President Muhammadu Buhari 54 days after he was sworn in for a second term in office sent a list of ministerial nominees to the Nigerian Senate for screening. The list had 43 nominees, comprising seven (7) women and thirty-six (36) men, drawn from all the 36 states of the federation to fulfil constitutional stipulation.
The Nigerian Constitutional stipulates—to ensure equal representation— the country’s 36 states must be represented in the cabinet.
Prior to the announcement of the ministerial nominees, on July 19, to be precise, Buhari had said that most of the members of his cabinet in his first term in office were foisted on him.
He promised something different in his second term. In fact, while addressing the leadership of the legislature, the president promised he would appoint only those he knew. However, when the announcement was eventually made there was a difference, but not a radical one, from the composition of his first-time list.
Names of 19 ministers who served in Buhari’s first time in office were dropped and replaced with new nominees. The names transmitted to the senate were not assigned with portfolios which made speculations so rife in the polity concerning who will have what portfolio.
After a series of orientations for the ministers, the portfolios of the ministers will be announced today.
Here are likely portfolios for 10 ministers-designate; five returning ministers and five ‘new faces’ made the cut of those considered.
Also factored into the analysis are their strengths and flaws, in short, their antecedents, which may likely inform the president’s decision.
Mariam Yalwaji Katgum: She is from Bauchi. She is a technocrat and an intellectual. She is Nigeria's representative to the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Strength: The expertise garnered over the years will serve her in good stead either as a minister of education or culture.
Proposed Portfolio: Minister of Education or Culture.
Sunday Dare: A veteran journalist who has worked in diverse aspects of the media in broadcasting (TV and radio)and print journalism. He is currently the executive commissioner (stakeholder management) of the
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Strength: He has formidable credentials as a technocrat. He once served as a media adviser and chief of staff to a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.
Proposed Portfolio: Since Adebayo Shittu is not returning as Minister of Communication and they are both from Oyo State.
Sunday Dare is a perfect replacement for Shittu as Minister of communication.
Rauf Aregebesola: Former governor of Osun State.
Strength: His frugal and penny-pinching approach to governance may make the president put him in a crucial ministry. Having served as commissioner of works in Lagos before the experience may serve him in good stead.
Flaw: He left a backlog of unpaid salaries as governor of Osun state. Proposed Portfolio: Minister of Budget and Planning.