanwhile, the Senate has screened that person for that particular initial portfolio.
‘’What happens then? Do you now re-screen the person? So, a lot of these things have their merits and demerits,’’ Gbajabiamila said. (NAN)
©️ Samuel Robert