Buhari Miracle Workers

By Suleiman Umaru

 Those who think that President Muhammadu Buhari would release the list of his ministerial nominees in one batch may have to do a rethink.  There are indications that it would be released in batches as he is still holding consultations .

Note that  the President has been keeping to himself in the recent time  in order to draw up his ministerial list without the disturbance of lobbyists’. He may have gotten it right that  Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the government of the Federation  could beat his chest that he would unveil the names of the new ministers .

A Source told The Value News the nominees are mostly from the political class and few technocrats. This is in addition to the  recall of some former  ministers who may have distinguished themselves in their first term. 

As a retired Army General and former military Head of State, who  knows his onions, he may have  shocked his  critics who had lost hope  that he may not be able to draw up his ministerial list in the next three months as was the case in  his term.  As at press time, the list of the first batch his ministerial nominees  containing about sixteen names  was said to be ready for presentation to the Senate for consideration.

 National Assembly sources told The Magazine that Ahmed Lawan,  the Senate  President,  is anxious to receive  to  the list of the first batch of the ministers  to carry out his first major Legislative duties in the Senate.  The ministerial list, the source said could not have  been  transmitted to him directly from the Presidency as it has to through the Majority Leader, who must belong to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.  But for the Lawmakers going on recess, the party would have elected the Majority leader and other principal officers of the Senate and the House Representatives as  the Opposition People’s Democratic Part, PDP. had done.

 The  source informed The Magazine  that   Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and the godfather of APC members  in the state may have been  recalled to the ministry of Transportation to continue  from where  he may have had  stopped in his first term: negotiation of loan facility from China, construction of the Ibadan -Kano rail project  and other rail projects  initiated  in his term  across the country.

It was learned that there had been a celebration in the rivers state born politician’s Camp in the state as information had filtered out that his name was on the list of the first batch of ministerial nominees that would be presented to the Senate for Consideration speaks volume. He had lost hope of being recalled that he was forced to cry out because of the alleged plot he claimed, he had unveiled of a heavily funded campaign of calumny mounted against him by political detractors.

  Hadi Seriki., an indigene of Katsina state, the President home state, described in political circles as a failed minister of State, Aviation, during his first term, was also said to have been recalled.   The former minister, who was said to have made the ministerial list had wet the appetite of Nigerians with the launching of Air Nigeria in an International Show in London in July 2018. The Air Nigeria project had died on arrival  despite the thousands of dollar spent  on promotion to popularise the new Airline  to travellers both within and outside the country including  renting of operational office for the Airline in London but that was how he could go

. Abbdulrahman Dambazau, a retired Army Lt. General  was said to have made the list but recalled to the ministry of Interior;  Chris Ngige, a former governor of Anambra state, who had  a tough time Coordinating the government  negotiating team with the Organised Labour over the new minimum wage ,  was  recalled but   moved to ministry of Communication by the President.

There  are indicaitons also that Ogbonnaya Onu,who hails  from Eboyi state retained his former ministry of Science and Technology, as a Chemical Engineer, Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN,  from Kebbi state, retained his old  potfolio as the minister of Justice and Attorney  General of the Federation.

Top on the list the fresh ministerial nominees, according to an APC source were Akinwumi Ambode , a former governor of Lagos state, who was denied a second term bid  by Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of the state and the APC, National leader.

 Giving his background as an Accountant and a former Accountant General of Lagos state, the President was said to have handed over the ministry of National  planning to him to enable him reenact  his good plans used  for the development of Lagos state  at the national level. Mohammed Bindow Jibrilla, a former governor of Adamawa state, who lost his re-election bids, to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governorship Candidate in the state also made list but was said to have been  assigned to oversee the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Many believe that the appointment of Ambode, Bindow, and any other former governor  who may make the ministerial list, was at the instance of the Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state and National Chairman of the  National Executive Committee,NEC, of the party.

Also on the list of the first batch of the ministerial nominees  , the Magazine reliably gathered was  Godswill Akapabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state and later  APC ,Senate Minority leader, in the 8th National Assembly. He  was said to have been taken to   the ministry of Niger Delta. He  may have been selected by the Katsina state born Nigerian President to take up the ministerial slot of the  state , for losing his Senatorial election Seat to Ekpeyoung, of the PDP as a way of Compensation to recoup his political investment.

 Adebayo Adelabu, from Oyo state, Finance, Halima Babayo, Yobe, Foreign Affairs; Barnas Bala Bintas, Kaduna, Education. Ahmed Mohammed  Kwarra, Industry, trade and Investment; Fatima Gambo, Taraba, Women Affairs and Kayode Adeosola  from Ogun state who Heads the ministry Labour and Productivity. The last but  not the least  were George Akume, a former governor of  Benue state, who it was  confirmed would serve as the minister o state, Petroleum,a position formerly occupied by Ibe Kachukwu,  from Delta state,  and Femi Adesina, a former Special Assistant to the President  on Media and Publicity who served in his first term in that capacity.

Akinwumi Ambode: Former governor of Lagos state and A Ministerial Nominee

The  President may not have gone through the  governors   to get approval for  the ministerial nominees from their respective states as he may have done so in consultation with  the party state Executives  and based on  his own assessment of the nominees  in their past national assignments and private  businesses. It is not surprising why the likes of Ambode or Akpabio could make the list with Tinubu or Udom Emmanuel still calling the shot in Lagos and Akwa Ibom states respectively.

The president is optimistic that the selected  Nigerians  who would  serve in the Cabinet would help him in the implementation of the party programmes , particular in the area of reviving the economy, which Buhari had repeatedly  accused the PDP of destroying in its 16 years of ruling the country.

But in the last couple of months, the APC  government has received bashings from several quarters about the poor state of the economy.  Muhammad Sanusi  11, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and now Emir of Kano, may have spoken out his mind , when he raised alarm  over the ”government unfavorable economic policies  which may lead the country to bankruptcy”, thus urging the President to” remove  the fraudulent  subsidy regime”.

The Emir’s major worry  was why the government  should be saddled with responsibility of paying   for both  petroleum and electricity subsidies , noting that the situation has been made worse anytime  ”there  is a rise  in interests rate as  the government also pays for it”. He lamented  that the N.5 trillion spent annually  on petroleum subsidy alone was too much to be accommodated by the economy .

The Kano Monarch may have taken a cursory look at the President’s recent speech and applauded him over his promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. The Monarch may have picked a hole on the promise when he noted that ”addressing poverty will require will require difficult and painful decisions to free resources for investment in educational, health and infrastructure, noting that the funding for such investments could not be easily raised from taxation during an economic slowdown”.

He recalled that in his days as CBN, governor,   the government earned $16 billion from the oil sector but spent $8 billion in importing petroleum products and another $8.2 billion on subsidies of the same products.  According to him , the situation has not changed which could the country to bankruptcy if not addressed He was said to have suggested  that the government could pay 30 percent of the cost of importation of petroleum products this year and reduce it by 10 percent annually  until  the subsidy regime is eliminated by 2022.

His reason for the suggestion  is for the government  to put the money saved into  the funding of the Educational and Health sectors  as well as funding of other  developmental projects across the country. of   Whether the President would cue into the Monarch’s suggestions, remain to be seen. The President may not need such an anti-people economic advice as he has gotten the miracles who would the Nigerian economy out of the woods in the next four years.

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