President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday swore in 43 ministers into his cabinet and assigned their respective portfolios. Popular economist, Tilewa Adebajo in reaction says the cabinet is ‘heavily political.’
In an interview on Channels Television, Adebajo, who is also the CEO of CFG Advisory said the government needs to run with a clearly defined economic goal to revive the nation’s economy.
“This is a heavily political cabinet with ex-governors and ex-senators dominating. What is more important now is for the government to put together a clearly defined policy that will stimulate growth in the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Adebajo also stressed that economic indicators are negative and the nation’s economy might be heading for recession if the Federal Government does not go back to the drawing board.
“With the way Nigeria’s economy is going if caution is not taken, as the CBN has said we will be heading for a recession.
“The key economic indicators are not very positive. Right now, we are about over $70billion in debt. We are using 65% of our revenues to service debts, clearly, this is not sustainable.
“It is important that the government take a look at its economic recovery growth plan.”
The need to revamp Buhari’s administration’s economic plan is vital. Adebajo added that there is a need for the government to tell Nigerians their plan on how the economy will be handled.
He said, “What we need is a plan that can grow the economy.”
Odumakin, who is also Buhari’s former spokesman at the now-defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), also faulted the process the President used in retaining some appointees.
While noting that there are some portfolios don’t need National Assembly’s approval, he wondered why the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Chief of Staff to President, Abba Kyari and presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu among others have retained their positions without being reappointed.
“If the appointment that does not require going to the Senate is not being made and old people continue to function in a way that is not so legal, it gives (cause for some worry). Even the President himself did not rely on the oath he took in 2015, he had to take a new oath.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday chair a potentially volatile meeting of her cabinet amid reports of an attempted coup by colleagues over her handling of Brexit.
May will meet the very ministers said to be plotting to oust her at the start of another crucial week in Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, which could see MPs seize control of the process from the government.
Lawmakers are set to vote later Monday on whether to force through the House of Commons a series of so-called “indicative votes” to gauge support for various Brexit options.
Meanwhile, May must decide when, or even if, to ask them to vote again on her divorce deal — finalised with the EU last year — which they have already overwhelmingly rejected twice.
Under a new timetable imposed by European leaders last week, she now has until April 12 to win MPs’ backing for the agreement or find a viable alternative which could include a lengthy extension to Brexit.
However, after a disastrous last week, the increasingly isolated leader spent the weekend ensconced at her country residence Chequers “at the mercy of a full-blown cabinet coup”, according to the Sunday Times.
The newspaper said it had spoken to 11 senior ministers who “confirmed that they wanted the prime minister to make way for someone else” and planned to confront her at Monday’s cabinet.
Such gatherings usually take place on Tuesdays but Downing Street confirmed one was scheduled for 10:00 am (1000 GMT) Monday.
Ministers identified as potential interim replacements played down the reports.
“It’s not the time to change the captain of the ship,” said Environment Minister and leading Brexiteer Michael Gove.
But Brexit-backing tabloid The Sun, Britain’s best-selling daily, called for May to announce Monday that she will resign as soon as her deal is approved and Britain leaves the EU.
Under the headline “Time’s up, Theresa”, the paper said that was the “only one, slim chance” her deal would have of getting parliamentary backing.
Parliament has been deadlocked for months over Brexit, with MPs unable to decide how to implement the 2016 referendum vote to leave, reflecting bitter divisions nationwide.
On Saturday, organisers estimated one million pro-Europeans marched through central London demanding another public vote on leaving the bloc.
Meanwhile, an online petition demanding Brexit be halted passed five million signatures on Sunday.
Following last week’s delay to the country’s March 29 scheduled departure — which MPs must still vote into law this week — the way forward remains highly unpredictable.
If May’s deal finally wins parliamentary approval Britain will leave the EU on May 22.
It was expected to face another vote this week but the prime minister has told lawmakers signs of “sufficient support” are needed first.
With her parliamentary allies the Democratic Unionist Party indicating Friday that they remain opposed to her plan, that appears lacking.
On Sunday Tory Brexiteers outside government, including influential MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and former foreign minister Boris Johnson — widely seen as wanting to replace May — travelled to Chequers for talks.
“It’s looking very difficult to bring together a majority for it,” finance minister Philip Hammond earlier conceded to Sky News.
However, “one way or another parliament is going to have the opportunity this week to decide what it is in favour of,” he added.
MPs will resume debate on Brexit on Monday with the chance to vote on an amendment tabled by a cross-party group of senior lawmakers scheduling “indicative votes” on Wednesday.
A similar move earlier this month failed by just two votes.
If passed, lawmakers will be able to vote on various options, from stopping Brexit altogether or holding a second referendum to remaining in a customs union with the EU or its single market.
MPs may then try to turn their non-binding votes into enforceable law.
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay, an ardent eurosceptic, warned Sunday it could prompt a general election because most alternatives go against Conservative manifesto promises in the 2017 election.
“There is a constitutional collision if parliament is instructing a government to do something that is fundamentally against what it has been elected to do,” he told the BBC.
But in a sign of the splits within the cabinet, Hammond appeared more open-minded if May’s deal remains blocked.
In a departure from government policy, he described holding a second referendum as “a coherent proposition and it deserves to be considered along with the other proposals”.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on Saturday called on his new government to work to bring about “change in all areas of life”.
“You must take the initiative … have a modern management style,” Putin told ministers at the first cabinet meeting in the Kremlin since they were appointed on May 18.
“The engine of change in all areas of life must be found here and the whole country has to feel its rhythm,” he said.
“Serve as an example of constructive cooperation” with civil society, Putin told the gathering which included Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.
Putin swept to election victory on March 18 after 18 years in power and has stuck with his close ally Medvedev.
Key cabinet posts have remained unchanged with veteran Sergei Lavrov holding on to the foreign ministry and Sergei Shoigu defence.
Despite Putin’s call for change his fourth term in the Kremlin had not been expected to see of a switch of direction.
Recent years have been particularly turbulent for Moscow’s ties with the West and seen economic austerity alongside conservative social values.
The most significant move in the new cabinet was the promotion of Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who kept the finance portfolio, to first deputy prime minister — the second most important position in government.
Vitaly Mutko — at the heart of institutional doping allegations against Russian athletes — stayed on as a deputy prime minister but lost his sports remit. He was put in charge of construction.
New Liberian President George Weah has appointed the first members of his cabinet, all of them men, largely naming party allies but picking a foreign minister close to former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Ex-international footballer Weah was sworn in on Monday at a stadium surrounded by ecstatic supporters, and filled some key ministerial posts later the same day.
In his inaugural speech, Weah vowed to crack down on entrenched corruption and encourage the private sector.
But the picks from his party come from outside the establishment and do not have significant government experience, potentially setting up a struggle with entrenched interests in the national congress.
The lack of women so far in the cabinet may also raise eyebrows after 12 years under Sirleaf, who pushed for women to enter public life and strengthened protections against abuse and female genital mutilation as her final act in office.
Weah’s right-hand man is the chairman of his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party, Nathaniel McGill, who becomes minister of state and chief of staff.
He guided the president through a bruising electoral campaign last year and was already his top aide.
Senior CDC figure Samuel Tweah becomes finance secretary, while Liberian lawyer Charles Gibson, a friend of Weah’s, becomes Justice Minister.
Sam Mannah, the president’s press aide from his years as a senator, becomes his press secretary.
Outgoing president Sirleaf has left her mark, however, with the appointment of former Unity Party senator Gbehzohngar Findley to the key post of foreign minister.
Findley began 2017’s presidential campaign supporting Sirleaf’s vice-president, Joseph Boakai, who lost to Weah in December.
But he switched allegiance in August, resigned from the party and began openly backing Weah as it became clear that Sirleaf would not campaign for Boakai.
Sirleaf faced accusations she secretly supported Weah, eventually leading to her expulsion from the Unity Party last month.
Elsewhere, the chief of staff of Liberia’s armed forces, Major General Daniel Ziankhan, becomes defence minister, while his deputy, Brigadier General Charles Johnson, succeeds him in the position.
Johnson captained the army team that played Weah’s veterans’ side in a friendly game on Saturday, when he told AFP that Weah was “already started to hear some of the challenges that we are experiencing.”
Meanwhile, members of Sirleaf’s transition team including Information Minister Eugene Nagbe, Education Minister George Werner, Sirleaf’s stepson Varney Sirleaf, and the heads of the police and government services, remain in their posts for now.
The handover from Sirleaf to Weah represents Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power since 1944, and cements impressions Liberia has finally moved on from a war that killed around a quarter of a million people between 1989 and 2003.
Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, called for public unity to revive the country’s sickly economy as his new cabinet took office on Monday.
“I have sworn in a new cabinet just to finish the term of the former president, which is a period of six to seven months,” Mnangagwa said after the new ministers took the oath of office at state house.
“I believe with my team we will stand up to the challenge.”
“I want them (Zimbabweans) to be united, we must grow our economy,” he added.
Mnangagwa was seen as favourite to succeed long-time ruler Robert Mugabe but then fell out with his boss.
Mugabe dismissed him after the then first lady, Grace Mugabe, accused him of plotting to topple her husband.
He briefly went into exile, returning after the army stepped in and the ruling party expelled Mugabe and a coterie of allies. The veteran ruler resigned on November 21 after 37 years in power.
Mnangagwa, chosen by the ruling party to replace Mugabe, appointed a new cabinet on Thursday.
He drew criticism for retaining the majority of ministers who served under 93-year-old Mugabe and appointing officers from the military which played a key role in the events leading to his ascent to power.
The 22-member cabinet includes Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, who was appointed agriculture and lands minister, and Major General Sibusiso Moyo, who is now in charge of foreign affairs.
Both officials had to relinquish their army positions, as they are not permitted to hold two posts.
“When I was in the military I was under (the) ministry of defence, which is part of government and who says military should never be politicians,” Shiri told reporters after he was sworn-in.
“I am Zimbabwean, I have got every right to participate in the country’s politics,” he said.
The new president also reinstated prosecutor general, Ray Goba, who was named under Mugabe in September but whose appointment was rescinded the following month.
Mnangagwa has issued a three-month ultimatum for the return of funds siphoned out of the country by individuals and corporates.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday, sacked four commissioners from his cabinet.
In a minor change of cabinet, Governor El-Rufai nominated replacements for the sacked commissioner for confirmation by the Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA).
The Clerk of the House of Assembly, Umma Hikima, was appointed as the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of the state, while Professor Kabiru Mato was nominated as the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry.
Hafsat Baba was also appointed as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and Jafaru Sani as the Commissioner for Local Government.
The governor also redeployed the Commissioner of Justice to environment, the Commissioner for Agriculture to Commerce and the Commissioner for Environment to the newly created Ministry of Stakeholders Relations.
“The commissioners swapping portfolios include Amina Sijuwade, moved from Ministry of Justice to Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, while Maigari Manzo moved from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
“Shehu Balarabe moves from Ministry of Environment to become Commissioner, Stakeholder Relations, while Mohammed Bashir Saidu who is now Chief of Staff, relinquishes the office of Commissioner for Local Government.
“Rabi Abdulsalam, former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, becomes Special Adviser on Social Development, while Shehu Adamu, former Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, returns to academia,” said a statement released by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.
Governor El-Rufai also reassigned three special advisers namely: Uba Sani as Special Adviser, Political Matters and Intergovernmental Relations; Chris Umar, Deputy Chief of Staff is to become Solicitor-General, while Murtala Dabo, Special Adviser, Economic Matters, is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport.
He further announced the appointment of eight new permanent secretaries.
They include Mohammed Shuaibu, Ministry of Health and Human Services; Chris Umar, Ministry of Justice; Rabilu Ibrahim, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; and Joseph Steven, Ministry of Local Government.
Also appointed as permanent secretaries were Habiba Shekarau, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Lawrence Shemang, Ministry of Water Resources, Murtala Dabo, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport; and Abdullahi Sani, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services, Office of the SSG.
Mr El-Rufai stated that five permanent secretaries have been redeployed as follows: Hauwa Umar, Ministry of Women and Social Development; Ibrahim Jere, Bureau of Establishments, Management and Training; Ibrahim Sambo, Ministry of Rural and Community Development; Nuhu Buzun, Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service; and Aishatu Mohammed, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
However, five other permanent secretaries have retired.
The governor thanked all members of the team for the successes the State Government has recorded so far and wished them good luck in their future endeavours.