Should Buhari retain some serving ministers in next cabinet?
If not that you are asking me to say something, I wouldn’t have said anything about these ministers. The reason is that I don’t like the way Mr President handles such issues.
I know that notwithstanding what people may say, he (Buhari) will just do what he has in his mind. That is not good enough. That is why we still have some ministers there who shouldn’t be in the cabinet.
Not all the ministers have performed well. For instance, look at the Minister of Defence (Mansur Dan-Ali); does he actually need somebody to tell him to step aside from the cabinet before doing so? He is supposed to have left the cabinet on his own. It doesn’t even require anyone to advise Mr President that such a person should go. But what do we see? He is the type of persons that Mr President finds interest in.
Look at the killings in Zamfara, Benue, Kaduna, Taraba states and other places that have been going on lately without end in sight. The Interior Minister (Abdulrahman Dambazau) and the Defence Minister; what have they been doing about the killings? These are security issues and we need appropriate measures from our ministers to checkmate these attacks. But, you know that these ministers are some of Buhari’s core people; if you say they should go, then you are looking for his trouble. So, to me, if the President wants, let him retain them, if he doesn’t, let him ask them to go. But, like I said, Buhari doesn’t listen to people’s advice; he does whatever he wants to do.
Another example is the Minister of State for Petroleum (Ibe Kachikwu), who has not been doing much. I see no reason in having him in the cabinet beyond May 29. The situation of things in the petroleum industry is nothing to write home about. Buhari should divorce himself from the ministers who have been unable to add value to governance in the last four years.
Now, in the next cabinet, Buhari should separate power, housing and works. Let there be a minister each for these ministries so that Nigerian can really feel the impact of what they are doing. Also, this confusion where aviation is attached to the Ministry of Transportation is not working. They should be fully and clearly separated. Power, housing and works should not be combined; give them to separate ministers.
So far, those in charge of the ministries mentioned have underperformed. So, no need to retain them. Such people should give way so that Buhari can try new hands. The President seems to have confidence in these his ministers, but Nigerians are telling him, no, they are not performing.
For me, the one person performing is the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh. I wouldn’t mind if PMB can retain him because he has performed well that everybody can see. I am not saying this because he is from my state; it is what everyone can see; he has added value to the agriculture sector in the types of new polices we have seen since 2015. •Prof. Jerry Agada (A former Minister of State for Education)
I will rate all of them, except a few, average performance. Many of them didn’t do well, though I may not want to start categorising them into who did well and who did not do well. Generally, it’s average performance for the ministers.
Some of them deserve coming back, but not the majority of them. The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has done well. The Minister of Water Resources (Suleiman Adamu), has introduced professionalism into the water sector. I can say that there is much improvement in the water sector.
I don’t know what some ministers like Rotimi Amaechi are doing there. Instead of being busy with his work, he is more interested in the local politics of Rivers State. People like him should leave the cabinet and concentrate fully on local politics. All these aviation and railway projects they are celebrating all over the place were inherited from the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (Abubakar Malami) should go. He has caused a lot of disaffection between the three arms of government by not encouraging separation of powers. There is the need to bring sanity into the judiciary in particular. We need a new minister in that office.
In the next cabinet, we do not expect President Muhammadu Buhari to wait for another six months after inauguration before announcing his ministers. He should release the names immediately. This is his last term and he needs to bring in more professionals than just ‘settling the boys.’ There is the need to retain the likes of Fashola; the likes of Suleiman (in water resources); and the likes of Prof. (Isaac Adewole) in the health sector.
However, in the area of budget implementation, this government is better off; in the last four years, you can give them 55-60 per cent. Like the constituency projects of National Assembly members, they have so far released 70 per cent, which means 70 per cent payment. • Mr Karimi Sunday (Member, House of Representatives)
I will answer the question in the affirmative. Mr President should retain some of the serving ministers that performed creditably well to achieve the blueprint for the actualisation of the Next Level in terms of infrastructural development, virile economy, steady power supply and youth empowerment, among others.
Mr President has the prerogative of retaining any serving minister if he is so wishes. From my own perspective, only a few of the serving ministers deserve to be considered for re- appointment. Mr President, as a good administrator, must have set up certain indices to measure the performance of each minister. Mr President must not hesitate to replace a dormant minister with no track record of achievements in his ministry. The importance of a minister to any administration cannot be too strongly-stressed.
The power to appoint a minister no doubt is constitutionally vested in Mr President and the crucial responsibilities of a minister are also well stipulated in Section 148 of the 1999 Constitution thus:
“President may, in his discretion, assign to the Vice President or any Minister of the Government of the Federation, responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation, including the administration of any department of government.
(2) The President shall hold regular meetings with the Vice President and all the ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purposes of –
(a) determining the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government of the Federation;
(b) co-ordinating the activities of the President, the Vice President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and
(c) advising the President generally in discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by this Constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body.”
Now, having regard to the crucial roles being played by a minister as encapsulated in the Constitution, there must be a round peg in a round hole. Serious-minded Nigerians ought to be appointed to the exalted position of ministers, taking into cognisance their pedigrees, antecedents, exposure and experience.
I wish to reiterate my point that a few serving ministers can be retained and fresh and firebrand technocrats ought to be injected into the system. • Chief Rafiu Balogun ( A former National Legal Adviser, Nigerian Bar Association)
What we expect from President Muhammadu Buhari is a brand new cabinet. The current cabinet members should go and give room for new members to come into the system. The current members have played their part and should retire. Not that they have not performed, but the truth is that Nigeria has so many well qualified people to form the new cabinet. If we have so many competent hands in the country, why keep the same ministers who served for four years? Let us get new hands.
The President has assured the nation that he will be taking us to the next level. The next level should begin with him making sure that the new cabinet consists only of new members. The members should include young and old people who are of high integrity and are ready to move the nation forward.
The new members to form a new cabinet should also be well-screened to ensure that they don’t have any scandals regarding their educational qualifications or wherever they might have worked before.
The new members should also be of impeccable character just like the President. Nigeria needs people who are team players and who are committed to the progress and unity of Nigeria. Even if such a new member must come from the organised labour, he or she should be impartial.
The President should also ensure that women are adequately represented in the new cabinet. A lot of women worked for his re-election. Women make up the highest number in the voting population. The way to reward their sacrifices is to look for the good hands among them and bring them into the next cabinet. • Mr Tanimu Saulawa (Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Katsina State chapter)
If a minister has given his all, has performed well in the last four years, why not? Some of them can be retained.
The first thing to do is for Mr President to assess the performance of the ministers on how they delivered the policies of government, how they helped to build the ruling All Progressives Congress in their respective states to determine who stays or who leaves.
Somebody like (the Minister of Informarion and Culture) Lai Mohammed, has performed credibly and should be retained in the next cabinet. The contributions of the ministers to the strength of the party in their states should determine their reappointment. In this regard, one can say that Lai Mohammed has done well because he delivered his state (Kwara) to the APC.
Generally, I don’t see a reason those ministers who have performed well in their areas of assignment and contributed to the growth of the party should not be reappointed. • Mr Ochai Onazi (A lawyer)
Compiled by: John Ameh, Success Nwogu, John Charles, Olaide Oyelude