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Nigeria: New Leaders Take Charge of Africa’s Largest Economy Today

*84 days after swearing-in, Tinubu finally inaugurates 45-man cabinet

Nigeria’s current transition process, although a work-in-progress, is finally taking off today with the inauguration of the 45 ‘wise men’ who have been appointed ministers by President Bola Tinubu to assist him in policy formulation and the implementation of his campaign promises.

The inauguration billed for 10am at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja,and confirmed last week by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, in a terse statement, is coming 84 days after the president assumed office on May 29, 2023.

Tinubu, in company with his deputy, Senator Kashim Shettima, would administer oath of office and allegiance to the 45 ministers-designate one after the other.

The ministers, who as cabinet members, are part of the executive arm of the government, are to serve as an advisory body to the president and also in policy formulation.

No doubt, the nation is presently in a precarious situation and Nigerians would be looking up to the new ministers for quick and enduring fixes in the areas of policies, programmes and initiatives that would impact positively on the citizens, improve their living conditions and as well boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

With this, Nigerians who are typically impatient would be eagerly waiting for these lucky men and women to take proactive actions to raise the country’s revenue base, reduce her debt profile and rebuild investors’ confidence that appears to have plummeted in a country with 133 million persons allegedly facing multidimensional poverty and presently holds the inglorious trophy as the poverty capital of the world.

Additionally, with inflation at 24.08 per cent as at July, unemployment also rose sharply with the recent removal of petrol subsidy, the unification of the forex rates, which led to devaluation of the naira and strong volatility in the forex market, a lot would be expected from the men and women that have been saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the key ministries, even though all the ministries are important in the collective extrapolation of growth and development.

However, those in this category include the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji; Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo; Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Hon. Minister of State (Oil), Petroleum Resources; Ekperipe Ekpo, the Hon. Minister of State (Gas), Petroleum Resources; the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

For example, over the years, a major challenge that has contributed to the slim investment flow in the country is the absence of a trade policy that aligns with its monetary policy. To address this disconnect, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Anite, and her counterpart, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, would have to take urgent steps to overhaul the country’s trade policy in order to enhance forex inflow and achieve exchange rate stability.

For the new Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, this is the first time somebody from the Niger Delta would be appointed FCT Minister, although not the first time a southerner would hold the office. There was Chief Mark Okoye under former President Shehu Shagari. Curiously, the Niger Delta people believe that their money was used to develop Abuja. This, to a commentator, is the first time a Niger Delta “person would be in charge to see what their money is used for.After all, Niger Delta has rivers without bridges, while Abuja has bridges without water.”

In the same stroke, the people of South East are happy that their son, David Umahi, was appointed the Minister of Works. It is expected that Umahi would address the complaints of bad roads, erosion challenge in the region and they have no other person to blame for the poor state of roads in the region.

Given the growing number of out-of-school children, especially in northern Nigeria, which no doubt is contributing to the army of bandits in the country, the Minister of Education, Tahir Maman, would have to work hard towards reversing this drift.

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, and his counterpart, Tunji Alausa, must address the challenge of Nigeria’s poor health system, especially at the local government level, where primary healthcare is lacking, by working with the state government. The poor health system is responsible for the high death rate in the country, particularly the high maternal mortality rate – one of the highest in the world. Even worse, Nigeria has continued to lose medical practitioners to developed countries due to poor working conditions and remuneration. This must also be addressed.

Insecurity is almost an existential challenge in the country and the Tinubu administration is not insulated from this, more so as the spate of killings and activities of terrorists have continued unabated. At the last count, about 700 people including civilians and security personnel have lost their lives across the country since Tinubu assumed office. All eyes would be on the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru; Minister of State Defence, Bello Matawalle; Minister of State, Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim; Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam, to bring fresh ideas to address the worsening situation in that sector. This does not however leave out the National Security Adviser and the service chiefs.

So far, over 100,000 insurgents and their families have surrendered to the military after so many years. The surrendered insurgents, at the weekend, protested over unpaid allowances, another sign of a possible return to insurgency if not carefully handled.

For Badaru and Matawalle, to make any meaningful impact, the eradication of security challenges in the country and the sustenance of joint operations of security forces will stand them out. Geidam and Sulaiman-Ibrahim are expected to contain crimes and criminalities, reform realistically the Nigeria Police, as well as address the challenges of adequate funding, equipment and training.

Today’s ceremony was preceded at the weekend by proper documentation of the new Ministers by the Office of the SGF. The documentation, which commenced on Saturday was concluded yesterday, with Akume, ensuring everything went well with the ministers-designate, who were attended to by officials at the Three Arms Zone office of the SGF in Abuja.

The President had last month, in two batches, sent a total of 48-man ministerial list to the Senate for confirmation. The upper chamber of the National Assembly,after screening the nominees for six days, eventually confirmed 45 of them and stood down three others, including former Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, due to outstanding security issues against them.

The Presidency had also last Wednesday assigned portfolios to all the cleared and confirmed 45 ministers-designate ahead of their inauguration today. This was a clear departure from the past when portfolios were usually assigned to ministers on their day of inauguration.

Director Information, OSGF, Willie Basse, said in a statement yesterday that the ministers-designate, who successfully completed the documentation process, hadalso picked up three invitation cards for their guests.

He said adequate transportation arrangements had been concluded to convey them and their invited guests to the venue of the ceremony at the State House Conference Centre, Aso Villa, Abuja. At the same time, the statement added that Permanent Secretaries in various MDAs were to meet their respective ministers after the swearing-in ceremony at the office of the SGF for further interactions.

That said, below are the profiles of those to man key ministries in the new dispensation, and some of the numerous challenges they will confront in office from day one. How well they tackle these challenges will ultimately determine the success or failure of the Bola Tinubu administration that is just taking off 84 days after inauguration. .

KEY MINISTRIES, THE MINISTERS AND EXPECTATIONS

ECONOMY

WALE EDUN, MINISTER OF FINANCE AND COORDINATING MINISTER OF THE ECONOMY

The job of the two-term Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 seems to be cut out for him. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of London, a Master’s in Economics from the University of Sussex, England, has achieved remarkable success in the financial sector at local and international levels.

Edun worked at the World Bank/IFC where he handled economic and financial packages for several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Indonesia, and India in the Far East. However, his new task of managing an economy with virtually all the economic fundamentals precipitously heading south requires extraordinary measures. Inflation is at an 18-year high, the local currency is completely battered, debt service obligations have reached unprecedented levels while revenue generation is abysmally low. With an additional responsibility to coordinate the economy, he is expected to quickly gravitate towards some framework for policy coordination with the monetary authorities. Focus should be how to navigate the economy away from dire straits, tame inflation, boost revenue and instil cost-cutting measures/wastages in public service.

ADEGBOYEGA OYETOLA, MINISTER OF MARINE & BLUE ECONOMY

Having lost his re-election bid as Governor of Osun State, Oyetola was last week assigned Minister of Transportation portfolio by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu before being redeployed to head the newly-created Ministry of Marine & Blue Economy.

As a governor, it was believed that not much was achieved while he presided over Osun State.

The Business Administration graduate of the University of Lagos spent most of his working years in the private sector as an underwriter.

As pioneer minister in the newly-created Ministry, he is expected to chart the course so that the economy can tap from the immense potential in the largely untapped sector.

MINISTER OF AVIATION AND AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENT, FESTUS KEYAMO

As the immediate-past Minister of State, Labour and Employment, the most visible project that thrust the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in the limelight was the controversial 2020 employment scheme for 774,000 youths purportedly recruited for the special public works programme.

Until now, he never really called the shot in any ministerial portfolio as a senior minister. His new assignment as Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development would indeed be a litmus test as it will put him in the public glare.

The sector which he is to superintend is critical to the economy. With a multiplicity of challenges in the sector, he has a lot to chew. With the airlines, especially the domestic ones operating under very harsh environment, exacerbated by forex crisis, Keyamo is expected to work out an effective synergy with all the critical stakeholders to stem some of the very urgent challenges. He needs to urgently win back confidence some foreign airlines that left on account of inability to repatriate FX back to their home countries. How does he do that when FX is in short supply.

Also, the perennial problem of aviation fuel is another major challenge. There is also the problem of incessant workers’ protests, high cost of air fare, especially the ones charged by foreign carriers on Nigerian travellers, as well as issues around aviation safety/security. Nigerians are also interested in the controversial national carrier, Nigeria Air, initiated by his predecessor, Hadi Sirika. Keyamo will no doubt need the ingenuity he can muster to rebuild the Aviation sector. No one is ready to take excuses from him.

DELE ALAKE, MINISTER OF SOLID MINERALS DEVELOPMENT

Dele Alake is not a new comer in public service. He served as the Commissioner for Information and Stategy under the governorship of Bola Ahmed Tinubu between 1999 and 2007. He was a visible face in the Tinubu presidential campaign up to his emergence and swearing in as president on May 29.

As a seasoned journalist and information manager, many had expected him to head the Ministry of Information, particularly after he was initially appointed as the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president. Having emerged as Minister of Solid Minerals, Alake is expected to dust up the and fine tune the existing blueprint for the sector and give practical expression to the provisions.

Nigeria is blessed with vast solid mineral deposits in all parts of the country, most of which are not harnessed for public good. Therefore, the task of driving a solid minerals sector that would serve the greatest good of the nation rests squarely on his laps, particularly now that revenue drive is central to economic growth and national survival.

MINISTER OF TOURISM, LOLA ADE-JOHN

She is holds the requisite credentials to manage the nation’s tourism. With a degree in Computer Science, Lola Ade-John’s first job was as system analyst at the Shell Petroleum Development Company and later in various top banks in the country. With her vast working experience both in the oil and banking sectors, she is better placed to market the nation’s tourism potential.

Over the years, this very critical sector that acts as a major revenue earner of many economies was tied to the apron strings of the Information Ministry.

Now as a stand-alone ministry, an effective, result-oriented blueprint is needed and has to be immediately put in place.

However, the nation’s tourism potential is bogged down by a plethora of challenges, including insecurity and poor infrastructure.

How to surmount these challenges should be the fulcrum through which the sector can move forward. She needs to consult widely with experts and major stakeholders on how to forge ahead.

MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION, SA’IDU ALKALI

The new Minister of Transportation holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and was a Commissioner for Information in Gombe State.

The ministry he supervises is chaotic though it is critical to the nation’s economy.

Road transportation is deplorable and is in a deplorable state, same with other modes of transportation. What is required of him is to chart a short, medium and long term measures translate the transportation sector into a modern and effective system. He has to work with relevant ministries to fully integrate it into the national plan.

Ministry of Petroleum-Oil (Heineken Lokpobiri)

Having previously served as Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development from 2015 to 2019, Heineken Lokpobiri was Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District from 2007 to 2015 and was former speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

In terms of academic qualifications, Lokpobiri received an LL.B (Hons) in 1994 from Rivers State University of Science and Technology as well as a BL in February 1995.

An expert in Environmental Rights and Law, Lokpobiri who holds a Ph.D. from Leeds Beckett University, UK (2015), may not have direct knowledge of the workings of the oil sector, but may need to rely on technocrats in the ministry for a head start.

Lokpobiri’s job is cut out for him. He would in the coming months, need to ramp up Nigeria’s oil production to at least 1.7 million bpd from the current paltry 1 million bpd to 1.2 million bpd. He would need to work with other stakeholders to minimise oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta. Lokpobiri will also need to settle inter-agency rivalry in the oil sector as well.

MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM- GAS RESOURCES (EKPERIKPE EKPO)

Not much is known of Ekperikpe Ekpo, aside the fact that he represented Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency in the National Assembly from 2007 to 2011. He was also an APC senatorial candidate in 2022.

It’s unclear why he was picked by Tinubu to such a critical sector as gas resources, given the current move to harness the commodity as a ‘transition’ or even a ‘destination’ fuel by many stakeholders.

His first major assignment would be to boost the country’s gas transportation infrastructure. He would also need to increase investors’ confidence in the sector as Nigeria can do with as much investment as possible at the moment. He would also need to address the concerns of operators as to the areas that need amendment in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT, DORIS ANITE

The appointment of Anite to head Industry, Trade and Investment Ministry, has so far been commended by analysts because of her rich background in both medicine and finance.

The University of Benin graduate who has earned several personal and corporate endorsements brings multidisciplinary expertise to the ministry. As she takes over a ministry that has failed to impress many stakeholders in terms of industry and trade policies capable of aiding the country’s quest for industrialisation, all eyes would be on her.

For years, administration after administration, and until recently, Nigeria lacked an effective National Trade Policy which stakeholders said had robbed the country of several opportunities and turned the nation into a dumping ground for substandard products.

It remains to be seen how she help to actualise the automotive industry policy and draft policies to ensure that Nigeria take due advantage of the AfCFTA agreement and well as boost non-oil exports among others, considering all bureaucracies of government as well as carrying all stakeholders along.

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY, ABUBAKAR KYARI

Amid consistent warning by international organisation particularly the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that Nigeria is in constant risks of food shortages and hunger, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, a politician who was the senator representing Borno North Senatorial District from 2015 until his resignation in April 2022, is confronting with the herculean task of guaranteeing food security in the country.

At a period of rising food prices occasioned partly by the inability of farmers to access their farms due to the activities of herdsmen and bandits, Kyari is faced with the challenges of ensuring farmers are mobilised back to their farms. Also, the inability of farmers to access farm inputs including quality seeds, tractors and fertilisers are some of the bottlenecks limiting the growth of agriculture whose contribution to GDP averages 20 per cent. How the minister mobilises these resources in a seamless manner would determine his success in the days ahead.

In addition, for a ministry that is fraught with corruption by its staff who are constantly under investigation by anti-graft agency over the alleged embezzlement of budgeted funds, as well as other instances of red-tapism, it remains to be seen how the new minister is able to confront these multiple challenges to help the ministry to focus more on its mandate of facilitating food production and rural development.

However, Kyari, is described as a novice to agricultural sector, having no past proven record of achievements in the sector. Therefore, progress may be slow as he sets out to learn on the job.

MINISTER OF STATE, AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY, ALIYU SABI ABDULLAHI

Abdullahi is a politician, and the Senator representing Niger North Senatorial District of Niger State at the Nigerian 8th National Assembly and 9th National Assembly. He was the deputy chief whip at the Nigerian 9th National Assembly.

Abdullahi, who is seen as a fresher in his new position as minister of state for agriculture would have to learn on the job.

It is particularly baffling that a government that seeks to diversify the economic through agriculture, could afford to appoint a novice to a sector that is the nerve-center of the economy, with its potential to boost job creation.

Aside the fact that Abdullahi, could use his political experience to garner support from lawmakers in terms of lobbying for early passage of the ministry’s budget as well legal backing for other policy interventions in the ministry, he may find it difficult to hit the ground running.

Amid food insecurity, farmers and herdsmen clashes which has kept farmers away from their farms, weak agricultural policies among others, including corruption among ministry staff, he faces a litmus test on surmounting these challenges and delivering early results for a country earnestly yearning for positive change and verifiable results.

However, as a seasoned politician, he may be given a benefit of doubt on the job – it would also be seen how he is able to work in harmony with his senior minister in a way that enhances delivery.

MINISTER OF BUDGET AND ECONOMIC PLANNING, ATIKU BAGUDU

Abubakar Atiku Bagudu served as governor of Kebbi State, Nigeria between May 2015 and May 2023.

An astute politician, he served as the Senator for the Kebbi Central constituency of Kebbi State.

He takes over the affairs of the budget ministry which is central to the overall performance of the economy.

Being a former governor, who supervised every aspect, structure and organs in the state, he is not expected to struggle in his new position.

He is a technocrat who holds a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) in Economics from Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto State; an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Jos, Plateau State, a Master of Arts degree (M.A.) in International Affairs from Columbia University, USA, a rich banking experience and he was a Special Adviser to Kalu Idika Kalu, a one-time Minister of Finance, for several years.

His days in government goes back to Buhari’s first coming.

He would be expected to mobilise the sub-national governments to key into the national development plans to achieve the objectives of the federal government. Among other things, he also inherits a herculean task of mobilising huge funding support especially from the private sector for the 2023 population census – an assignment that was left uncompleted by his predecessor.

MINISTRY OF STEEL DEVELOPMENT (SHAIBU AUDU)

Shaibu Audu, the minister-designate from Kogi State would head the Ministry of Steel Development. Shaibu is the son of former Kogi Governor, Abubakar Audu. An Executive Director at Stanbic IBTC Bank where he had worked for 20 years, Abubakar has experience in both corporate and investment banking as well as in asset management.

He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford (St. Hugh’s College) in the UK and a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Leicester University, UK.

The federal government says Nigeria spends about $3.3 billion importing steel every year, with the country having 30 steel manufacturers that can only produce 2.2 million tons a year. This is meagre compared to the demand in-country. Also, the federal government has not been able to revive the Ajaokuta steel company years after it was built in 1979, even though it keeps gulping billions of naira. He will need to revive or sell it.

MINISTRY OF POWER (ADEBAYO ADELABU)

Adebayo Adelabu was a former Deputy Governor, Operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Oyo State governorship candidate for the APC in 2019. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and later joined First Atlantic Bank as well as Standard Chartered Bank and was Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of First Bank of Nigeria Plc.

Adelabu has a first class degree in Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He heads arguably the most critical ministry in the country today.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Nigeria loses $29 billion annually due to lack of as well as unreliable power supply or 5.8 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year .

Adelabu will first need to fix the gas-to-power bottleneck in the sector, revamp the Siemens-Nigeria power deal, hold the Distribution Companies (Discos) to account in term of service level agreements and generally overhaul the deteriorating sector.

INFRASTRUCTURE

AHMED MUSA DANGIWA, MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Dangiwa brings to the Tinubu’s cabinet over 30 years’ experience in real estate, mortgage financing and housing development that span private and public sectors as well as the academia. As the MD/CEO of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), he championed reforms that helped to reposition the apex mortgage bank on the path of transparency, profitability, efficiency, innovation, and wider impact as a social housing delivery institution. Dangiwa led the FMBN Executive Management Team to beat all Corporate Performance Indices since the establishment of the Bank. For example, he led his team to mobilise N279 billion in additional contributions to the NHF scheme at an average of N55.8 billion per annum, among other feats.

But heading a ministry is a different turf entirely. With the country’s rising population and the sharp rise in rural to urban migration, the challenge of accessing decent and affordable houses has increased. Dangiwa must work towards bridging the housing gap in Nigeria.

MINISTRY OF WORKS (DAVE UMAHI)

A former Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi was the senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District before he was picked as minister by the president. He had earlier served as the deputy governor from 2011 to 2015. Umahi graduated from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in 1987 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

Umahi would be confronted with many kilometres of bad roads throughout the country on his assumption of office. He would need to be creative in seeking alternative sources of funding for the long stretches of dilapidated federal roads that are crying for attention nationwide.

NYESOM WIKE, MINISTER OF FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY

Nyesom Wike was until his appointment as Minister of FCT was a two- term Governor of River State.

His appointment as FCT Minister marks the second time he will serving in the Federal Cabinet having been appointed Minister of State for Education on July 14, 2011 by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

He also becomes the first southerner to be appointed as the FCT Minister since the creation of the federal territory in 1976 by late Head of State Gen Murtala Muhammed.

As the governor of Rivers, Wike was dubbed “Mr Projects” on account of the large numbers of projects, including bridges, hospitals, roads, schools, courts and markets that were commissioned by his administration.

He is expected to bring on board such touted reputation on the FCT by ensuring the completion of several projects inherited from his immediate past predecessor, Muhammed Musa Bello.

He is also expected to ensure the compliance to the Abuja Master plan by property owners, estate developers and the residents by ensuring the cleanliness of the territory.

The issue of security is also of paramountcy given the high cases of kidnapping and banditry in the FCT recent years, especially in communities bordering Niger and Kaduna States.

He is like the unofficial governor of the FCT whose role is to also first welcome visiting foreign presidents and dignitaries on official assignment to Abuja before they are formally received by the President.

MINISTER OF STATE, FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, MAIRIGA MAHMUD

Mairiga Mahmud was the spokesman for the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Organisation during the 2023 presidential election. She was named a minister after President Bola Tinubu withdrew the appointment of Maryam Shetty as nominee of Kano State. Her appointment as FCT Minister of State is the first time she will be serving as a member of the federal cabinet even though she held significant positions under the administration or President Muhammadu Buhari.

Her role as the FCT of State will largely complementary to the FCT Minister by ensuring efficiency in the operation of the federal capital administration. However, she has statutory oversight role over the six FCT Area councils, Primary Health Services, social and human development resources,

universal basic education, inter faith activities including pilgrimage to the holy lands and working with traditional rulers to ensure inter- communal peace and harmony.

HUMAN CAPITAL AND SOCIAL DEVT

Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji

At a time, Science and tecchnology drive the world while Nigeria is yet to find its bearing, the appointment of Uche Nnaji to man that all-important sector becomes significant.

Nnaji, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2023 general elections in Enugu State is expected to think out of the box to make this sector that is cardinal to a radical transformation of the nation work.

With many of the agencies and research institutes under his ministry barely living up to expectations, he needs to break new grounds, different from the path his predecessors toed.

Serious emphasis should be paid tor esearch and development

TAHIR MAMAN, EDUCATION MINISTER

The Adamawa-born professor of law comes with rich experience and educational qualification. He was the Vice-chancellor of Baze University Abuja before he was nominated the Minister of Education.

The 69- year old educationist started his early life and education in his community before gaining admission into the university. He had an outstanding career and would be expected to address the myriad of challenges facing the country’s education sector. These ranged from incessant industrial action by lecturers in tertiary institution, make the country’s university system become competitive once more, work towards improving funding to the sector, among others.

SECURITY

Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru

As a former governor of Jigawa State, Badaru, who has no security background, was the state chief security officer of a state contiguous to Niger and Chad where the war against insurgency still rages.

Jigawa State is one of the states impacted by insurgent attacks, where many people were killed while so many remain in Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDP).

He comes to the office as a former state chief executive that understands the effects of insurgency which is a major challenge confronting the nation and is expected to lead the ministry in a new direction.

Having interacted with the military for eight years as a state chief executive, Badaru is expected to understand the internal challenges of funding, equipment and welfare of military personnel.

Minister of State Defence, Bello Matawalle

The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, who was also a former governor of Zamfara State comes to the position as a man who has felt the full impact of terrorism, kidnapping armed banditry and the crisis engender by illegal mining of gold in the state. Matawalle would come to his new role with practical solutions to the multi-pronged security challenges in the state and the nation.

Matawalle had engaged bandits in negotiations aimed at ending the conflict at a point.

But the Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja, had recently disagreed with the issue of negotiation with bandits as recently suggested by another former governor of the state, Senator Ahmed Yerima on the need to negotiate with bandits.

He had insisted that negotiations with terrorists was counterproductive.

Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam

As Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Geidam, would have to grapple with the issue of appropriate positioning of the Nigeria Police as the lead security agency in internal security, a position it lost over the years due to poor funding and role hijack by other agencies. Having also worked with police commissioners for eight years in Yobe State, another epicenter of insurgency, Geidam would not be far from understanding the challenges confronting the police especially the image of the police, with regard to corruption, human rights abuses and the need for a harmonious relationship with the Police Service Commission.

A former Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi had, while handing over to the permanent secretary in the ministry, said he met a N15 billion annual budget for the ministry at inception in 2015 which was later raised to N400 billion as he exited.

In tackling issues of adequate equipment, training and other needs of the police, the minister may not need to go far in search of funds.

He would need to do more to contain the spiraling crime wave in the country.

Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim

The Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, comes to her position as a former Head of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Human Trafficking (NAPTIP). Having headed NAPTIP, she is expected to understand and provide solutions to the raging crime of human trafficking which has reached alarming proportions in the country. She was said to have contributed immensely to the plights of trafficked persons and worked assiduously towards strengthening the national response to addressing irregular migration.

Prior to her appointment as minister, she served as Honourable Federal Commissioner HFC/CEO for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), where she initiated the “Project 5s” program, a robust intervention to tackle critical issues facing persons of concern in Nigeria. She is also expected to bring her knowledge to bear on crimes against refugees, migrants, IDP camps and other related humanitarian situations in the country.

HEALTH

COORDINATING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE, ALI PATE

Pate was a Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard University. He had served as the Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population and Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF) at the World Bank Group.

He has had professional experiences in both private and public sector institutions. Pate is also the former Minister of State for Health in Nigeria.

In February 2023, Muhammad Ali Pate was appointed Chief Executive Officer of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, which works to provide vaccines in low-income countries.

Beyond his well loaded academic and professional background, Pate is technically sound and is at home with Nigeria’s health statistics. His second coming to the Ministerial position will no doubt be phenomenal. The challenges in the health sector which among others include high death rate in the country, especially the high maternal mortality rate, one of the highest in the world. Pate must work hard to fix this challenge. Also, Nigeria continues losing medical practitioners to developed countries due to poor working conditions and remuneration. The country’s doctors-to-patient ratio is about one to 5,000.

MINISTER OF STATE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE, TUNJI ALAUSA

Dr. Tunji Alausa, a Nephrologist and founder of the Kidney Care Center in the United States. Alausa’s remarkable contributions could better be seen in his philanthropic disposition. This saw Alausa becoming a member of Eko Club International Medical mission, where he was at the forefront of leading multiple missions from the US to Lagos State. He must work with Pate to reverse to address the incessant industrial action in the health sector, ensure that doctors are well remunerated and address access to healthcare in the rural communities.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris

Mohammed Idris was born on May 2nd, 1966 in Niger State local government of Gbako. He established the Blueprint newspaper in May 2011 and was chosen as the general secretary of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria in December 2020.

On November 27, 2019, he became the new owner of WE 106.5 FM’s parent company, Kings Broadcasting Network. Abuja. He was Tinubu’s Presidential Campaign Council’s Director of Strategic Communications. He is expected to ensure efficient and effective communication of the federal government’s programmes and policies.

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