Lawmakers in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly have screened the ministerial nominees recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The screening took place on Wednesday at a plenary presided over by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
Less than a year to the end of his administration, President Buhari recently asked the lawmakers to confirm seven nominees as ministers to join his cabinet.
The nominees were appointed from four south-east states, as well as one state each in the north-west, south-west, and south-south regions.
They include Henry Ikechukwu – Abia State, Umana Okon Umana – Akwa-Ibom State, Ekuma Joseph – Ebonyi State, Goodluck Nana Obia – Imo State, Umar Ibrahim Yakub – Kano State, Ademola Adewole Adegorioye – Ondo State, and Odo Udi – Rivers State.
This was the page for live updates on the screening of the new ministerial nominees…
4:42 pm: The Senate has screened the sixth and seventh nominees Ademola Adewole Adegoroye from Ondo State and Odum Odi from Rivers State.
3:45 pm: The fifth nominee is Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub from Kano State. He is also a former federal lawmaker and presently the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters( House of Reps).
He was also asked to take a bow and go.
2:55 pm: The fourth nominee, Goodluck Opiah, was asked to take a bow and go, a privilege and Senate tradition for former lawmakers in the state or federal legislature.
2:42 pm: The third nominee Ekumankama Joseph is being screened.
While responding to a question on how to resolve the impasse between the FG and ASUU, he said there’s a need for both sides to reach a compromise.
He explained that ASUU has been sticking to its guns but there are several issues demanding government funds, so both sides need to compromise. He urged the Senate to make adequate budgetary provisions in the 2023 budget to address some of the issues raised by the striking lecturers.
2:05 pm: Okon Umana takes a bow to exit the floor of the chamber.
2:02 pm: “I want to say that even the Free Zones platform is a veritable platform for this. The Free Zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange,” Umana said on how to boost the nation’s foreign exchange.
“So we have to look at whatever is inhibiting production and address that but I think that the key is production.”
1:48 pm: “As it is customary, I will like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for this nomination. Before I continue, I also thank Senator Albert Bassy Akpan for this very brilliant testimony,” said Senator Omo-Agege.
1:45 pm: Before Umana responded, Senator Albert Bassey Akpan gave some testimony. He said he has known the nominee for about 22 years and that his appointment is apt.
1:37 pm: “What do you think we should do to add more foreign exchange, especially in the area that you have worked so that we reduce our level of borrowing because we borrow because we don’t have enough but I believe the potentials are there?” the Senate President asked the nominee.
1:31 pm: Okon Umana, reads his profile before the Distinguished members of the Senate.
1:23 pm: The next nominee being screened is Okon Umana from Akwa Ibom State. He says he is the Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zone.
1:16 pm: The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, however, reminded his colleagues that there is no requirement for a ministerial nominee to possess an NYSC discharge certificate.
Senator Lawan, on his part, said being a member of a political party has no bearing on a ministerial appointment and the President has the right to appoint anyone as minister regardless of political affiliation.
1:11 pm: The lawmakers asked the nominee questions on his capacity to drive industrial development in the country, given the short timeframe before a new administration comes on board in 2023.
They also interrogated his participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and his membership of a political party.
12:49 pm: Mr Ikoh addressed the Senate. He said he is an industrialist and a manufacturer. He added that he is the immediate past Commissioner for Industry in Abia State.
The nominee promised to hit the ground running in a bid to contribute his own quota to national development. He also vowed to serve the nation diligently if confirmed as a minister.
12:44 pm: The Senate President informed his colleagues that all seven nominees would be screened today.
12:43 pm: Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh from Abia State is the first nominee to take the stage for his screening.
12:40 pm: The nominees were ushered into the Senate chamber for their screening.
Check back for fresh updates…