Five days to the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, ministers have commenced handing over to permanent secretaries in their ministries ahead of the dissolution of the cabinet, Daily Trust reports.
The eight-year tenure of President Buhari, which commenced on May 29, 2015, comes to an end on Monday, May 29, 2023.
Activities for the inauguration of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, commenced weeks ago. The inauguration proper is slated to take place at Eagle Square, Abuja by 10am on Monday. Ahead of the inauguration, the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, is reported to have handed over to the permanent secretary.
A source said the minister would formally bow out today (Wednesday) although the dissolution of the federal cabinet is yet to be announced by President Buhari. It was learnt that Magashi, a retired major-general of the Nigerian Army, has already directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Ibrahim Kana, to take charge.
An official at the ministry said the minister told Kana that since the government is a continuum, he should deal with all necessary issues regarding the budget and contracts in line with set service rules.
Daily Trust reports that a valedictory dinner in honour of the minister will be held today to formally mark his exit from the ministry. In a formal notification sent to one of our correspondents, the permanent secretary said Magashi deserved the honour due to his “fatherly leadership style”.
“The permanent secretary, Ministry of Defence, is organizing a valedictory dinner in honour of the Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi, in recognition of his meritorious service and fatherly leadership style in shaping and curbing the challenges in Nigeria’s defence sector during the period of his stewardship.
“In light of the above, I am directed to invite you to provide media coverage for the event scheduled as follows: Date: Wednesday, 24th May, 2023; Time: 6pm; Venue: AHQ Command Officers Mess 1, Asokoro,” the notification signed by Adelaja Gbemisola reads.
Farewell organised for water minister 4 days ago
At the Ministry of Water Resources, our correspondent learnt that the minister, Suleiman Adamu, has not been in the office since last week.
On Saturday, staff of the ministry and those of parastatals under it bade the minister farewell.
At the event, the minister said he had carried out the assignment professionally as an engineer and urged the incoming minister to be committed to the development of the sector.
Dare hands over today
The sports minister, Sunday Dare, will hand over to the permanent secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, today after the valedictory FEC meeting. Before he hands over, according to sources within the ministry, Dare will be honoured by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) for his role in the development of the association.
His last major sporting event was on Monday when he inaugurated the newly elected board members of the Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation with a view to creating more opportunities for youth with disabilities.
Farewell ceremony for Adamu tomorrow
In the Ministry of Education, it was gathered that the minister, Adamu Adamu, was in the office in the morning but left to attend the FEC meeting.
Though nothing unusual happened when the reporter visited the ministry, a source in the ministry who does not want to be mentioned said the minister has started packing his personal belongings. He said a valedictory ceremony would be organised for the minister on Thursday.
He said the minister is yet to do an official hand over but that may be on Thursday.
Labour ministry officials perfect documents
Officials of the Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as federal agencies under it are currently perfecting documents in their respective departments and parastatals, Daily Trust reports.
This, it was learnt, is part of the preparation ahead of the dissolution of the federal cabinet.
One of our correspondents, who visited the ministry’s headquarters on Tuesday, observed that the permanent secretary, Ms Kachollom Daju, was in a closed-door meeting with some directors and deputy directors heading departments in the ministry.
A deputy director, who does not want his name in print, said discussions at the meeting centred on how some debts incurred on the recurrent expenditure of the ministry would be settled before the new administration comes in.
The spokesman of the ministry, Olajide Oshundun, who confirmed the meeting in an interview with Daily Trust, said the minister, Chris Ngige, was still very much in charge since there was no official dissolution of the cabinet.
‘Akume ready with handover notes’
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, is prepared to leave the ministry and ready with his handover notes’.
Officials of the ministry, who said this to Daily Trust, yesterday, however, pleaded not to be named, as they were not authorised to speak on the matter.
Efforts to see Akume, a former Governor of Benue State and senator, were not successful as he was said to be attending meetings.
Mamora holds last official engagement
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Olohunimbe Mamora, may have held his last official duty as minister on Friday when he went on an inspection tour of some projects by a parastatal of the ministry.
Mamora was at the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to inspect some ongoing building of pilot plants in Abuja.
The pilot plant complex houses a lot of indigenous fabricated machines used for the processing of agricultural and pharmaceutical raw materials that are sourced locally from different parts of Nigeria into finished products.
However, a source at the ministry said the minister travelled to Lagos on Monday for the Dangote refinery commissioning. On Tuesday, the source said Mamora was in the office at the time of filing this report by one of our reporters.
One of the directors at the ministry who didn’t want to be mentioned said the minister had not handed over any instruction to any of the directors nor the perm-sec “as far as I know”.
Pantami’s personal belongings moved out of the office
On his part, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, also performed his last official assignment last week when he inaugurated the Blockchain committee in Abuja. A staff of the ministry said Pantami’s aides were seen on Monday moving some of their principal’s documents and belongings out of his office.
FCT minister orders more demolitions
A few days to the end of the present administration, the FCT minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, has ordered the demolition of the popular UTC market in Area 10, as well as houses in Gishiri among other places.
Daily Trust reports that the minister was still coming to the office and attending to official engagements.
He was said to have ordered the Task Force on City Sanitation to clear shops at the UTC market and carry out a comprehensive clearing exercise at Gishiri, a settlement opposite popular Nicon Junction.
Last week, he announced that the Federal Executive Council had approved some contracts running into billions of naira for the Federal Capital Territory. Our correspondent, who was at the secretariat in the morning, reports that the minister left his Life Camp residence to attend a special FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa.
A group made up of spare parts traders and mechanics mainly from the Apo Mechanic Village were seen protesting at the gate of the secretariat, over what they called delay in relocating them to their official land since 2007 after the El-Rufai administration demolished their business places on the road corridor.
Sadiya in projects commissioning galore
The Humanitarian minister commissioned six legacy projects in Zamfara yesterday. Appointments for a new governing council and management were also made in the North East Development Commission (NEDC). The ministry also signed an MOU with the UN on nutrition for students recently.
20 sacked directors in the aviation ministry replaced
In a major shake-up affecting all agencies in the Ministry of Aviation, no fewer than 20 directors have been relieved of their appointments, while new ones were appointed in addition to creating additional directorates in the agencies, Daily Trust can report.
The agencies include the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMet) and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
In last-minute decisions causing disquiet in the aviation industry, President Buhari approved the reorganisation of the agencies.
This, according to a statement from the ministry, was in line with the new Acts of the National Assembly which he assented to, and gazetted recently.
Highlights of the reorganisation include the creation of new directorates in some of the agencies prominent amongst which are the Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Corporate Services and Aviation Security directorates.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had defended the reorganisation, saying it was approved by the president and that due process was followed in the appointments.
Abubakar addresses media on event to be held after May 29
Since the beginning of last week, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has been engaged in a number of activities during his final days in office.
Tuesday in Abuja, the minister addressed two ministerial news conferences. The first was on the 2023 World Milk Day, which takes place on May 31 to June 1, where he urged participants to attend the lectures and roundtable talks as the country joined the rest of the globe in celebrating milk.
In what appeared to be his last press conference in his capacity as the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the second press conference focused on the establishment of a special credit programme for herders through the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).
However, Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri, the minister of state for agriculture, was not present at any of the conferences yesterday. He hasn’t also appeared at any recent public event.
Buhari holds extraordinary FEC meeting
President Buhari yesterday presided over another extraordinary Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The marathon meeting is coming ahead of the inauguration of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on May 29.
At the end of the federal cabinet meeting, at a parley around 6:35pm, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the briefing on the outcomes of yesterday’s meeting would be combined with today’s sitting expected to be a valedictory session.
Daily Trust reports that the memoranda, which were stepped down on Tuesday, would be treated today before the valedictory session. The first hour-long extraordinary FEC meeting was chaired penultimate Monday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, where funds running into billions of naira were approved for most contracts at an advanced stage of completion.
About 100 memoranda from various ministries, departments and agencies had been entertained between last week and this week before President Buhari hands over to Tinubu as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.