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Absence of ministers creates no vacuum in governance, says Jibrin

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Senator Jibrin Barau,

• Experts task govt on good governance
Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano North) has justified President Muhammadu Buhari’s foot-dragging in naming ministers more than two months after his inauguration, insisting that it did not create vacuum in governance.

He cited the presence of permanent secretaries acting in the ministers’ stead as filler in the gap.

Jibrin made the clarification yesterday while briefing the senate press corps on a motion he moved during plenary for urgent intervention of the senate in the impending industrial action by the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

He was reacting to poser on whether the absence of ministers of education as well as labour and productivity would not jeopardise any proposed inter-ministerial parley with the two unions and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The senator, who was optimistic that the intervention was not coming too late despite that the two unions had commenced a three-day warning strike, said efforts would be made to meet the leadership of the unions alongside officials of the two ministries.

Moving the motion earlier during plenary, he notified the senate of impending industrial action by NASU and SSANU, which, if allowed, would disrupt academic activities on Nigerian campuses.

Meanwhile, the need for government to ensure inclusiveness in governance has been stressed.

Corporate governance and management experts, who gathered at the 2019 Distinguished Management Lecture organised by Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) in Lagos yesterday want President Buhari to appoint competent professionals to drive the desired national growth.

Themed ‘Nigeria’s Progress Principles and the new Metrics’, the experts emphasised the need for government to change the old ways of doing things.

While stressing the need for attitudinal change and value re-orientation, they also want the interest of the nation to be put first at all times.

Chairman, Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, urged government to shift focus to the key variables in creating national wealth.

“The national budget allocated to defence has increased from N340 billion in 2014 to N594 billion in 2019, highlighting the increase of security challenges across the nation. Insecurity and prosperity do not co-exist. Until our leaders realise this, we are pretty much going to be static for some time,” he added.

Earlier in his remarks, President and Chairman of Council, NIM, Prof. Olukunle Iyanda, said the task of getting the country running on the right path should not be left for government alone. “All hands must be on deck to take Nigeria to where we all want it to be.”


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