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Buhari’s Ministers One Year After

New Tariff, power sector; FMBN; Mass housing
Posted: Nov 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

  AUGUSTINE ADAH – LAGOSIt is exactly one year today when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Federal Executive Council (FEC). The inauguration came after several months of Buhari’s swearing-in as President on May 29, 2015.  During the interview granted to journalists to mark the one year in office of his administration ,  President Buhari urged those castigating his government to pass verdict on his ministers so that he would know whether to change them or not.

Since then, some have suggested that the President should rejig his ministers as part of strategies to combat the ongoing economic recession in the country. However, some argued that one year is not an enough period to objective appraise the performance of the ministers and want the ministers to be given more time  before an objective assessment of their performance in office.   That may be the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday urged all members of his cabinet to work harder to earn the trust of Nigerians.

Buhari gave the directive ahead of today’s one year anniversary of the inauguration of ministers.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, who spoke to State House correspondents, declared that the issue of the one year anniversary of the ministers took the centre stage at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council last Wednesday.

Fayemi said the meeting gave cabinet members the opportunity to reflect on the progress the administration had made, the challenges still to be tackled and the commitment to reiterate.

The minister admitted that the challenges are still enormous, saying ministers could not afford to rest on their oars. The former governor of Ekiti State further stated that the ministers are not ignorant of the people’s feeling about them.

He said, The challenges are still enormous, we read what you write and we get the feedback from the populace.

“We cannot afford to rest on our oars. We need to communicate to Nigerians what we are doing. We would find a way to speak individually about what we have been doing in the last one year.

“At the ministry level there, will be some kind of commemoration but noting extra ordinary.

“The President’s charge is simple. You know the President is not a man of many words. His charge to us is for us to just get on with it and ensure that we earn the trust of Nigerians by doing the best we can to serve the country.”

Also, Monsur Dan-Ali, Minister of Defence, who spoke after the meeting, said Nigeria had made tremendous achievements under Buhari. He further stated that if the people could give Buhari more time, he would deliver to the admiration of Nigerians.

The minister said, “Thank God, in the next two days, we will be one year in office. We thank God Almighty for seeing us through these turbulent times.

Reacting to the performance of the ministers, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, a Third Republic politician scored the ministers below average.

He said, “As far as I am concern majority of those appointed into the cabinet by President Muhammadu Buhari were not supposed to be there. So, when you appoint a wrong people into the cabinet, it is obvious that you would get a wrong result.”

Mohammed disclosed that Nigerians are not happy with him and the ministers because of their inability to affect the lives of the people positively as promised. “In politics, the highest punishment for non-performance is to reject the person during election, because you cannot carry gun to kill somebody because he has failed to perform. As far as this government is concern, it has not performed to the expectations of Nigerians and anything could happen during the next election.”

Mohammed further stressed that he had high expectations when the ministers were sworn in, but expressed disappointment in them because none of them has been able to impress him in the past one year.

In his opinion, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, President, Aka Ikenga stated that though the ministers have not lived up to the expectations of some Nigerians, he would not recommend that they should be sacked because Mr. President knew why he appointed them in the first place.

He said, “Don’t forget these were angels we waited for months before they were appointed and they were President Buhari’s men and he knew why he appointed them in the first place.” According to Uwazurike, none of the ministers have performed to the admiration of Nigerians because the impact of the administration is yet to be felt by ordinary Nigerians barely 18 months after it took over power.

Last August, Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi-West,   a member of President Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, (APC) asked the president to dismiss the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.

He said, “As I walk the streets of my constituency these days, I constantly harbor a foreboding that I could be stoned by my angry constituents for the failure of Mr President to fulfill his campaign promises and expectations to Nigerians”. During an interview with Independent recently, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, founder of O’odua People’s Congress (OPC) reiterated the importance of appointing experience and competent people to help the government in the task of weathering the storm of recession in the country.

Fasehun, who described the economic team of the present Buhari administration as mosquito type, urged him to bring people like Professor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Professor Pat Utomi among others into the team to help shape the system.

However, Chief Olorunfunmi Basorun, a chieftain of APC stated that though he did not have the particulars of the ministers but give kudos for the present administration because the government took over at a time when we can compare the situation to war period. He disclosed that some ministers in the cabinet have performed well contrary to the criticism in some quarters.

He cited the example of Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing whom he said has been working to ensure that the power generation and distribution in the country improve from what it has been used to be.

He stated that despite the militancy in the Niger-Delta, power supply has improved from what it used to be. He said, “Now, we used to enjoy power supply up to nine to ten hours in a day.”   He described the call for the sack of Fashola based on lack of performance as untrue as the man has been able to prove himself.

According to Basorun, “It is arrant nonsense for people to call for the removal of Adeosun because she is not an economist and only knows how to speak good English”. He urged Nigerians to be more accommodating and analytical in their assessment of the government.