Fashola, Amaechi, Sirika, Malami, Others Set To Retain Old Portfolios


Nearly all the old ministers who are on the list of the ministerial nominees President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the Senate for confirmation may return to their former ministries.

The screening of the nominees, which began on Wednesday with the first batch, comprising 10 of the 43 potential ministers, continued Thursday with the assessment of another batch of 14.

The screening is expected to end on Monday while eight among the nominees will be considered today.

Sources revealed that the plan to return the nominees, after their confirmation by the Senate, to their erstwhile portfolios was intentional so as to ensure continuation in policy direction and execution of projects.

One of the sources said that except there was a last-minute change of plans, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi would return to the Ministry of Transport; Captain Hadi Sirika would retain his Aviation portfolio; Dr. Chris Ngige would continue at the Ministry of Labour and Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) would still go back to his old position as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

In addition, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed would still manage the Ministry of Finance; Mallam Adamu Adamu (Education), Lai Mohammed (Information) and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu would retain his old position at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

However, the source said while Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) would retain his old portfolio, his burden might be reduced as there were plans to unbundle the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, which he superintended over during Buhari’s first term in office.

The source said another option being considered regarding Fashola’s former mega ministry is to leave it intact while he would be assisted in running the jumbo ministry with the appointments of two junior ministers.

If the consideration for the unbundling of the mega ministry prevails, Fashola might retain the Power portfolio while the two others, would be given to fresh nominees.

According to one of the sources, while former Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Olamilekan Adegbite, is being considered as Minister of Housing, former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio might be the new Minister of Works.

It was also learnt that some of the nominees and their influential friends and associates were lobbying to be sent to ministries they would be comfortable in working there.

However, for the fresh faces in the cabinet, it was learnt that Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, an executive director with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been pencilled in to oversee the Ministry of Communications; Mr. Festus Keyamo, would likely go to the Ministry of Youths and Sports; Hon. Emeka Nwajuiba is likely to be Minister of State for Education while Senator Tayo Alasoadura is being considered as either Minister of State for Niger Delta or Budget and Planning.

Also, former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora, is most likely the next Minister of Health and Jedi Agba could be heading to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources as the Minister of State for Petroleum while Buhari remains the substantive minister.

It was also gathered that Gbemisola, sister to former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, would be made a junior minister but no final decision had been taken yet on which ministry she would be posted to.


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