According to the law, Tinubu must announce his cabinet within 60 days of assuming office on May 29 and submit it to the Senate for confirmation.
With less than 18 days remaining to present the cabinet list to the National Assembly, as mandated by the constitution, legislators and other Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the list of ministers who will contribute to the realization of the President’s revitalized agenda.
Numerous sources within the National Assembly revealed that the parliament is awaiting Tinubu’s ministerial list, with concerns expressed about the delay.
Lawmakers, speaking anonymously to avoid potential repercussions, expressed their belief that there would not be any further postponement of the list.
Meanwhile, The EYEWITNESS9JA NEWS confirmed on Sunday evening that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Services, and certain security agencies were in the final stages of conducting their mandatory background checks on the list.
It was reported that the Department of State Services and members of the Presidential Strategic Team were conducting final verifications on the individuals identified as potential ministers.
Multiple sources within the Presidency indicated that the list would be released very soon.
Furthermore, Hon. Alex Egbona, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in the 9th Assembly, stated that the President was still within the designated timeframe, unlike previous instances of delay.
He expressed hope that the President would submit the list either this Tuesday or the following Tuesday.
Similarly, Hon Ugochinyere Ikenga, a member of the House of Representatives from Imo State, acknowledged the concerns of Nigerians but expressed confidence that the President would soon release the list.
He also expressed his belief that it would not resemble past situations where ministers were appointed after a six-month delay.
Moreover, Mr. Uche Nwosu, a former Chief of Staff to former Imo Governor Rochas Okorocha, advised President Bola Tinubu to ensure that 60 percent of the ministerial list consists of technocrats from the private sector, with the remaining 40 percent comprising politicians.
He provided this guidance during a virtual press conference held on Sunday in Abuja, emphasizing that such a composition would result in a productive and dynamic cabinet.
He said, “What I expect from Mr. President is to ensure the nominees are people that have competence, character, patriotic, with no atom of nepotism.”
Nwosu added, “We believe that we would have ministers who will represent Nigeria and not ministers who are coming to say they are ministers representing their states.”
Additionally, he emphasized that Nigeria possesses numerous capable individuals within the country who are well-suited to serve as ministers while also considering the inclusion of individuals from the Nigerian diaspora on the list.
He said, “We have a lot of competent Nigerians residing in Nigeria that can do the work of a minister in different fields, and there is nothing wrong in having a former governor occupy a ministerial post if he has done well.
“I don’t see anything wrong in that, and also, if Mr. President wishes to add people in the Diaspora to his ministerial list, there is nothing wrong in that also.”
Beatrice Eyong, the United Nations Women’s Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, has emphasized the need for equal representation of women in ministerial positions. She made this statement during the inaugural ReportHer Awards in Lagos, where she advocated for a 50% inclusion of women in public offices. Eyong urged President Bola Tinubu to prioritize gender equality and women empowerment in his selection of ministers and heads of government agencies. She stressed that achieving sustainable development goals and reducing poverty hinges on attaining gender equality and empowering women.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has compiled a list of 41 confidential secretaries who will support cabinet members in various ministries. The Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, has forwarded this list to security agencies for screening and vetting. While President Tinubu has already appointed some Special Advisers and new service chiefs, Nigerians eagerly anticipate the announcement of the Federal Executive Council members, expecting the President to fulfill his promise of expediency.
In response to the public’s anticipation, Dele Alake, Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications, and Strategy to Tinubu, assured journalists that the ministerial list would be revealed soon. Alake emphasized that, as an executive presidency, the President holds the authority to determine the appropriate timing for unveiling his cabinet list.
Preparations are underway for the appointment and subsequent resumption of ministers. The Federal Government has assigned confidential secretaries to various ministries, with the expectation that the names of ministers will be submitted to the National Assembly for screening imminently. According to a memo obtained by journalists, the confidential secretaries, ranked at Grade Levels 13 to 14, will assume their duties no later than July 11, 2023. The memo, issued by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and signed by Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, the Permanent Secretary of the Career Management Office, was addressed to key government officials, security agencies, and relevant commissions and agencies.
The circular detailed the ministries to which the secretaries have been posted. Thirteen of them were assigned to ministries such as works and housing, youths and sports development, education, industry, trade and investment, humanitarian affairs, and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). The remaining secretaries were appointed as confidential vice secretaries, previously deployed in the ministries. The memo stressed the importance of compliance with the posting instructions and requested that all relevant details be submitted by July 12, 2023.
Confidential secretaries play an integral role in supporting ministers’ day-to-day activities, and their deployment is determined by the Office of the Head of Service. They work closely with ministers, although some ministers may opt to appoint their own confidential secretaries. Regardless, the officials continue to be referred to as confidential secretaries, and their appointments are documented accordingly.