Buhari's ministerial list: Live updates as Senate screens nominees (day 4)

Buhari's ministerial list: Live updates as Senate screens nominees (day 4)

The Senate on Wednesday, July 24, commenced the screening of the 43 ministerial nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, July 24, for confirmation.

So far the Senate has screened 31 of the 43 ministerial nominees. 10 of the nominees were screened on Wednesday, July 24, 14 screened on Thursday, July 25, while seven were screened on Friday, July 26.

Some of the nominees already screened are Sen. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo), Abubakar Aliyu (Yobe), Mustapha Shehuri (Borno), Retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (Kano), Zuibaru Dada (Niger) and Timipre Slyva (Bayelsa).

Others are Ramatu Aliyu (Kogi), Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti), Mohammed Abdullahi (Nassarawa), Sunday Dare (Oyo), Muhammadu Bello (Adamawa), Sen. Chris Ngige (Anambra) and Sadiya Umar-Farouk (Zamfara), Abubakar Malami (Kebbi), Sen. Hadi Sirika (Katsina), Dr Osagie Ehanire (Edo), Pauline Tallen (Plateau) and Muhammdu Dingyadi (Sokoto), Festus Keyamo (Delta) and Dr Ali Pantami (Gombe).

Catch up with the live updates of the day one of the ministerial screening here. In case you missed the day two of the live updates, quickly catch up here. For day three, check here.

Follow Legit.ng's updates as we bring to you live reports of the day four of the ministerial screening.

He said nine other nominees would appear before the Senate on Monday, July 29, by 10am.

They include: Sen. Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara) , Babatunde Fasola (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Geoffrey Onyema (Enugu).

Others are: Maryam Katagum (Bauchi), Mohammed Mahmod (Kaduna), Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa) and Goddy Jeddy-Agba (Cross River) and Clement Agba (Edo).

The Senate has resumed ministerial screening

The Senate resumed ministerial screening.

Ministerial nominee from Lagos state: Babatunde Raji Fashola

The ministerial nominee from Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola, appears before the Senate for his screening.

Fashola is the former minister of power, works, and housing and former governor of Lagos state.

"We left the ministry much better than we met it" - Fashola.

Buhari's ministerial nominee, Fashola, appears before Senate

Buhari's ministerial list: Live updates as Senate screens nominees (day 4)
Source: UGC

Fashola highlighting his achievements in the ministry.

During my first term as minister of power, we recovered 720 containers of electricity equipment abandoned at ports

"In our closing report,there was no state that were not executing a federal project," Fashola says.

He said at the time he left office, his ministry was working on roads in 14 universities

"We also had roads that decongested and led to ports."

Fashola concludes his remarks as Senators now take turns to ask him questions

Our resources are not enough to take care of our expenditures, Fashola says as he answers questions on why some key roads have not been rehabilitated.

He says lack of enough funds forces the ministry to prioritise some roads/projects over others.

Asnwering questions on power, Fashola says states are empowered by the law to generate and distribute power.

"Since privatisation occurred, the ministry of power ceased to be a major player in the sector. We only deal with regulatory issues now" - Fashola

Senator Rochas Okorocha, representing Imo west, says Fashola is having grey hair because the three ministries he handled in the first term were too large for one person.

Okorocha asks: "How much is required to tackle the issue of power?"

To stop the problem of incomplete (road) projects, Fashola advises lawmakers to collectively adopt priority projects to ensure swift delivery of the projects.

"There can be times when we won't have any new capital projects in the budgets so we can concentrate on the ones on ground. We can't do all we want at once."

Speaking on procurement, Fashola says: Our procurement laws is not compatible with the speed with which we want projects to be executed.

"The way our procurement law is enacted, it is the big contractors that can make the most money. Our law is holding us back."

Elisha Abbo, senator representing Adamawa north, asking his question, alleges that with the exception of Maiduguri, the northern region is excluded from the national railway project.

"I am not responsible for the rail project. It was under the ministry of transportation," Fashola replies Abbo.

After minutes of questioning, Senator Adeola Yayi, representing Lagos west, requests that Fashola be allowed to take a bow.

Senate president Ahmad Lawan allows Fashola to take a bow and leave the National Assembly.

Ministerial nominee from Kaduna state: Muhammed Mahmoud

The ministerial nominee from Kaduna state, Muhammed Mahmoud, appears before the Senate.

He talks about his educational experience, professional achievements as an environmentalists, public servants and his foray into politics.

As a former member of Kaduna House of Assembly, Mahmoud is asked to take a bow and go without questioning.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Osun state who is also a ministerial nominee, Rauf Aregbesola, has just arrived the National Assembly.

Ministerial nominee from Kwara: Gbemisola Saraki

Senator Gbemisola Ruqayat Saraki appears before the Senate for ministerial screening. She will be asked to take a bow and go as a former member of the House of Representatives and a senator.

Also, the Senate has not been questioning female ministerial nominee.

Gbemisola addressing the Senate.

She has been asked to take a bow and leave after her brief speech.

Senate suspends screening till 2pm

The Senate has suspended the screening and will resume at 2pm to continue. Six nominees are still left on the list of those to be screened today.

Senate resumes after one hour break

The Senate has resumed after taking one hour break.

Ministerial nominee from Osun state: Rauf Aregbesola

Rauf Aregbesola, former governor of Osun state, now appears before the Senate for screening.

Aregbesola begins his address, recognising senators on the floor.

"I bring here 39 years of post qualification experience and a huge dose of political orientation" - Aregbesola

Aregbesola says rumours of owed salaries in Osun during my tenure was due to mischief and ignorance.

"By 2014, our nation was in distress, and virtually all states had difficulty with salaries," he says.

"We came up with an approach that there is no month that any public official did not have salary every month."

Rochas Okorocha speaks after Aregbesola's concluding remarks.

"The coming of Rauf into the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is a blessing. He will talk if Mr President makes any mistake," Okorocha says.

Also speaking, Senator Theodore Orji, representing Abia central, asks Aregbesola for his view on multiple taxation and how it affects businesses.

Senator Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North takes the floor.

"Aregbesola gave me his entire salary to use for my chairmanship campaign in 2012. I appeal to Mr President to give him a big ministry," he says.

Aregbesola takes a bow and leaves the Senate.

Ministerial nominee from Cross River state: Goody Jeddy-Agba

Goody Jeddy-Agba, a ministerial nominee from Cross River state, is now appears before the Senate.

Jeddy-Agba, after his introductory speech is now fielding questions from senators.

"What do you think is the cause for these incessant pipeline explosions and what are your remedies," Thompson Sekibo, senator representing Rivers east, asks.

Sekibo also asks the nominee to tell the lawmakers why he resigned from NNPC five years before he was due for retirement.

Jeddy-Agba now responding to questions

Responding to Sekibo's question on why he retired 5 years before his time, he said he did that because he was redeployed to a redundant unit.

"I also decided to join politics but I failed woefully so I took on farming and was doing siddon dey look," he says

The only turn around maintenance Nigeria did for the refineries was like taking your Mercedes car to a motorcycle repairer, he says.

He continues: "Welders are brought in from Houston to work on pipelines. These welders are paid $10,000."

On subsidy

The solution to ending subsidy corruption is to revamp the refineries. Subsidy will disappear by itself when refineries are working. By that time, nobody will be able to claim landing cost, he says.

Ministerial nominee from Jigawa state: Suleiman Adamu

Suleiman Adamu, President Buhari's ministerial nominee from Jigawa state, is now before the Senate for his screening.

Adamu is the former minister of water resources. He is the sixth nominee to appear for the Senate today.

He was born in Kazaure local government area of Jigawa state in April 1963. He obtained a Bachelors degree in Engineering in 1984 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He also attended the University of Reading, United Kingdom where he obtained a Master Degree in Project Management in 2004.

Adamu is a fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE) and member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (MASCE).

Adamu making his introductory speech

"I was able to ensure that 10 LGAs in the country were declared open-defecation free in three years," says Adamu.

He complains about abandoned projects and how this had affected his work as former water resources minister. The nominee adds laments the proliferation of boreholes saying something has to be done about it.

Three senators are called by Lawan and they agree that he is a 'round peg in a round hole'. They also emphasise the nominees argument on the fact that projects should not be abandoned by any successive administration.

Ahmad Lawan notes that since the representatives of the state have spoken well about him, he would be given a favourable landing. He notes that the water resources bill which he sponsored was stood down by a former senator who is now going to work in the cabinet of President Buhari.

The nominee is asked to take a bow and go.

Ministerial nominee from Bauchi state: Ambassador Mariam Katagum

Ambassador Mariam Katagum, the second nominee from Bauchi state is ushered into the chamber.

The Senate president informs her that the chamber is gender-sensitive and would support her. She is then asked to address the chamber.

Mariam Katagum says she is privileged to be nominated as minister. She says throughout her career, she had served at the civil service thus having a wider knowledge of the country. She retired in 2012, but she served two terms as an ambassador and her tenure just ended.

She reels out the job she and others did in UNESCO where she was ambassador. She adds that she was the vice chairman of a very important board at the international organisation.

She shows the Senate a book she wrote on her activities at UNESCO. She pleads with the Senate to help ensure adequate funding for education, especially in the area of teachers.

Buhari's ministerial list: Live updates as Senate screens nominees (day 4)

Mariam Katagum addresses the Senate
Source: UGC

Ahmad Lawan calls on the minority leader to speak on behalf of the Senate. Abaribe describes her certificate as rich. He also calls on his colleagues to support her since he believes that she would be a good ambassador. He wishes her well and asks her to put Nigeria first.

The Senate leader also corroborates the minority leader. He pleads that she be allowed to take a bow and go.

Ahmad Lawan notes that Katagum is the last of the female nominees to be screened. He says the Senate's decision on soft landing for the female nominees had not been a mistake since they have all shown that they know what they are going to do as ministers.

He notes that while the nominee recalls how she attended a functional public school, the situation is no longer the same as at least 11 million children are out of school. He said the country needs serious government expenditure and investments to eliminate the out-of-school challenge facing the country.

He puts it to vote on whether the nominee should take a bow and go and the decision is favourable. The nominee takes a bow and is led out of the chamber.

Ministerial nominee from Edo state: Clement Agba

Prince Clement Agba is ushered into the chamber and is asked to address the Senate. He sas he first met President Buhari on November 8, 2016 when he visited Edo state to commission projects and then Governor Adams Oshiomhole gave him the opportunity to take the president two of his projects.

He specially recognises Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, who he called his lecturer in 1985 as a student in then Bendel state University

He says he told the president how the design of the projects was achieved even amid pessimism by some people that nothing could be done about the erosion challenges which he worked on. He notes that he has spent many years working in the oil and gas sector of the country.

He possesses two masters degrees in business administration, one from the University of Benin, Benin-City with specialization in management and the other from Arizona state university, Tempe, Arizona, USA with specialization in supply chain management.

The nominee also served as the commissioner in the Edo state ministry of environment and public utilities from January 23, 2009 to July 25, 2010.

Buhari's ministerial list: Live updates as Senate screens nominees (day 4)

Clement Agba from Edo addresses the Senate
Source: UGC

The nominee says Nigeria can fix its refineries and that the country has the needed capacities and capabilities to do this.

He also describes gully erosion as man-made and behavioural adding that Nigerian need to be enlightened on how to stop it as well as its consequences.

Lawan invites the three senators from Edo to speak on the nomination of Agba. They all agree that he has the capacity to contribute to the development of Nigeria under the administration of Buhari.

He is asked to take a bow and go. He takes a bow as instructed and is escorted out of the chamber.

Ministerial nominee from Enugu state: Geoffrey Onyeama

Geoffrey Onyeama is the immediate past minister of foreign affairs, whose renomination by President Buhari caused complaints by some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Enugu state.

He thanks Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve again. He says serving Buhari for three and half years as minister had been the high-point of his career.

He speaks on the killings of Nigerians in South Africa and how he met with the country's authorities. He says he discovered a trust deficit between the country's police and Nigerians resident there. He also discloses that he and the South African authorities came up with solutions to ensure the building of confidence.

Buhari's ministerial list: Live updates as Senate screens nominees (day 4)

Onyeama being screened at the Senate Credit: The Nation
Source: UGC

Onyeama says the South African government is not really complicit in the challenge and that there should be speed of action, part of which the former is working on.

He recalls what the immediate past administration of President Buhari achieved internationally while he headed the foreign affairs ministry with specific mention of Ghana, Benin and some others.

Lawan stresses that Nigeria cannot condone the killings in South Africa and that he had taken steps to reach out to the South African authorities over it. He asks what Onyeama thinks can be done about this.

Ovie Omo-Agege counters Onyeama's claim that the South African government is not complicit in the killings. According to him, the country's government has the responsibility to protect the lives and properties of every resident. He also complained about the welfare of workers at the Nigerian embassies, some of whom have not been paid for two years.

Aside this, Omo-Agege also notes the difficulties Nigerians face with the embassies.

Onyeama agrees that payment of salaries had been the bane of Nigeria's missions. According to him, the challenges facing the embassies are many and salary is just one of them. He says it is just necessary to reduce the amount of foreign missions and employees.

He also says the only way to resolve the issue of embassies collecting money from applicants and refusing to grant them visa is for Nigeria to reciprocate.

Former deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, commends Onyeama for his achievements as minister. He also gives his consent to his renomination and asks his colleagues to confirm him.

His colleague, Chimaroke Nnamani supports Ekweremadu in his prayer to his colleagues.

Onyeama is asked to take a bow and go. He does that and is ushered out of the chamber.

Ministerial nominee screening

After screening Geoffrey Onyeama, former foreign affairs minister, the Senate reverts from the committee of the whole.

Ahmad Lawan says three nominees including Lai Mohammed, former information minister, would be screened on Tuesday, July 30, to complete the list sent by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Lawan adjourns sitting of the Senate till Tuesday, July 30.

Source: Legit

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