MINISTERIAL LIST: Anxiety as Tinubu beats 60-day deadline today

  • Wike, APC ex-Govs, technocrats, long-time loyalists to make list
  • Ministries may be merged to make them more efficient

There is anxiety in Nigeria as President Bola Tinubu is expected to submit the much-awaited ministerial list to the National Assembly today just in time to beat the 60 days deadline.

Uba Group

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had on March 17, 2023, assented to a bill mandating the incoming President and Governors to submit their nominees, within 60 days of taking oath of office.

By that provision of the constitution, President Tinubu has until today, Thursday July 27, 2023, to summit his ministerial nominees list, otherwise, he would be breaching the constitution.

Presidential sources confided in The Point on Wednesday that the President had stretched the submission of the list to the last days to ensure that it was inclusive and reflective of what was best for the country.

The list, which is expected to be a mixture of technocrats and tested politicians, the sources revealed, would have more technocrats who would help drive the President’s Renewed Hope agenda for the next four years.

It was gathered that no fewer than four former governors would be nominated.

Two of them are said to be from the North West, the others from South South and South West geo-political zones.

According to credible sources, a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is from the North Central, tops the pack of technocrats being considered by the President.

They also include top bankers, economists, health professionals and experts in other areas of endeavour.

Former senators, professional women and politicians are also said to be among the President’s likely men and women.

Some among the 10 Special Advisers to the President would also be nominated as ministers, it was learnt.

It was gathered that the President may submit the list that includes former Governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, among others.

The Senator representing Edo North Senatorial District, Adams Oshiomhole, had said earlier in the week that President Tinubu would appoint technocrats as ministers instead of the usual practice of politicians to help him actualise his vision for Nigeria.

The former Governor of Edo State admitted that one of the unique qualities of the president was his ability to identify talent and put them in the right place to enable them help him achieve his targets.

“At the heart of our campaigns, one of our selling points for President Tinubu based on his performance as governor of Lagos State is his ability to hunt for talent.

“He’s not known to surround himself with people who don’t know their right from their left or surround himself with yes, yes, yes, men,” Oshiomhole said.

He added that Tinubu had the usual taste of having highly brilliant technocrats in his cabinet that could argue and debate extensively any policy he introduces.

Oshiomhole said those were the kind of men the president would likely have in his cabinet, a situation that is a deviation from the usual practice of most political leaders in Nigeria.


“His business is to coordinate, and that was his selling point to Nigerians,” he said.

On rumours that the former Edo State governor would make the cut as a minister, Oshiomhole denied knowledge of it, insisting that as far as he was concerned, “I am only a member of the red chambers of the legislative arm of government.”

Although previous administrations had worked with a total of 42 ministers, representing the 36 states, with extra six representing each of the six geopolitical zones, there are indications that President Tinubu may restructure some of the ministries to make them more efficient.

At present, Tinubu’s government has a total of 27 ministries left vacant by the previous administration.

The ministries include the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Agriculture and Rural Development, Aviation, Justice, Labour and Employment, Petroleum Resources, Water Resources, Women Affairs and Social Development, Mines and Steel Development, Ministry of Defence and that of Niger Delta Affairs.

Others include the Ministry of Power, Transportation, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Youth and Sport, Works and Housing and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Others are Budget and National Planning, Commerce and Industry, Education, Environment, Finance, Health, Information and Culture, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, as well as the Ministry of Interior.

The nation had waited patiently for the unveiling of the President’s cabinet, as the delays created anxious moments as to why the President had yet to announce his ministers despite assurances that he would hit the ground running.

At the beginning of the administration, several politicians flocked the Presidential Villa, from far and near, lobbying for the plum jobs.

The President had since his assumption, also devoted extra time, meeting with politicians who played critical roles in helping him to get into office.

President Tinubu had met behind closed doors with former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, who came in the company of Olisa Metu, the former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The visit of the two chieftains of the main opposition PDP, no doubt, was a signal to the success of Tinubu’s move to form a government of national unity, cutting across all political parties.

Tinubu also met the Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party and former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The Kano top politician also assured of his desire to work with the President in whatever capacity.

This is as the President had also had several meetings with leaders of the PDP G5 group, and former Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, who is rumoured to have made the President’s ministerial list.

With these high level meetings, many had thought that the cabinet unveiling by the President was just a matter of time.

The President had hit the ground running, with the introduction of some measures to tackle nagging national problems, which include: fuel subsidy removal, signing the Students Loan Bill into law, suspension of a five per cent tax on telecom services, and import tax on vehicles, among others.

There is no doubt that it would take a strong team to build the kind of confidence Nigerians are looking forward to by the Tinubu government to function optimally.

Thus, the appointment of credible and competent people in his cabinet has been seen by Nigerians as the beginning of such a journey.

Many had hailed the appointment of George Akume as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Femi Gbajabiamila, as the Chief of Staff to the President

But latest developments show that President Tinubu was facing stiff battles, both from his supporters and the larger family of the All Progressive congress.

It was gathered that the President was being careful not to offend some big wigs within the ruling party by rushing to form his cabinet.

The Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, while responding to questions on the ongoing delays by the President in forming his cabinets, urged Nigerians to be patient with the President.

“The President will eventually form his Cabinet. We need to be patient with him,” he said.