The ministerial nominees submitted by President Bola Tinubu on Thursday are expected to undergo screening at the Senate on Monday.
The Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu (Ekiti South), said the Upper Chamber had suspended all its activities to commence the screening immediately.
Adaramodu stated this, shortly after the names of 28 nominees sent to the federal lawmakers were read by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio on the floor of the Senate.
Adaramodu said, “Screening will commence on Monday. We have suspended all the rules to accommodate the screening of the nominees.
“We were supposed to proceed on our vacation today (Thursday) but it has been suspended for this screening. We are starting the screening on Monday. We are not going to allocate time to nominees to talk.
“We will start by 11am on Monday and other days at 10am. We are ready to sit all day to screen them, with no limitation of hours. We won’t even time them. We would listen to them reel out their blueprint to us. The screening would be done in the presence of Nigerians.”
Akpabio, at plenary, unveiled the list consisting of 28 nominees.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajamiabila, delivered the list to the Senate President.
Foremost Nigerians, who made the list are former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), and former Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi (Ebonyi).
Others are the acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abubakar Kyari (Borno); the party’s women leader Beta Edu (Cross River); Deputy Chief Whip of the Ninth House of Representatives, Nkiruka Onyejiocha ( Abia); a lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, (Kwara); and the President’s Special Adviser on Media, Strategy and Special Duties, Dele Alake, (Ekiti).
Also, contained in the list is a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Adebayo Adelabu (Oyo); former Minister of State, Health, Ali Pate, (Bauchi); and Senator John Eno, (Cross River).
Meet media entrepreneur, Mohammed Idris who made Tinubu’s ministerial list
Others include Abubakar Momoh (Edo); Ambassador Yusuf Maitama, (Bauchi), Ahmad Dangiwa (Katsina), Hanatu Musawa, (Katsina), Chief Uche Nnaji, (Enugu), Doris Aniche (Imo), Mohamed Badaru (Jigawa), Ekperikpe Ekpo (Akwa Ibom), Olubumi Tunde-Ojo, (Ondo), Stella Okotete, (Delta), Uju Ohanaeye (Anambra) and Bello Goronyo, (Sokoto).
Mohammed Idris (Niger), Olawale Edun (Ogun), Imman Suleiman (Nassarawa), Joseph Utsev, (Benue) and Sani Danladi ( Taraba) also made the 28-man list.
The Senate, however, referred the list to the Committee of the Whole, having read out the names.
Although the constitution prescribes that the President shall appoint at least a minister from each of the 36 states of the federation, the list sent by the Tinubu contained names of nominees from 25 states, leaving out 11 states.
Meanwhile, the states not yet captured are Lagos, Kano, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Gombe, Kebbi, Kogi, Osun, Plateau, Yobe and Zamfara.
This comes as Bauchi, Cross River and Katsina states got two slots each.
Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila said Nigerians should expect the naming of new ministries as President unveils another list of 13 ministerial nominees “in the coming days.”
“Mr President intends to separate portfolios or restructure the ministries in such a way that you might be hearing of new ministries that were not standalone ministries before,” the Chief of Staff to the President told State House Correspondents hours after he submitted the ministerial list to the Senate.
On how the names emerged, Gbajabiamila said, “Mr President took his time to sift through those names.
Gbajabiamila said President Tinubu dissected those names with a fine-tooth comb.
“That’s what you have seen. Everyone, I believe, of the persons on that list is worth being on that list.
“But I hope we haven’t missed anything that would have necessitated any name not being on that list.”
The former Speaker said the names were sent to the Senate without specific portfolios attached to give the President enough flexibility to decide who handles what portfolio.
Gbajabiamila said, “I like the idea of attaching portfolios because it makes it necessary for the Senate to know exactly what you’re asking and looking for.
“As good as that sounds, it straitjackets the President to pigeonhole one person in an office or the other. What happens if he changes his mind? Do you then bring the person back for screening again? This is because the President is at liberty to change his mind.
“But for now, it’s been thought wise that we stick to the tradition of sending the names and then while the screening processes are going on, it allows Mr President and his team to look at the portfolios and the characters and see how they fit.”
According to Gbajabiamila, President Tinubu is sure that all the nominees can “fit in anywhere” except for specialised offices such as the Attorney-General.
He noted that, on the remaining nominees, the “12 or maybe 13 will be forwarded to the Senate in the coming days.”
The Chief of staff hinted that the cabinet should be fully formed and functioning within the next two weeks.
He said, “Work should start in earnest for them in the next week or two because I don’t see the Senate wasting too much time in the confirmation, not because they’re not going to do a thorough job, they will do a thorough job.
“But they will balance it with the knowledge that in this time that we are in, time is of the essence,” he added