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MINISTERIAL NOMINEES: NMA, Organised Private Sector, Group, Others React Over List.

President Bola Tinubu

The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Uche Ojinmah, has said, “We wish them well and we pray that the time we have used to wait for the list will not be in vain.”

On Pate making the list, he said, “I wish him well and I hope he understands the dynamics of the Nigerian health sector, if not it can undo the profession if you are not grounded in internal politics.”

Organised private sector

According to the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Idahosa, the list is a blend of technocrats and career politicians whose appointments were based on political affiliations rather than qualification.

He, however, advised that the more sensitive ministries such as Trade, Finance and Health be entrusted to technocrats with a firm grasp of the workings of the respective sectors.

He said, “The President has been under a lot of pressure to balance technocrats and politicians, especially these career politicians who are former governors who have no other business but to continue in politics. He has managed to get the balance.

“The challenge will be if these past governors are posted to very sensitive ministries. Because those are just politicians, they just want to stay in politics. The President cannot do without playing the regular politics of satisfying some stakeholders across the various states.”

On his part, the Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Olusola Obadimu, urged the President to set time-framed targets for the appointees to ensure that they perform optimally in line with the expectations of Nigerians.

He said, “The most important thing is for whoever has been chosen to perform in whichever role he has been given. The government can set up machinery for performance measurement. After assigning them portfolios, they should give them targets related to their portfolios. If you don’t put time into the targets, it doesn’t make sense. So, you have to give them tasks.

“If you don’t task them, before you know it, four years are gone without any achievements. They have to be given time-specified goals and tasks. There should also be machinery for performance review and monitoring.

“There should be a unit within the Presidency to monitor quarterly. After their FEC meetings, each minister should be able to make presentations and show how he has handled the goals set for him so that the council can jointly review and advise.”

Nigerian Economic Summit Group

Also speaking, a facilitator with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Dr Ikenna Nwaosu, stated, “He submitted the list within the constitutional period, so there is no adverse comment on that. The question of competence is relative because anybody that thinks the President is going to appoint technocrats is wasting his time.

“There are many political IOUs he has to pay and sort out. So there has to be a mix of politicians and technocrats. But unfortunately, the proposed positions are not tied to any name. So you cannot appropriately evaluate. However, it is the National Assembly that has the final decision on their competence.”

Public affairs analyst

In his contribution, public affairs analyst, Mr Jide Ojo, noted that with the right working condition, the ministerial nominees can deliver and make a huge statement.

Ojo flayed those calling on Tinubu to pick technocrats ahead of politicians, noting that the meaning of technocrat may have been lost on many commentators.

Thorough screening

The Senate spokesman noted that this time, the screening will be thorough.

He said, “We are going to know the background of the nominees and we are not going to disappoint Nigerians.

“All the dry bones, physically and socially must rise. Until it comes forward in their resume, it is not going to be a shallow screening. You must have the character, you must have the face, and you must have the behaviour to be among the cabin crew that is going to fly Nigeria.

“This time around, Nigeria is going to be better. Whoever gets to the floor of the Senate will be screened.”

Similarly, Senator Victor Umeh ( LP, Anambra Central) said the Senate was focused on approving ministers who would do the job and move the nation forward.

Commenting on the first batch, the lawmaker representing Imo West, Osita Izunaso, noted that the constitution didn’t state precisely if the entire ministerial list should be sent at once.

The Senator representing Edo South, Neda Imasuen, said, “For now, we have our fingers crossed till they bring the remaining list.

“The nomination of the ministers is the prerogative of the President. I am sure he has met with them and he knows what he saw in them to have nominated them.”

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