Nigeria News

Ministers Without Portfolios

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Nigeria News takes a look at President Muhammadu Buhari’s Ministerial nominees without portfolios.

All of them are politicians with no single technocrat. Their appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari heralded jubilation in the political circle.

Their cronies and friends filled the national dailies with congratulatory messages. Those that Professor Wole Soyinka described as internet trolls hit the social media platforms to see if their area fathers made the ministerial list.

The Senate turned the ministerial screening to another drama. No serious questions were asked, except for the usual ‘Paddy paddy’ screening.

In his character, Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West had asked one of the nominees, Festus Keyamo (SAN) to recite the second stanza of our National Anthem.

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan would not allow such a question. He simply said, ‘No, that is not a question’ as he asked the fiery lawyer to take a bow and leave.

As he was stepping out of the red chamber, Keyamo moved towards Melaye. They shook hands, threw banters and laughed everything off.

Melaye was a spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party in the last general election while Keyamo represented the All Progressives Congress. They met severally on television to sell their party’s agenda and debated ferociously on various issues.

However, the story changed as soon as both are now in the position to direct the affairs of this country, one as a Senator, the other as a minister. Perhaps the hostility may begin later, Lawan never allowed it to happen at the Senate chamber.

The ministerial screening is the first Senate assignment under Lawan and I think he is doing the bidding of the APC and by extension that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Politicians are deceitful and with the calibes of people in the coming Federal cabinet, Nigerians must be ready for propaganda for the next four years.

These set of ministers may not need special skills to deliver than the ability to sell propaganda. They can fit into any position so far they are politicians. What matters to the APC-led government now is not about how to fix the economy but who can defend the party’s incapability to take this country out of the wood. This government is good at cajoling the gullible citizens.

This government failed woefully in the first term, mostly because none of the ministers could challenge the cabals who were the inner caucus of Buhari’s government.

The former Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu who dared the formula of the cabal was not nominated this time.

Ibe was a kind of technocrat the country would need in the oil sector but he is not the type Buhari would need in this government.

So, it does not matter which technical ability or intellectual capacity a nominee has got, what matters most is his political logics and strategies to scheme.

The Economic policy of this government did not work for this country for four years. The government must go back to the drawing board and change the formula or else the situation will be worse.

Buhari will need to check the overbearing influence of the mafia in his government if this administration must rise to the next level as it had promised.

The ban on importation of rice and other 43 items when there is no production capacity to provide enough local rice should be revisited and a new decision taken to ease the economic pains on Nigerians.

There is the need to quickly name the portfolios of the ministers so that they can begin work in earnest.

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