Senate confirms all Buhari’s ministerial nominees
Nigerian Senate Tuesday ended the screening of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for ministerial appointments.
All the 43 persons nominated by the president were confirmed in an exercise that lasted five days. Buhari is expected to assign them portfolios when they are inaugurated.
Critics of the screening said it has been more of an endorsement of the persons nominated by Buhari instead of it being an actual screening.
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).
Although, returning ministers will not necessarily hold the same positions they held in the last four years.
Buhari has also been criticized 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.