President Bola Tinubu assigned ministerial portfolios on Wednesday, a few days after the senate had approved and examined them. The president had not included portfolios with the list of 47 nominations for ministerial positions that he delivered to the Senate, which sparked discussions over which ministry should be assigned to each nominee.
It wasn’t the first time a list of ministerial nominees without ministries has been presented to the Senate. The tendency was followed by previous presidents including Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari.
Although there is no constitutional need that the president link portfolios to the list of ministerial nominations, experts have claimed that if portfolios are connected to the list, the senators will be able to ask the nominees the necessary questions.
The Senate approved the nominations of 45 out of the 48 cabinet nominees. Due to problems with security clearance, three nominees — Nasir el-Rufai, a former governor of Kaduna, Stella Okotete (Delta), and Danladi Abubakar (Taraba) — were not confirmed.
According to the list of ministers, the north-west has 10 ministers, compared to the north-east’s six. While the south-east and south-south each have five and seven ministers, the north-central and south-west have eight and nine ministers, respectively.
CONTINUED TREND OF STATE MINISTERS
Thirteen of the 45 ministers on the list are secretaries of state. The president typically gives certain nominees the position of state minister in order to fit the number of nominees within the existing ministries and positions.
Here is the list of the current ministers for state:
1. Minister of state, environment and ecological management — Ishak Salako
- Minister of state, health and social welfare –Tunji Alausa
- Minister of state, labour and employment — Nkiruka Onyejeocha
- Minister of state, gas resources – Ekperipe Ekpo
- Minister of state, petroleum resources –Heineken Lokpobiri
- Minister of state, defence — Bello Matawalle
- Minister of state, education — Yusuf T. Sununu
- Minister of state, housing and urban development– Abdullahi T. Gwarzo
- Minister of state, federal capital territory — Mairiga Mahmud
- Minister of state, water resources and sanitation – Bello M. Goronyo
- Minister of state, steel development — U. Maigari Ahmadu
- Minister of state, police affairs — Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim
- Minister of state, agriculture and food security – Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
NO ENERGY MINISTER
Only two presidents—Yar’Adua and Jonathan—have chosen petroleum ministers since 1999. After Yar’Adua had been in office for a year, a petroleum minister was named.
The president, who serves as the de facto petroleum minister, often appoints a minister of state to supervise the petroleum ministry on his behalf.
When Obasanjo did not nominate a petroleum minister for the first six years of his government, he set the pattern. However, in 2005, under criticism, he named Edmund Daukoru as the minister of state for energy. Daukoru was chosen to serve as the president’s special adviser on energy and petroleum in 2003.
Obasanjo did not nominate a petroleum minister during his eight years in power, but there was a minister of state for petroleum, thus Buhari followed that model. Tinubu has also adopted the Petroleum Ministry’s structure from Obasanjo.
Ekperipe Ekpo and Heineken Lokpobiri were named by Tinubu as ministers of state for petroleum resources and gas, respectively, in the new list of ministers.
NO DELTA MINISTER OF NIGERIA
The minister of Niger Delta affairs is another position that is absent from Tinubu’s list of available cabinet positions. Since Yar’Adua established the ministry in 2008, succeeding presidents have chosen a minister.
Yar’Adua named Godsday Orubebe as the minister of state and Ufot Ekaette as the first minister for Niger Delta issues. Ministers for the ministry were appointed equally by Jonathan and Buhari.
Some political observers assert that Tinubu’s decision to forego the appointment of a minister for Niger Delta matters may be a sign that the president plans to abolish the position. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the ministry perform similar roles, according to experts.