- Merges Information, Culture, Nat’l Orientation, others
- Takes charge of Petroleum
- Names Fashola Power, Works and Housing minister
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated his 36-member cabinet, with former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, emerging as Minister of Power, Works and Housing. The ministry is a merger of three ministries: Power, Works as well as Housing, Land and Urban Development.
Buhari, curiously, announced himself as Minister of Petroleum in the new cabinet that produced Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as his Minister of State.
As well, former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, was named the new Minister for Transportation, which in line with the new ministerial structure, will superintendent over aviation matters with minister of state, Hadi Sirika from Katsina state holding brief there.
The President, who administered oath of office on the 36 ministers, held an inaugural meeting with the new Federal Executive Council.
Speaking after the inauguration, the President said the main thrust of his administration’s policy is to engender sustained job creation, poverty reduction and all inclusive growth in the country.
The President said he consulted widely and took his time to select the ministers and ensured they were deployed to their areas of core competences in order to avoid the mistakes of the past where ‘round pegs were put in square holes’.
According to him, “Since we assumed office in May, I have been mindful of the need to ensure that the appointment of new ministers translates into putting round pegs in round holes while showing sensitivity to our diversity as a people and our various positions as groups of stakeholders in our country.
“I have also been conscious of the need not to repeat such mistakes of the past
where the right people were allocated the wrong portfolios, which translated into their performing poorly to our collective detriment despite their obvious capabilities. Also, I have responded to the counsel to consult as widely as possible, given the need to build a stable and all-inclusive government by reaching across our various ethnic and political divides.”
Continuing on his administration’s policy thrust, Buhari said: “With the inauguration of ministers, our government shall continue more decisively to implement its policies in respect of the economy and in other areas. While working hard to maximize revenue from oil in the face of a sharp decline in the price for the commodity, we are determined to diversify the economy in agriculture to enhance employment and explore solid minerals as a major revenue earner.
“The primary aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of such staples as rice and wheat and to become a major exporter of both items as well as solid minerals. We intend to pursue policies that will generate massive employment for millions of our youth.
Speaking further, he said: “We shall also continue with greater determination and focus to pursue our goal of ensuring improved security for our country and its citizens, and without letting up on our fight against corruption. Our commitment to defeat Boko Haram and all the threats it constitutes remains as strong as ever. So is our resolve to root out vices such as kidnapping and neutralise the various forms of criminalities that threaten the social peace of Nigerians.”
The President acknowledged the fact that his administration has made some progress in the last five months, even though there is more work to be done.
“While recognising the challenges we face and the need to surmount them, let us not fail to note the progress we have made in the short life of this government, as an indication of how much better we can do as a people driven by patriotism and a common resolve to do things right.
“On the moral sphere, trust is slowly but steadily being re-established between the government and the people. Now, when the government speaks, the people listen; and when the people’s expectations are not met, they appreciate that it is not for lack of commitment or trying on the part of government. In effect, government business is now being conducted with transparency and cynicism is waning as a result.
“Our adoption of the Treasury Single Account has resulted in the blocking of financial leakages in the public sector, making more funds available for the business of governance and ensuring the welfare of our citizens. The Central Bank of Nigeria has also assisted more than 30 States of the federation with concessionary loans to offset salary arrears for their workers. On the monetary side, the CBN has also implemented country-specific and innovative policies that have helped to stabilize the exchange rate and conserve our reserves.
“Finally, our new ministers must proceed to work speedily and do their utmost to justify the confidence we have placed in them not only by their conduct but also by their performance in their various positions,” the President said.
According to the portfolios announced by the President, the new Minister of Power, Works and Housing is former Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Kemi Adeosun was made Finance Minister while Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole is the new Minister of Health.
Others are; Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Solid Minerals; Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu, Communications; Claudius Omoleye Daramola, Minister of State for Niger Delta; Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Mohammed Musa Bello, Minister of FCT.
Also given portfolios were Udoma Udo Udoma, Budget and National Planning; Senator Chris Ngige Labour and Employment; Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State, Agriculture; Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education; Audu Ogbeh , Agriculture and Rural Development; Mustapha Baba Shehuri (State), Power, Works and Housing; Pastor Usani Uguru, Minister of Niger Delta; and Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum.
Ogbonnaya Onu got the Ministry of Science and Technology; Osagie Ehanire Minister of State, Health; Geoffrey Onyeama , Minister of Foreign Affairs; Amina Mohammed, Minister of Environment; Anthony Anwuka , Minister of State, Education; Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources; Zainab Shamshuna Ahmed , Minister of State, Budget and National Planning; Abdulrahman Dambazau, Minister of Interior; Hadi Sirika, Minister of State, Aviation; and Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice.
James Ocholi was made the Minister of State, Labour and Productivity; Lai Mohammed , Minister of Information; Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jubril Minister of State, Foreign Affairs; Abubakar Bawa Bwari, Minister (State) of Solid Minerals; Solomon Dalong, Minister of Youth and Sports; Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment; Aisha Jummai Alhasan, Minister of Women Affairs; Khadija Bukar Ibrahim, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs; and Brigadier- General Munsur Dan Ali (rtd), Minister of Defence.