EDITORIAL: Present ministers have failed Nigerians, it’s time to reshuffle the cabinet

EDITORIAL: Present ministers have failed Nigerians, it’s time to reshuffle the cabinet

Following his election as President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari operated without ministers for about six months and the explanation given was that he needed time to appoint ‘angels’ as ministers and members of his cabinet.

Given his standing as a man of integrity, proclivity for due process and faith in merit, many Nigerians believed him, though some had to banter at some point by calling him “President Go-Slow.”

However, when he finally made his appointments known, Nigerians had the rudest shock as the so-called messianic appointees who were long in coming, were known faces; some with questionable and not so wonderful past to qualify for such post while some were just rookies without any experience of governance.

All eyes are presently on President Muhammadu to affect a much-needed cabinet reshuffle that will see fresh blood injected into governance which many believe has suffered in the past two years. Nigerians feel there are untapped human potentials and credible persons that can achieve this purpose.

AljazirahNigeria use this medium to join the fray by stating that a cabinet reshuffle is long overdue in the Buhari administration given the performance of most of his appointees.

 AljazirahNigeria has taken time to access and analyse the performance of  some ministers, and suggest that President Buhari reshuffle his cabinet and do something radically different to solve the country’s pressing problems.

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 Ministers and their scorecard

Ministry: Information and Culture

Lai Mohammed, a propagandist, has a number of achievement and failures. Nigerians no longer believes whatever comes out from Lai’s mouth. Liar Mohammed, as fondly called by Nigerians lied to the nation that the APC-led federal government had fulfilled all its campaign promises to Nigerians. Poor mismanagement of information amongst other things has made Mr Lai incompetent.

Ministry of Justice:

The ministry of justice under the leadership of Malami has reduced Nigerian courts to some sort of joke. In the last two years of Malami’s administration, no conviction has been secured in any of the major corruption cases. There has been incessant disobedience of court orders, especially those granting bail to some Nigerians facing corruption charges. Malami poorly handled the trial and subsequent withdrawal of charges against the Senate President. Furthermore, the poor management of information on major high-profile investigations and expected trials including that of Malabu oil deal makes Malami incompetent as an Attorney General of the Federation.

Ministry of Finance

Kemi Adeosun has been criticized for lacking the will power to handle the affairs relating to the nation’s economy. Under her, Nigeria’s economy went into recession; Untidy 2016 and 2017 budget process leading to squabbles between the executive and legislature. Adeosun, has failed to produce meaningful results as a minister. She does not inspire confidence, and her antecedents even when she makes statements, do not carry the weight as expected from someone occupying such an important position in a nation like Nigeria.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Onyeama is said to have failed to managed Nigeria’s foreign international image and this has been traced to the lack of a foreign policy agenda. More than two years after inauguration, of Buhari’s government, the giant of Africa still does not have a focused foreign policy agenda. Onyeama has been criticized for delay for over one a year in appointing non-career ambassadors to replace those the government recalled in July 2015. Most of the 119 Nigerian missions and embassies abroad are broke and cannot meet their obligations. They are faced with problems such as the inability to pay their workers, delays in the issuance of visas and passports, lack of funding for day-to-day operations, and inability to pay the rent of embassies and workers’ residences. He has also failed to take action to killings of Nigerians in other parts of the world.

Ministry of Youth and Sport

Since the sports minister, Solomon Dalung was sworn in, he seems to be in the news for the wrong reasons. Against the backdrop of the poor planning by the Ministry of Sports headed by a khaki and beret wearing ex prison official, Solomon Dalung, who has shown his poor understanding of the dynamics of sports management, there is a growing fear that the ship of Nigerian sports can drift further into oblivion if the sports technocrats are not employed to man the sector. One of the hallmarks of every great leader is that they are consistent but that seems to be lacking in the way and manner the Solomon Dalung has been managing the ministry of youths and sports.

Ministry of Women affairs

Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is the Minister of Women Affairs of Nigeria. Aisha is one of the poor performing ministers in Buhari’s cabinet.  Nothing has been heard of her achievement in the last two years of the change administration. Fondly called ‘mama Taraba’, she is yet to prove to Nigerians that she is the woman for the job.

Ministry of Education

The minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has his achievements and failures.

Under his watch, Nigeria’s literacy level has not reduced. The nation currently has 65 million illiterates, according to UNESCO; Funding of education: Only eight per cent was allocated to the education sector in 2016 against the stipulated 26 per cent proposed by the UNESCO; About 11 million school age Nigerian children are out of school, making the country the highest in the world; There is still proliferation of unregulated private schools; Decline in teaching profession. Over 40 per cent of Nigerian teachers are not qualified as they do not possess the prescribed minimum qualifications (NCE) for teaching; Unabated decline in quality of education.

 Ministry of National planning and Budget

Many Nigerians have described the Minister as a square peg in a round hole, following the 2016 budget of Change padding saga, coupled with the biting economic recession.

While calling for his removal, Dino Maleye, a Senator Representing Kogi West said: Udoma’s appointment to that position is nepotism taken to very ridiculous heights; and a classic case of putting round pegs in square holes, it will, and can never fit. It is akin to saddling a carpenter with a tailor’s responsibility. The outcome under the circumstances, have become evidently clear, and it is bound to be catastrophic for the economy.

Trade and Investment

Okechukwu Enelemah should be one of the ministries to rescue the dilemma currently facing the present administration. Under his watch, there has been no major foreign investment, and most of the international companies that were operating in Nigeria, are either packing up, or have since packed up, while the indigenous ones are folding up daily.

Ministry of Defence

Retired Brigadier-General Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali, from Zamfara state in northwest Nigeria, is a career soldier who rose through the ranks to hold several posts, including artillery commander. Under him, pockets of bombing by the Boko Haram insurgents still occur despite the significant degradation of the Boko Haram insurgents. Furthermore, allegations of extra-judicial killings by the military continue. There were reports of soldiers killing unarmed pro-Biafra protesters, members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria and civilians in Niger Delta region.

Ministry of Power, Works and Housing

Babatunde Raji Fashola, minister of power, works and housing has been the target of barbs by Nigerians suffering the effects of power failure. Power generation that reached a peak of over 5,000 megawatts last month has dropped to below 1,600 megawatts, with telling effects in offices and homes. Electricity supply in Nigeria has never been so awful than now, with many homes plunged into darkness for weeks. Fashola has failed to achieve far less than the 40 projects which he said he would execute. Works and housing sector has been in comatose. No credit to Fashola for his non-performance and abysmal failure as a minister

Ministry of Niger Delta

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Uguru Usani, was indicted for fraud and abuse of office during his tenure as a commissioner in Cross River State. Usani has not shown any sign of seriousness or ability to handle Niger Delta ministry.  He looks more confused and acts as though he was forced to take up the appointment.Till date, Niger Delta avengers are still bombing and destroying pipelines in their regions.

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FCT Ministry

FCT minister, Mohammed Bello has failed to achieve deplorable condition of roads in all the satellite towns, inability to clear heaps of garbage which have overtaken some major streets in the satellite towns and some areas in the city centre Most traffic lights in the city are not working, endangering the lives of motorists and other road users. Bello has no clear plan on how to provide potable water for the satellite towns in Abuja.

Ministry of Science and Technology

Ogbonnaya Onu is presently the Minister of Science and Technology of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Under his watch, there has been low patronage and encouragement from government for inventors. Nigeria’s automotive industry is yet to compete favorably with foreign companies, though the minister blames it on the absence of research and development. There is still absence of synergy between government, private sector, research and development institutions and the absence of a strong research leadership drive at all levels. Also, diversification of the sources of energy to forestall a setback by a single energy is yet to be effected.

Going from the above scorecard of each Minister, AljazirahNigeria urge President Buhari to undertake a major reshuffle of the cabinet, beginning with his kitchen cabinet. By now, the President should have received and studied the scorecard of each of his ministers and from there he would have known what to do.

More importantly, the Buhari government should focus on those national projects – bridges, railways, roads, power stations, etc. – which it regards as essential and execute them energetically. The roads should improve, electricity supply should increase and petroleum products be made available; governance should be transparent and cost effective, lastly, there should be peace in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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