Thursday, 22 August 2019 06:37

Adamu, Ngige, Onu … all the ministers who retained their portfolios

Adamu, Ngige, Onu … all the ministers who retained their portfolios

President Muhammadu Buhari assigned portfolios to his ministers after swearing them in at the council chamber of the presidential villa in Abuja, on Wednesday.

While some ministers who were reappointed retained their portfolios, others were assigned new ones.

The minister, who retained their positions, are Rotimi Amaechi, Chris Ngige, Adamu Adamu, Lai Mohammed, Geoffrey Onyeama, Abubakar Malami.

Others are Mohammed Bello, Suleiman Adamu and Ogbonnaya Onu.


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had asked Buhari not to retain Ngige

A  former governor of Anambra state, Ngige also retained his position as minister of labour and employment.

One of the controversies of his first term as minister was his comment on brain drain. Ngige, who is a doctor, had drawn the ire of Nigerians when he had incorrectly said Nigeria has more than enough medical doctors to cater for its needs, adding that there is nothing wrong with some of the doctors seeking green pastures elsewhere.


Adamu’s relationship with Buhari predates APC.

Adamu, a long-time ally of the president, served as education minister in Buhari’s first cabinet. During the screening of the ministerial nominees in July, Adamu had shared his experience as the speech writer of Buhari between 1994 and 1999 while responding to questions from members of the senate.

He had said the ministry of education under his leadership did everything possible to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country. At a retreat in 2017, Adamu had presented a ministerial strategic plan (MPS) 2016-2019, to address teacher education, strengthen basic and secondary education, curriculum and benchmark minimum academic standard, reduce the number of out-of-school children, among others.


Lai: Buhari reappointed me because he has confidence me.

Mohammed also retained his previous information portfolio. The Kwara-born minister was the national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until his appointment in 2015.

Addressing directors and senior management staff of the ministry after the swearing-in ceremony, the minister said he was reappointed because of the confidence the president has in him.


Onyeama, who is from Enugu, retained his position as minister of foreign affairs. In his first four years, he travelled with the president to different parts of the country, signing bilateral agreements and deals on how repatriating the country’s stolen wealth and some trade deals. Under him, Nigerian signed partnership deals with China for the construction of some projects.

He also visited South Africa over diplomatic issues with the country, especially the killing of Nigerians.


Malami has a lot of questions to answer over Abacha Loot.

He was first appointed as the attorney-general of federation and minister of justice in 2015. An ally of Buhari, Malami was actively involved in the merger between the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2013. The three parties merged to become the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The AGF also has his share of controversies. The federal government was accused of poor human rights records, especially on the detention of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, and Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

In his first term, he had engaged Oladipo Okpeseyi and Temitope Adebayo, two Nigerian lawyers, for the recovery of $321 million Abacha Loot from Switzerland. But Enrico Monfrini, a Swiss lawyer who had been on the recovery job since 2000, had told TheCable in a series of interviews that hiring of the new lawyers was needless as he had already completed the job.

Despite outcry, the federal government, in May, secretly paid the newly engaged lawyers $15 million.


Water is life, millions of Nigerians will be grateful if Adamu can end their thirst.

Adamu will also continue to work in the capacity of the minister of water resources. He is said to be one of the closest ministers to the president.


Onu standing before Buhari in their ANPP days

Onu, said to be a strong ally of Buhari, retained his position as the minister of science and technology. In 2016, the minister had boasted that Nigeria would start producing its own pencils in two years, as part of a wholesale production-sector revamp to be witnessed in the regime of Buhari.

He had expressed assurance that the plan would have a “meaningful impact” on the economy, including the creation of at least 400,00 jobs.

Almost three years after, the plan has not seen the light of the day.


Bello was chairman of NAHCON under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan

Bello was retained as the minister of the federal capital territory. Until his appointment as a minister in Buhari’s first cabinet, Bello, who hails from Adamawa, was the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) from 2007 to May 2015.

During the ministerial screening, he had pleaded to take a bow and leave the exercise without questioning, a privilege reserved for either former or current members of senate, house of representatives or state assemblies.

He had based the request on his association with the national assembly.

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