Buhari may swear in ministers Wednesday
Nigeria’s President may swear in his 43 ministerial nominees on Wednesday following their confirmation by the country’s upper house of assembly.
The lawmakers ended the screening of Buhari’s nominees for ministerial appointments on Tuesday and approved all the 43 persons sent in by the president.
But the portfolio for each of the nominees is still unknown. Buhari is expected to assign them portfolios when they are inaugurated.
A number of senior figures from Buhari’s first term will return, including Zainab Ahmed (finance minister), Babatunde Fashola (works, power and power minister), Geoffrey Onyeama (foreign affairs minister), Rotimi Amaechi (transport minister) and Lai Mohammed ( held the information portfolio).
However, returning ministers may not hold the same positions they held in the last four years.
Buhari was criticised by opposition figures and some analysts for being slow to name his cabinet since his victory over People’s Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar in February election.
The president was also berated for the low percentage of women in his picks. Of all the 43 nominees only seven women were listed.
Sharon Ikeazor, Gbemisola Saraki, Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu, Sadiya Farouk, Mariam Katagun and Pauline Tallen joined returning minister Zainab Ahmed to make the seven women on the ministerial list.
While many would argue that it’s an improvement on his first term cabinet that had only six women, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
In 2015, Buhari appointed six women in his 37 ministers. This means that while six women in 2015 represented a 19% of the total, seven in 2019 represents only 16%.
Buhari took six months to swear in a cabinet after the 2015 election – a delay critics contend contributed to the slow response to low oil prices that pushed Nigeria into a recession in 2016.