Jonathan swears in eight new ministers
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sworn in eight ministers recently cleared by the Senate tasking them to discharge their duties with utmost diligence.
He also carried out minor cabinet reshuffle as Dr. Alhassan Khaliru has been named substantive Minister of Health. Al-Hassan was until yesterday the Minister of State and Supervising Minister in the ministry, while Fidelis Nwankwo, (Ebonyi State) is now the new Minister of State Health. He took over the ministerial slot of the state from Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, who was the senior Minister of Health.
The new ministers were sworn in two batches (four per team) in the presence of Council members, friends and family members.
Senator Patricia Akwashiki (Nasarawa) is now Minister of Information, the position occupied by Mr. Labaran Maku, before he went to pick the governorship slot of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) in the state; Prof. Nicholas Ada (Benue) is now – Minister of State Foreign Affairs 1. He took the state’s slot from Dr. Sam Ortom, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Benue and Col. Augustine Akobundu (rtd) Abia State is now Minister of State for Defence. He took the state’s slot from Emeka Wogu, erstwhile Labour Minister, who contested the PDP governorship slot in Abia State.
Others are Mrs. Hauwa Lawan Baffa, now Minister of State Niger Delta Affairs. She assumed the state’s slot from Nurudeen Mohammed, former Minister of State II Foreign Affairs who is now the governorship running mate in Jigawa State; Kenneth Kobani (Rivers) is now Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment. He took the slot of Rivers from Mr. Nyesom Wike, the former Minister of State Education, who is the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers.
Sen. Joel Danlami Ikenya (Taraba), who assumed the slot of the state from Darius Ishaku, former Minister of State Niger Delta Affairs and now governorship candidate of PDP in Taraba State now Minister of Labour and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro. (Lagos) – Foreign Affairs II.
President Jonathan also swore in two commissioners for Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr. Jonah Madugu. He is to represent Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states and National Population Commission, Mrs. Abimbola Hundeyi from Lagos.
Jonathan in his brief remarks congratulated the ministers and expressed hope that they will join to serve the nation.
He said, ”For the ministers this is an injury time, is like bringing a player when you have just five minutes to go in a football match. So everyone wants to know what that player will do, the magic the player will perform within that short period. The player himself will be struggling to at least kick the ball before the end of the game.
“So you are coming in at a quite challenging period and I believe that a number of people will not envy you because government is coming to a close. But sometimes is even good to come at this time because you are now well exposed to Nigerians.
“Your dancing steps will be watched by everybody and we believe you will dance well.
“For the member of the Federal Civil Service Commission, civil service is key is the engine room of government. The greatest problem that people complain about is the issues of discipline et c in the service. I believe that with you coming to join others you will continue to modernize the federal civil service.
“Of course population is key for the National Population Commission, we are thinking of how to go for another head count. And every country wants to know the exact population for the purpose of planning and all that. I believe is a good team and listening to your citations all of you are eminently qualified to hold any office in this country. And we believe that you will join us to serve our nation.”
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