‘What we expect from new ministers’

As the ministerial nominees scaled the Senate hurdle one after the other on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, some eminent Nigerians have mounted another before them. However, the fresh hurdle is in terms of performance and what they are expected to do improve socio-economic and political fortunes of Nigeria.


Agbakoba: I expect the best

Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba expressed optimism that the ministers will assist the president in delivering his campaign promises.

“My expectation is that they should be people who should be able to first of all, deliver on the campaign agenda of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Second, the change agenda of the president and then the third and most importantly, the expectations of Nigerians.

“They should also be able to tackle the critical issues in the system. There are so many of them but I can mention some of the critical ones. Our economy has stopped producing jobs, our health sector and education [need urgent attention].

“My expectation is that they will be the best quality who would help the president deliver on his campaign promises. It is like a football team, if I am going to a competition, I will go with the best players and I expect that these are the best,” he said.


Ongoing innovations in NNPC should be sustained—Ugwu-Oju

President of South-East/South-South Professionals, Emeka Ugwu-Oju said: ”We need to stop the practice of sending names without attaching portfolios to them. We should imitate America and other countries where the portfolios are made public the moment a person is appointed a minister.

“For instance, if one is to set agenda for the Minister of Finance the task becomes easier when the identity of such minister is known. Such makes it possible for us to know the competence of the person because people have different areas of competence. Without knowledge of their portfolios, whatever is said about them would be speculative. It would be speculative to set agenda for the ministers when portfolios are not attached to their nominations.

”However, the only area where I am interested is the NNPC where a core professional was appointed as the head and was also nominated to be a minister. We expect that he is allowed to continue the job he started rather than bringing in another person, who will dismantle the structures he has on ground.  The man has brought in people who will help realise his plans for the sector, any new person coming may change some of the structures he has put in place.”


I expect them to bring about APC’s change – Odumakin

Afenifere’s spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin said he expects the new ministers to bring about the needed change promised by the APC.

His words: “Once they are confirmed, people expect them to settle down and get to work, look at the critical areas and how to bring about the change, which their party promised. There are many areas of our national life that need attention. Importantly, areas like infrastructure, power, education, the economy, agriculture and the diversification of our economy.

“One has not seen brilliant presentations so far, maybe because of time or the way the thing is structured and of course, there are no challenging questions in terms of issues.

“We hope they will be able to bring ideas on the table that can make the people to feel the impact of governance. We have not seen rigorous deliberations in terms of looking at the issues that affect the country. So, they will need to do more of rigorous thinking and try to find solution to the problems.”


They should ensure change —Ajulo

National Secretary of the Labour Party, LP, Kayode Ajulo advised the ministers to effect much needed change.

Ajulo, a legal practitioner, said:  “Even though it appears that there is an infusion of new faces, the truth is that there is essentially no difference between six and a half-dozen; the issues we raised are still very relevant- the youth in Nigeria have been cast aside and abandoned in this new administration.”

National renaissance

Chiding the president for neglecting the youth, he said: “A nation that abandons its youth has given up on the future as such abandonment indicates that there is no succession plan.  The question I’m asking the Buhari administration is: Is this an admission that the youth in Nigeria are of no use to him in his drive for national renaissance?” A look through world history shows the role youth have played in adding value to human growth and societal development.

“As a young man myself, I feel sincerely pained at this course of events. At the risk of appearing like I am blowing my own trumpet, I know I have played no mean role in contributing to national development. There are many other young people like myself who have laboured significantly. These ones may even have fought for the president’s victory at the polls. Is this how they are to be compensated? The fact is President Buhari is disappointing Nigerians more and more with his choices by the day.

“The would be ministers and Buhari’s administration need no more advice than to live by their words. Buhari did not emerge as president by happen stance but due to the good things he promised and credible perception of his personality. What was promised Nigerians is change and we are yet to see the change, they therefore must ensure this.”


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