Tinubu silent on petroleum ministry, assigns portfolio to cleared ministers
After an unexplained delay, President Bola Tinubu yesterday, assigned portfolios to the 45 confirmed ministerial nominees recently cleared for appointment by the Senate, with former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, in charge of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Festus Keyamo manning the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.
Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, however, could not confirm the exact date for their inauguration.
The Guardian had reported yesterday that barring any last-minute changes, the nominees are expected to be sworn in on Monday ahead of the inaugural Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting next week Wednesday. It was also gathered that a ministerial retreat for the ministers would take place before the swearing in ceremony.
While some nominees are yet to be cleared, there are concerns whether President Tinubu will retain the portfolio of Minister of Petroleum for himself like his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
Expected were the portfolios assigned to Wale Edun (Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy), Bosun Tijani (Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy), Hannatu Musawa (Art, Culture and Creative Economy), Lateef Fagbemi (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) and Ali Pate (Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare).
However, a shock inclusion in the announcement was the portfolio assigned to Dele Alake (Solid Minerals Development), who had spearheaded the communications team of the President since his emergence as presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in May last year and had also assumed the same role since Tinubu’s inauguration on May 29.
Other portfolios as released by the President are as follows: Adegboyega Oyetola (Transportation), David Umahi (Works), Betta Edu (Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation), Mohammed Badaru (Defence), Ahmed Dangiwa (Housing and Urban Development), and Simon Lalong (Labour and Employment).
Also named are Minister of State, Environment and Ecological Management, Ishak Salaco; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Bunmi Tunji; Minister of Power, Adedayo Adelabu; Minister of State, Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa.
Minister of Tourism is Lola Ade-John; Minister of Transportation, Adegboyega Oyetola; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Anite; Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji; Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejeocha; Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy; and Minister of Youth is Abubakar Momoh.
Others are: Minister of State, Gas Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri; Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh; Minister of State Defence, Bello Matawalle; Minister of State Education, Yusuf T. Sunumu; Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed M. Dangiwa; Minister of State, Housing and Urban Development, Abdullah T. Gwarzo; Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu; and Minister of Environment and Ecological Management, a yet to be named Minister-nominee from Kaduna State, after Nasir el-Rufai’s nomination failed to scale through Senate’s screening.
Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Maimud Mairiga; Minister of State, Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello M. Toro; Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari; Minister of Education, Tahir Maman; Minister of Interior, Sa’Idu A. Alkali; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf M. Tuggar; Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam; Minister of State, Steel Development, U. Maigari Ahmadu; and Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu A. Audu.
Minister of Information and National Orientation is Muhammed Idris; Minister of State, Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim; Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Zephaniah Jisalo; Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Utsev; and Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
Earlier yesterday, Lanre Issa-Onilu, a former APC national director of publicity, had said the delay of the ministers’ inauguration was because the president was tinkering with the existing ministerial structure before inaugurating his cabinet.
The nominations of el-Rufai, former governor of Kaduna; Stella Okotete (Delta) and Danladi Abubakar (Taraba) were withheld, pending security clearance.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, Issa-Onilu said there is an ongoing restructuring with the ministries, in order to lay a solid foundation for the ministers when they resume.
“What we should ask is we need to ensure that we lay a solid foundation even for the cabinet to come in and take off,” he said.
“This is a new government and Tinubu is a technocrat and if you bring someone to work with you, you must have a job description for the person.
“On Monday, they are going to be inaugurated. We have ministries, the president may have his ideas on how the ministries should work. He may want to tinker with the existing structure and he needs to prepare the bed before asking someone to come and lay on it.
“That is the only way to get things going. You don’t want to bring a minister in and say hold on you need to restructure the base. There is restructuring going on.
“You are going to hear ministries in terms of nomenclature you are not familiar with. And those are deliberate to ensure that you provide the necessary will to get things done fast enough. The bottom line is that there will be this exercise on Monday.”
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