Now That We Know The Ministers By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
A fortnight ago, one Alhaji Oloriegbe, a Public Policy Analyst, argued on channels TV that people have not felt an inch of the torrents of economic, social, political and value change promised the hopelessly poor and mindlessly rich Nigerians by the All Progressives Congress (APC) through its man Friday, Muhamadu Buhari because Mr. President had yet to constitute his cabinet. Many social commentators have also attributed the obvious lack of policy direction of the Buhari’s government to the absence of a federal cabinet. However, after five months of twists and turns, Nigerians now have Federal Ministers whom according to the APC, will help President Buhari implement the change Nigerians have been anxiously awaiting.
However, contrary to what President Buhari told Nigerians as per what would be the idiosyncrasy of his Ministers, the new cabinet members whom Mr. President had tagged “noisemakers” and declared expressly that not all off them would have “portfolios”, unfortunately, are known to vast majority of Nigerians. Those appointed by Buhari, a character elected to distribute fruits of democratic governance to Nigerians based on his branded and much printed, advertised, televised and packaged integrity and zero tolerance for sleaze, corruption and indiscipline, are the same bougoersies, rulers and suspected looters of our patrimony and treasury.
Today, Nigerians have a Minister whom while serving his people as governor, spent N2.5billion on the beautification of his state capital, yet, flowers reported to have been planted with the money are yet to germinate, 3 years after the contract was awarded.
For five months, Nigerians waited to know the Ministers they thought most of them would be technocrats as promised by President Buhari only to be dangled with a fellow who served his state for eight years as the head of parliamentary and another eight years as head of executive arms of government, yet, left his people poorer than he met them and according to his successor, sold all the investments and shares of his state in banks and other financial institutions without remitting the proceeds made through the sales to the state coffer. The furore and brouhaha that erupted on the floor of the senate when confirming the nomination of this character is a story to tell for another day.
Today, we have a Minister appointed by President Buhari whom while saddled with the management of the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), could not account for how she spent billions of taxpayers money.
The most abysmally appalling and shocking name among Buhari’s ministers is Senator Henekein Lokopri who had served his people in Bayelsa State for sixteen years as Speaker of the state House of Assembly and Senator of the Federal Republic on the platform of the PDP and until July this year, was a chieftain of the party. I am just curious and wondering the value Senator Lokopri want to add to the Buhari’s government.
Also, as I write, there are avalanche of petitions on the desk of the EFCC against the confirmed Minister of Finance? Kemi Adesoun. Adesoun, when serving as Finance Commissioner in Ogun state allegedly bought a grade B ten Armored Personnel Carrier for 500million, the highest in the world.
Before and during the 2015 general elections and even till now, Nigerians were audaciously coaxed into believing that the deposed former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruined Nigeria in all ramifications, however, today, we have Ministers whom surprisingly, 60% of them were former members of the same PDP that Buhari and his people claimed destroyed Nigeria
Nonetheless, either counterfeit or genuine, the bitter reality we must face is Nigeria now have Ministers that will provide the much-publicized promised change. Consequently, I say without any prejudice that there should be no further excuse for failure of governance. I call on President Buhari to terminate his honeymoon forthwith.
With all due respect, now that we have Ministers, Nigerians want to see the policy direction of the Buhari led administration. Crestfallen and disconsolate Nigerians are seriously waiting for the change the APC promised to bring to Nigeria in all ramifications.
Nigerians are unwearyingly waiting for the Minister of Finance to work assiduously to ensure that the fallen value of naira in the international financial market is stabilized. Our frightening GDP must be improved. The dangerously disquieting state of Nigeria capital market deserve the urgent attention of our new finance minister. The massive retrenchment in the banking industry must be curtailed by all means necessary.
Let me explicitly put it to the education Minister that Nigerians await declaration of a free and qualitative education from primary to tertiary level as promised by Buhari. I want to believe that one of our universities will be ranked among the best 500 in the world on or before May 2019. The new education Minister should please pursue with sanctimonious attention, the comprehensive feeding of school children promised by Buhari.
The Minister of Land and Housing Development should remember that poverty ridden Nigerians are sleeplessly awaiting the 1million housing units promised them by the APC during the electioneering campaign.
And to the Minister of Power, Sir, Nigerians want an end to presidential body movement which has failed to revolutionize the power sector. We want to see policy direction that will end the generational rout in the power sector. I want to believe that Nigeria under Buhari Would have generated 40,000 tons of electricity megawatt by May 2019 as promised. We say no to hike in electricity tariff. We reject the epileptic power supply that is now booming like wave of pacific ocean in our country.
The new Minister of Works should ensure that Julius Berger and RCC returns to site as they have disappeared from Lagos-Ibadan expressway which they are being reconstructed before the new administration came on board.
Now that President Buhari has saddled himself with petroleum Ministry, Nigerians are waiting for a liter of petrol to be slashed to forty five naira. I stated thus because with the crash of oil price from $96 to $40 per barrel, Nigerians have no reason to be buying fuel @87 per a liter. N87 per a liter is fraudulent. Also, I call on Buhari to ensure that the country’s moldy refineries are repaired with new ones built.
The Ministers of Youths Development, Labour and Productivity, Finance and National Planning should ensure that the 850, 000 jobs promised the unemployed Nigerians per quater is religiously pursued. The minister of Youths Development should also recall that twenty five million unemployed Youths were promised payment of N5, 000 monthly by their party, the APC if voted into power. The NYSC corps members are also waiting for their monthly allowance to be increased to N45, 000 as promised.
For Nigeria to be transformed from a periphery to a core sovereign nation, corruption must be well tackled. Hence, the new Attorney General and Minister of Justice should pursue a war against corruption and not a war against opposition. Those who had heartlessly and viciously governed Nigeria from 1999 till date either in APC or PDP must be made to account for their evil deeds against the masses.
I also wish to remind the new Justice Minister that we are now in a democratic regime where rights to speech, expression, religion, association and peaceful assembly are constitutionally protected. Nigerians will not accept any attempt to intimidate, oppress and harass them unduly for exercising their Fundamental Human Rights.
Nigerians are waiting for the reform that will ensure that Corruption in the civil service is drastically reduced if not totally abolished. The judiciary must be totally independent and sanitized. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must continue to enjoy her freedom as entrenched by the previous administration.
Nigerians are waiting for an end to insurgencies in the Northern Nigeria. I want peace and tranquillity returned to Nigeria. Nigerians are anxiously awaiting the return of the missing Chibok girls.
I wish all the new Ministers of the nation of Nigeria the wisdom of Solomon to govern their people. Amen.
Adeleye writes from Magodo, Lagos.
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