Who are Alhaji Suleiman Hassan and Professor Stephen Ocheni? Everything you need to know about Buhari’s new Ministerial Nominees

Nigeria’s ‘superwoman’, Mrs Amina Mohammed was appointed the United Nations Deputy Chief last year and she resumed her role as the most powerful woman at the UN in March, leaving her Minister of Environment position in Nigeria vacant.

James Ocholi left his Minister of State for Labour and Productivity post vacant under less celebratory conditions last year when he died in a road accident on his way to Abuja alongside his

Today, the 29th of March, President Buhari has finally sent two names to the Senate in the hopes that they will be confirmed as replacements for these vacant spots in the Federal Executive Council.

Right before the President went in for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, the Presidency posted a tweet announcing the President’s nominees:

We knew Amina Mohammed has always been the dedicated developmental policy solutions provider being a key player in the Post-2015 development process at the United Nations, serving as the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Post-2015 development planning and before then, as the CEO of the Center for Development Policy Solutions and before that, as an Adjunct Professor for the Master’s in Development Practice program at Columbia University.

In Nigeria, Mrs Amina Mohammed had already served as a Senior Special Assistant on Millennium Development Goals before joining President Buhari’s cabinet in 2015 as the Minister of Environment, spear heading the stalled process of the Ogoni clean up in her short time at the ministry.

What not many people know is that she started out her career in engineering and quantity surveying, something she shares with her replacement, Alhaji Suleiman Hassan apart from also being from Gombe State.

Alhaji Suleiman Hassan has been a Registrar at the Quantity Surveyors Council of Nigeria and was once the chairman of the defunct Congress of Progressive Change in Gombe State.

His nomination by President Buhari is not new as he was one of the 46 ambassadorial nominees the President sent for confirmation by the Senate last October.


Mr. Ocheni, the late James Ocholi’s replacement however shares no such professional history with him. While James Ocholi had been a lawyer for most of his professional life and was even conferred the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2007, Ocheni has been and remains an accountant.

Mr, Ocheni, James Ocholi’s replacement is currently a professor of Public Sector Accounting and Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences at Kogi State University. Before then, he’d been a Director of Finance and Accounts at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2010 and 2013 and a Director at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation between 2003 and 2010.

He’s a Howard University alumnus and a PhD holder from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


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