All eyes are presently on President Muhammadu to effect a much needed cabinet reshuffle that will see fresh blood injected into governance which many believe has suffered in the past one year. Nigerians feel there are untapped human potentials and credible persons that can achieve this purpose. AljazirahNigeria in this series anchored by Assistant Editor, Gbenga Odunsi looks at the President’s cabinet and in some cases offers suggestions for possible replacements.
Ministry of Finance
Kemi Adeosun, who hails from Ogun State, has been criticized for lacking the willpower to handle the affairs relating to the nation’s economy.
Nigerians have always had issues with Adeosun, who before her appointment was only a Commissioner of Finance, in Ogun State, with not much credentials on a national or international platform like her predecessor.
In February, Nigerians came for her head when she made a mathematical blunder saying the addition of N16 billion and N6 billion would amount to N24 billion, instead of N22 billion. Recently, the minister received some serious bashing from Nigerians after she reportedly said ‘recession is just a word’. She has been called ‘incompetent’ a number of times by some Nigerians who want Ngozi Okonjo Iweala back.
Many say that Adeosun needs to be removed from finance ministry. Adeosun, a woman with British accent has failed to produce meaningful results in the last one year.
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.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a good choice if party consideration is not considered. A Nigerian and a highly respected and influential global leader, economist, policy maker and thinker on Finance and Economic Development, she served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015) and was previously Managing Director of the World Bank (2007-2011).
During her first term as Minister of Finance under President Obasanjo’s Administration, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s debt, including the outright cancellation of US$18 billion.
In 2011, Okonjo-Iweala was reappointed as Minister of Finance in Nigeria with the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Her legacy includes strengthening Nigeria’s public financial systems, stimulating the housing sector with the establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC).
She also empowered Nigeria’s women and youth with the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Programme (GWIN); a gender responsive budgeting system and the highly acclaimed Youth Enterprise with Innovation programme (YouWIN); a highly acclaimed programme to support entrepreneurs that created thousands of jobs. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was also instrumental in helping Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating (of BB minus) from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s in 2006
She is more experienced in the field of finance management and as such, should replace the current finance minister.
Kemi Adeosun should go back to Ogun state ministry of finance where her services will be needed.
Ministry of Youth and Sport
The “spended’ minister, Solomon Dalung was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to manage the Sports Ministry and possibly extend the change mantra to it to see to its growth and development. However, it seems Dalung has already failed.
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.
Since the sports minister, Solomon Dalung was sworn in, he seems to be in the news for the wrong reasons.
His critics, especially sport lovers, have blamed him for the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation which contributed to the inability of Super Eagles to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
Perhaps, what irked Nigerians most, was the shambolic preparation of the country’s team to the just concluded Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
There was the ticket crisis, where athletes had to beg on the social media for ticket money, among other damnable allegations against him. Dalung has no reason to remain as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nigerians need brand new people, genuine sports people to take over the administration of sports. We need those who have the passion for sports to nurture the roots of sports to its peak.
Segun Odegbami, a sports guru fits the bill as a nominee for Sports minister.
Odegbami won 46 caps and scored 23 goals for the National Team, and guided Nigeria to its first Africa Cup of Nations title at the 1980 tournament in his homeland. Nicknamed Mathematical, he was famous for his skill on the ball, speed and precision of his crosses from the right wing. He played for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan his entire career, from 1970 to 1984.
His last game was the 1984 African Champions Cup final defeat to Zamalek of Egypt. The original source of the nickname “Mathematical” was because Segun Odegbami attended and graduated from Nigeria’s premier technical institution; The Polytechnic, Ibadan where he studied Engineering.
Segun odegbami will make a good sports minister. AljazirahNigeria opines that Dalung be transferred to prisons services where his talents are best fitted.
Ministry of Women affairs
Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is a Nigerian politician. She is the Minister of Women Affairs of Nigeria. She was appointed in 2015 to the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari after his election.
Aisha is one of the poor performing ministers in Buhari’s cabinet.
Nothing has been heard of her achievement in the last one year of the change administration. Fondly called ‘Mama Taraba,’ she is yet to prove to Nigerians that she is the woman for the job.
The minister, who contested for the Taraba State governorship election but failed, has disappeared from the spotlight since her appointment.
As the Minister of Women Affairs, many Nigerians had expected that she would have been at the forefront of the Chibok girls agenda.
She has failed woefully to interface with the BringBackOurGirls campaign group, which has made Buhari to lose sleep.
For the fact that Mama spent over 5 months of her ministerial position battling with treatment abroad, there is need for Buhari to do more at appointing those capable, and that can really take the country to the dream land Nigerians desire.
Mama Taraba would have to give way for someone with a vision to transform the Women Affairs Ministry, to step in.
A notable women leader and public figure, Bukky Sonibare will fit as minister of women affairs.
Bukky Shonibare has over ten years’ experience in the social sector, focusing on women and girls’ rights, girl-child education, and humanitarian assistance.
Bukky is a strategic team member of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, where she advocates for the rescue of 219 abducted Chibok schoolgirls, while engaging in strategic planning, mobilization, sensitization/awareness, stakeholder engagement, and events coordination. Bukky manages The Light Foundation, through which she coordinates ‘Adopt-A-Camp’ – a humanitarian intervention assisting internally displaced persons.
She is a strategic member of the ECOWAS Early Warning and Rapid Response initiative, and a working group member on ‘Women, Peace and Security’ (Resolution 1325) for the UN Office for West Africa.
She holds a certificate in Social Sector Management from Pan Atlantic University, and is completing her master’s in Peace and Security at Addis Ababa University. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Bukky will continue advocating for Boko Haram abductees, girl-child education, and displaced persons.
Bukky Shonibare will fare well in ministry of women affairs if given the opportunity to act in that capacity.
The president may also consider looking into the folds of the leadership of the BBOG to get capable hands to man this all important ministry.