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HomeExecutive BriefThe Good, the bad, the ugly of Buhari ministerial nominees

The Good, the bad, the ugly of Buhari ministerial nominees

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List of ministerial nominees was released by President Muhammadu Buhari, fifty-five days after he was sworn in for a second term in office. The release of the names of his cabinet members’ nominees this time, however, beat his first-term record of six months.


The nation was kept waiting for six months in 2015 before the president could assemble his cabinet and by the time the list was out, not fewer people were disappointed with the names of ministers.
In the past four years, the records of performance of the last group of ministers were nothing to cheer about, apart from a few of them, the majority of them were lackluster in their performance.
Expectations that the President would learn from the past and this time assemble more compact and high flying performers as members of his cabinet may have been dashed. From the look of thinks, the ministerial list released by the president of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday contained the same old tired faces of politicians, whose performance at their former beats were nothing to cheer about.
A closer examination of the list showed that there was no striking name that could fit well into the critical finance ministry, same for the budget and planning ministry.
Although Zainab Ahmed, who held fort at the finance ministry after the sudden exit of Kemi Adeosun, was listed as a ministerial nominee, many analysts said her performance in the office during the last dispensation was far from stealer.
The former finance minister merely wobbling and fumbling throughout her short stay in the minister and nothing significant can be ascribed to her as an achievement.
Unlike the former occupier of the office, Adeosun who introduced many reforms in the finance ministry before she was forced to resign due to her alleged forged NYSC certificate; Ahmed was unable to follow through with all the reforms initiated by her predecessor.
The tax amnesty programme, Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), designed to expand the tax net and capture many high networth individuals who hitherto invade payment of tax died a natural death as a result of lack of diligent prosecution.
Another name on the list is the former minister of information, Lai Mohammed, who was generally tagged the propaganda machine of the government had attracted more opprobrium to the government than goodwill during his last tour of duty.
His inability to distinguish his former role of a political party spokesman and official government spokesman was a major flaw that marked his tenure in the information ministry.
Among the nominees was the immediate past governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, who is coming newly into the cabinet if his name is eventually clear by the Senate. Aregbesola as governor of Osun State was well known for owing worker’s salary and his uninspiring pursuance of an educational reform that add little value to the system but more confusion and division among various religion sects in the state.
Although, some people said he made some giant steps in terms of infrastructure renewal in the state, he left huge debt for his predecessor in office to tackle.
Also, the return of Chris Ngige, a former minister of Labour and Productivity is another miscue by the President, who many expected to inject fresh blood from both the private sector and apolitical section of the country to boost his performance in his second term in office..
Although the country enjoyed a relative industry peace during the last four years, but the shambolic approach that characterised the negotiation for the new minimum wage by the ex-Labour minister and his various unguarded comments remain an albatross on his neck.
The tenure of the former Attorney general and minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami remain shrouded in major controversy from allegations of collusion with some people to shortchange the country and his handling of the altercation between his office and the anti-graft agency the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) were some of the low points of his tenure.
The nomination of Gbemisola Saraki, junior sister to the immediate past President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki was seen as a political compensation for the younger Saraki for her support during the last election and probably to spite his brother who was seen as a thorn in the flesh of the President in the last dispensation.
Ms Saraki was a Senator between 2003-2007 before his brother took over from her and represent Kwara Central in the upper chamber. However, her tenure at the Senate has nothing significant to remember her for other than that she came to the Senate because of her family influence in Kwara politics.
A number of commentators have picked holes in the list submitted for screening by the Senate, mainly because it contains mostly names of many personalities that have failed their people in their former point of duty. The hope for a next-level that would usher in a good time for Nigeria may have gone up in smoke. If the last cabinet performed below average, the new one may not march up to the performance of the previous one.

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