LIVE: Senate Screens 14 Remaining Ministerial Nominees
The Senate will on Monday commence the screening of the 28 ministerial nominees of President Bola Tinubu.
After 59 days in office, Mr Tinubu transmitted the list of the nominees to the upper legislative chamber on Thursday, a day before the expiration of the 60-day constitutional deadline of 28 July,
Like past Nigerian leaders, the president did not attach their portfolios.
The nominees, drawn from 25 states of the federation, comprise four former governors, six former federal lawmakers, two former lawmakers, three serving presidential advisers, and seven women, among others.
Femi Gbajabiamila, Mr Tinubu’s chief of staff, said the president would submit the list of nominees from the remaining 11 states soon.
Ahead of the screening, the federal government had asked the nominees to complete their documentation at the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President at the National Assembly complex between Friday and Monday (today) to enable them to undergo the exercise.
The Senate has promised a thorough exercise. Its spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu, told journalists Thursday that Nigerians would not be disappointed with how it would conduct the screening.
“This time, screening will be very thorough. It is not going to be a situation where the screening will be anyhow. We are going to know the background of the nominees, and we are not going to disappoint Nigerians. It is not going to be a shallow screening. You must have character; you must have the face, you must have the behaviour to be among the cabin crew to fly Nigeria. This time around, Nigeria is going to be better,” Mr Adaramodu said.
It is speculated that the screening for which the Senate shifted its annual recess may take a minimum of three days.
The 109-member Senate is expected to grill the nominees on the value they will add to governance if confirmed.
However, some, notably former and serving lawmakers, may just be asked to “take a bow and go.” Although it is a privilege the lawmakers enjoy, some Nigerians and democrats have in the past criticised the method, saying it does not show seriousness on the part of the lawmakers in ensuring thorough scrutiny of nominees.
Yet some of the nominees may not get accelerated clearance like the former lawmakers, especially if there are petitions written against them or if there is a need to extract more information from them on the suspicion that they will be posted to certain ministries.
At the end of the exercise, the Senate will reject or confirm the nominees at the committee of the Whole, after which the senate president will announce the decision of the lawmakers.
The ministerial nominees
Nyesom Wike – Rivers
Abubakar Momoh – Edo
Betta Edu – Cross River
Ekperikpe Ekpo – Akwa Ibom
Stella Okotette – Delta
John Enoh – Cross River
Olubunmi Tunji Ojo – Ondo
Dele Alake – Ekiti
Olawale Edun – Ogun
Waheed Adebayo Adelabu – Oyo
Yusuf Maitama Tuggar – Bauchi
Ali Pate –Bauchi
Abubakar Kyari – Borno
Sani Abubakar Danladi – Taraba
Badaru Abubakar – Jigawa
Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai – Kaduna
Ahmed Dangiwa – Katsina
Hannatu Musawa – Katsina
Bello Muhammad Goronyo – Sokoto
Lateef Fagbemi – Kwara
Muhammad Idris – Niger
Iman Suleiman Ibrahim – Nasarawa
Joseph Utsev – Benue
The first ministerial screening under the current democratic dispensation, which began in 1999, was conducted in June of that year. President Olusegun Obasanjo had transmitted the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate on 4 June, 1999, about six days after he was inaugurated on 29 May, 1999. The list contained some members of the opposition All Peoples Party (APP) now defunct, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and some military friends of the former president. Prominent among them were late Bola Ige, former Chief of Army Staff, Theophilus Danjuma, Tony Anenih, David Jemibewon, Kanu Agabi, Adamu Ciroma, Tunde Adeniran and Olusegun Agagu. The Senate under the leadership of a former Imo governor, Evan Enwerem, cleared them and they were inaugurated on 30 June, 1999 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
On 23 June, 2003, about 25 days after he was sworn in for a second term, President Obasanjo forwarded a list of 42 ministerial nominees to the Senate then under the leadership of Adolphus Wabara for confirmation.
Some of the nominees included Rabi’u Kwankwaso, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nasir El-Rufai, Isa Yuguda, Eyitayo Lambo, Cormelius Adebayo, Edmund Daukoru, Iyorchia Ayu, and Oluyemi Adeniji. The Senate cleared those screened but dropped the Ekiti nominee, Babalola Borishade.
About four ministers that served in the 1999-2003 cabinet returned. They are Muktar Shagari (Sokoto), Adamu Bello (Adamawa), Odion Ugbesia (Edo) and Turner Isoun (Bayelsa). Mr Obasanjo inaugurated 33 of them on 18 July, 2003. Among them was Mr El-Rufai who is one of the nominees of President Bola Tinubu 20 years after.
That year there were also allegations that some of the nominees bribed the senators to clear them.
The Senate is getting set to commence the screening of President Bola Tinubu’s nominees. The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has just arrived at the National Assembly complex. He arrived at exactly 12.33 p.m. in company with his deputy, Barau Jibrin, Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele and other principal officers.
The Senate President is leading the prayer for commencement of the session at 12:41 pm.