Were you impressed with your ministers in 2019. It’s a mixed bag and with the number of ghost worker ministers helming the affairs of different ministries, it’s hard to say if things will be any different this year. The fear of the Coronavirus breakout in China has given a special responsibility to the minister of health, but Nigeria is still dealing with Lassa fever. Here’s how we rank the ministers for this month:
10. Sale Mamman (Power)
Only recently, the Nigerian Business Leaders Forum called on President Muhammadu Buhari to relive the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, of his position, accusing him of incompetence, nepotism and gross disregard for due process. Truth be told, the country’s power sector has worsened in the last five months, and there are reasons to believe that Mamman is a ghost worker.
The Minister has been nowhere close to providing answers to the worsening state of electricity. Unlike immediate minister Babatunde Fashola who had interviews with the press was vocal about his mission statement and reiterated it from time to time, Mamman has been tight-lipped about the affairs of his ministry. He stirs no debate, offers nothing resembling hope, has no media team, has never addressed a press conference of note or participated in major interviews.
9. Abubakar Malami
Why it’s in Malami’s place to note alleged infractions on the law, especially as it relates with the federation, one would have expected Malami to go about the creation of Amotekun in the most diplomatic manner. He issued a press statement flagrantly declaring Amotekun illegal and unconstitutional. Southwest governors and Malami came to a roundtable. It could have saved the country unnecessary bad blood and tension that resulted therein.
8. Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has finally reacted to Transparency International’s recent report which ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 corrupt countries, with a total of 26 points out of a possible 100 points.
According to the minister, the Federal Government is not fighting corruption to impress Transparency International but to develop the country. Mohammed is known for saying problematic things, or things that actually reflect the truth. Corruption has been Nigeria’s major cankerworm to its national development, and Mohammed’s statement falls into another diversionary tactic.
7. Babatunde Fashola
As Minister for Works and Housing, Fashola said last year that the roads in Nigeria aren’t that bad and it still stands as one of the most problematic things he has said. Recently, the minister disclosed that the Federal Government will begin the reconstruction of the Ibadan-Ife-Ilesa expressway next month. He stated this during an inspection of ongoing federal road projects in Osun recently.
6. Chris Ngige
Chris Ngige’s tenure as Minister for Labour and Employment has been blemished by the protracted non-implementation of the new minimum wage. Not to mention his problematic comments about Nigerians doctors moving to Canada. Now, at a high-level bilateral conference, entitled; “Taking Next Steps; Ending Child Labour by 2025,” in Leiden, Netherlands, Ngige called for international organisations to eradicate child labour in Nigeria.
Sure, the Nigerian government enacted the Child Rights Acts of 2003, to consolidate all the existing laws on the fundamental rights of children. That said, Ngige campaigning against child labour on an international platform is commendable.
5. Timipre Sylva
Some interesting snapshots of achievements under Petroleum Minister Timipre Sylva is the discovery of crude oil in Benue, review of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is now in an advanced stage of getting passed into law this year.
4. Osagie Ehanire
Expectations were high when Osagie Ehanire took over as the Minister of Health last year, given his sophisticated portfolio. That said, Nigeria is currently battling to curb the spread of Lassa fever which is ravaging some states in the country. The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has confirmed that at least 24 people have died of Lassa fever in the country since the beginning of the year.
The minister was in Kano to talk about issues concerning the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state, and although there’s currently no cure, Ehanire further sensitizing the public is a good thing.
3. Hadi Sirika
Hadi Sirika has made some commendable strides since his inauguration as the minister of aviation last year. In November 2019, it was reported that Sirika deposited ratification on ‘Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, done at Montreal on 4 April 2014’ also known as “The Montreal Protocol 2014,” with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO) at the United Nation agency’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada. This feat is in line with Nigeria’s efforts to support air laws against unruly behavior onboard aircraft.
Also, Sirika has inspected the Enugu runway construction, which will be ready this year.
2. Rotimi Amaechi
Reviving the railway transport system has been a critical aspect of Buhari’s administration and this is so because he has Amaechi as minister.
As much as the railway line is delaying, he hasn’t been idle about the project. No specific date for launch. Commending him for transparency and we can’t wait for the railway because it will solve traffic issues along the Lagos-Ibadan corridor.
1. Sunday Dare
Since Sunday Dare became Minister of Sports and Youth Development, he has made it a point of duty to wade into crisis within various federations which has in time past brought embarrassment to the country. This month, the minister finally fulfilled his vow to pay the owed last April allowances by the AFN (Athletics Federation of Nigeria) during the CAA U-18/U-20 championships in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. The allowances were owed under the now-suspended president of the federation, Shehu Ibrahim Gusau’s leadership.
In addition, Sunday Dare has urged the Nigeria Football Federation to fast track the process of relocating to its new office complex.