A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salisu Mohammed, has said that government is not responsible for creating jobs.
Rather, he believes, “it is the private sector that can create jobs. Government is just to create that enabling environment which is what I believe the Ministers should be able to do. If that enabling environment is created, the private sector will run to come in”.
Mohammed said this when he made an appearance on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, ahead of the inauguration of Ministers-Designates and Permanent Secretaries on Wednesday.
Speaking of his expectations, he said he was optimistic that the new cabinet members would deliver on their mandate and “things are going to be done differently”.
According to him, there is a lot more energy and drive from the presidency and the cabinet members would be held accountable to the responsibilities that would be given to them.
He further stated that the new ministers-designates were selected from across Nigeria and would work for the collective good of all Nigerians, tackling key issues such as security and economic diversification.
Also speaking on the matter, spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Sani Umar, said: “with the way and manner he has taken governance this time around perhaps may be able to achieve his objectives”.
On whether or not the president has the right team to fulfill his mandate, he said: “from all indications, I would rather say let me keep my fingers crossed”.
Umar, however, said that the schedules and conditions of service to the ministers should be made public so that Nigerians would be carried along and would know that this is what is expected of a particular Minister or of a particular Ministry.
“Nigerians should be the judge at the end of the day whether those people actually performed to expectations or they were a failure. The President himself will now act as the headmaster. If Nigerians say you have failed, then you have failed what are you doing? Just go!”.
The Presidency has commended the diligence of the Senate in confirming the ministerial nominees and ensuring a swift and efficient process.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu says, “The people of Nigeria want results, and with this list of ministers, we are confident they shall be delivered. Specific portfolios shall be assigned with the inauguration of the cabinet.
“This is a fine, capable and committed group of individuals. Working together, they shall help achieve what we all want and labour toward a secure, prosperous, corruption-free nation in which nobody is left behind, and talents can flourish.
“The executive approaches this 9th National Assembly with a renewed spirit of openness and enthusiasm. Where once we sometimes found impasse, we welcome collaboration; where once suspicion took hold, together, we shall demonstrate mutual trust.
“Scrutiny should never mean deadlock but proper governance. And with a new swathe of national legislators and ministers, we are confident the executive and the legislature can – in partnership – unleash the change Nigerians deserve”.
The Senate on Tuesday resumed ministerial screening.
Fourty ministerial nominees have so far been screened by the Senate leaving three others yet to be screened. The Senate commenced the screening on Wednesday, July 24 and the screening today, entered day five.
The remaining nominees to be screened today are Sabo Nanono (Kano), Lai Mohammed (Kwara) and Saleh Mamman (Taraba).
The first nominee to be screened on Tuesday is Saleh Mamman from Taraba State.
The screening of ministerial nominees by the Nigeria Senate has entered into Day two.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan commenced the screening by calling the first nominee to be screened today to the podium. He is Senator Tayo Alasoadura from Ondo State.
Senator Ope Bamidele, however, raised a point of order stressing that Alasoadura who is a Former Senator for Ondo Central District should not be exempted from enjoying the privilege of take a bow and go.
Bamidele said members of the public must take note that former legislators are entitled to this privilege.
Mustafa Baba Shehuri
The next nominee screened is Mustafa Baba Shehuri, the immediate past Minister of State for works. He was asked to take a bow and go after a few comments were made concerning him by some lawmakers.
Abubakar Aliyu, the immediate past deputy governor of Yobe State also took a bow and left after giving a little biography of himself.
Despite not being a former lawmaker, he enjoyed the privilege to take a bow and leave without being questioned.
This was after the Senate President pointed out that he is a competent nominee and should be allowed to take a bow and go.
Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi
Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi from Kano State was questioned by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to tell the House what he will do differently if he finds himself to serve in the capacity of Defence Minister.
He was also asked how he will tackle the challenge of banditry and insecurity if he finds himself in the position of Defence Minister.
In response he told the House that if he is confirmed as Minster and he finds himself in the position of Defence Minister, he will ensure that rules are obeyed, procedures are followed and things are done in an appropriate manner.
Former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva told the House about his exploits as a former governor and that he initiated the amnesty programme.
He was also asked to take a bow and go after the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe said Sylva should be made to enjoy the privilege as a former governor and former member of Bayelsa House of Assembly.
Ramatu Tijani from Kogi State made a brief presentation telling the House about herself. She also spoke concerning the less privileged and that of the girl child. She promised not to let them down the womenfolk and the whole House generally if confirmed as Minister.
She was also asked to bow and go after the Minority Leader, Abaribe said she should be allowed to go because the House is gender-sensitive and supportive of women.
The next nominee is the former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo. He was also asked to bow and go after reading his biography to the House. Some of the lawmakers in their remarks described Adebayo as reliable and competent.
Ambassador Zubair Dada from Niger State answered a question on how the NOA can be repositioned to make it a more effective agency. According to him, members of NOA staff needs to be given the motivation they need to make it a more effective agency.
He added that the activities of NAMSA need to be resuscitated so they can reach out to those at the grassroots.
Senator Chris Ngige from Anambra State briefly addressed the House. He said he didn’t have much to say but to express gratitude to the House for the accepting him to come back and be screened as a minister once again.
He also appreciated the House for passing the Minimum Wage Bill so that the lowest Nigerian worker will earn N30,000. He was later asked to bow and go.
Abdullahi Hassan from Nasarawa State in his address said public service is about sacrifice.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu while contributing to the discussion supported Hassan’s nomination describing him as the youngest ministerial nominee from the zone. he also described him as a competent and experienced candidate.
The next nominee is Sunday Dare from Oyo State. At the moment, he is the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). In his address, he thanked the Senate Committee for screening him for the position in 2016.
Reacting to how he would curb kidnapping using sim card should he be assigned the Minister of Communications, Dare noted that arresting the abduction menace requires collaborative efforts.
According to Dare, his ministry in collaboration with the NCC will fight kidnapping by tracking phone calls made, alongside the Sim Registration Database.
Mohammed Bello, a 60-year-old ministerial nominee from Adamawa State, is a Business Administration graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Shortly after his introduction, the Senator representing Adamawa North, Senator Ishaku Abbo, moved the motion for Bello to ‘take a bow and go.’ The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan thereafter adopted the motion and the nominee was asked to take a bow and go.
There was mild jubilation in the Senate when Sadiya Farouq, the Zamfara State ministerial nominee, in her opening remark said her political career started in the Fourth Senate with her office ‘upstairs.’
Having listened keenly, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan called on the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe to speak on the behalf of the lawmakers.
In a comic show, Abaribe who represents Abia Central asked Farouq to take a bow and go, having begun her career in the National Assembly.
Six ministerial nominees have enjoyed the ‘take a bow’ privilege at the screening by the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday, forwarded the names of 43 nominees to constitute his cabinet to the senate, eight weeks after he was sworn in for a second term.
According to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, the decision was in line with the long-standing tradition of the legislature that all former lawmakers nominated for appointments are given an automatic endorsement.
The ministers-nominees who enjoyed the privilege include; Godswill Akpabio, Olorunnimbe Mamora, George Akume, Sharon Ikeazor, Emeka Nwajuiba, a serving Reps member and surprisingly, Rotimi Amaechi, a former minister of Transportation.
Unlike other nominees who were former federal lawmakers, Mr Amaechi was former speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The National Assembly’s Point of Order makes room for Senators returning based on the number of times elected, senators who have been members of House of Reps, Senators elected for the first time but does not recognize State House of Assembly.
But Senate President Lawan described the benefit given to Mr Amaechi as an extension to lawmakers from the state House of Assembly, and a beneficiary by chance.
“We have agreed on a policy on how we go about the screening of nominees, we agreed that any nominee with the legislative background will enjoy the privilege that we normally extend to such nominees.
“I can see this nominee is so clever that he emphasized that he’s been a speaker.”
However, Senator Danjuma Goje, representing Gombe Central read the senate rule and objected to the privilege and noted that the Senate rules do not extend the ‘take a bow’ to state lawmakers.
“I was a victim, when I came to this senate in 2011 as a former member of the House of Assembly and when I insisted that I had the cognate experience, I was told the order does not recognise House of Assembly, I don’t know whether we are changing these rules.”
Senator Lawan agreed that the privilege to state lawmakers is not in the rules, but asked the upper chamber to regulate themselves, even without things in the rule.
“We adopt this because we should extend this privilege to the House of Assembly, there is nothing wrong in that. The present nominee is only a beneficiary by chance.”
There was a brief rowdiness at plenary, but the Senate President explained that they are not doing it for Mr Amaechi, but he is benefitting because the senate said so before he came.
“Any person who passed through a legislative house should be a beneficiary of this policy,” he stated.
Aside from the six who took a bow, the senate screened a total of 10 ministerial nominees out of the 43.
They include; Uchechukwu Ogah, Adamu Adamu, Dr Ogbonaya Onu, and Olamilekan Adegbite.
Mr Lawan described the performance of all the nominees who appeared before the Senate as “impressive”.
He also announced that the exercise will continue on Thursday and listed those to be screened to include Sen. Tayo Alasoadura, Mustapha Shehuri, Retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, Niyi Adebayo and Timipre Slyva.
Also to be screened on Thursday are Mrs Ramatu Tijjani, Mohammed Abdullahi, and Sunday Dare.
The Senate has confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for the two vacant ministerial positions in his cabinet.
The nominees confirmed during Wednesday’s plenary are Professor Stephen Nkani Ocheni (Kogi State) and Mr. Suleiman Zana Hassan (Gombe State).
President Buhari had nominated both men to replace the late Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, and ex-Minister of the Environment, Amina Mohammed, who left the cabinet to become the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.
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.
The Senate President himself acknowledged the economic challenges facing the country and said that the issue of portfolios should not be trivialized.
The Presidency says all attempts by PDP spokesman, Olisah Metuh and others to distract President Buhari from the job he has been elected to do will fail.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, was reacting to a statement credited to the PDP man, alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari is “demarketing Nigeria”.
Adesina said, “President Buhari will remain true to the virtues of honesty, integrity, sincerity, incorruptibility and plain-speaking which endeared him to Nigerians and made them prefer his leadership to that of a lying and deceptive PDP administration.
“The President will not, in the guise of “marketing” the country, refrain from telling Nigerians and the world, the emerging truths about the abject state in which years of plundering by a PDP leadership has left the Nigerian treasury and economy.
“President Buhari will not in the name of “marketing” or “attracting” investors, follow in the footsteps of the ousted PDP Administration and its discredited officials who shamelessly lied to Nigerians and the world about the buoyancy and vibrancy of an economy they had bled dry for personal gain, when it was very obvious to the discerning, that the Nigerian economy was headed for serious trouble.”
He accused Mr. Metuh of unjustly denigrating the President who continues to strive with all his might to alleviate and reverse the harm done to the nation by PDP, instead of showing remorsefulness and giving support for President Buhari’s efforts to revamp the national economy.
“Mr. Metuh’s antics are futile. President Buhari cannot be distracted by a broken record. If the PDP spokesman ever has serious matters to bring to our attention, we will be prepared to listen,” Mr Adesina concluded.