The long wait will finally come to an end on Wednesday, as Nigeria’s ministers-designate will take oath of office at the Presidential Villa.
The stage is now set for the ceremony to take place but some of the ministers will not have portfolios, considering the merger of some ministries by the President.
Going by the plans of the Presidency, the ceremony may not be an elaborate one, as each minister-designate is allowed two guests.
In all, 36 ministers-designate have been confirmed by the Senate, but indications from the Presidency showed the ministries have been slashed to 25.
President Muhammadu Buhari seems to be driving his reforms very fast as reports have emerged that he has ordered the mass retirement of 17 Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was fired and replaced by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Magu.
Over the last months, the Permanent Secretaries had been holding several meetings with the President, an indication that they were giving the President their last briefs.
Analysts see this move as part of the President’s plans to shrink the ministries to cut overhead costs for his government.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of 18 new Permanent Secretaries in Nigeria’s Federal Civil Service, replacing earlier sacked ones.
The President also approved the deployment of the Permanent Secretaries, collapsed some Ministries and announced the establishment of new ones.
If the deployments are anything to go by, the President might work with 25 ministries, seven less than the 32 that his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan operated. 25 of the 36 permanent secretaries were deployed to ministries, while 11 were deployed to various offices in The Presidency, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The new ministries are; Information and Culture, Budget and National Planning, Agriculture and Rural Development.
Mr Femi Adesina, said that the appointments and deployments were with immediate effect.
Ministries that may have been scrapped or merged with others include Aviation, Lands and Urban Development, Trade and Investment, Police Affairs, Youth Development, Interior, Tourism and Communication Technology.
The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are Mrs Ayotunde Adesugba, Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Mr Taiwo Abidogun, Dr. Bukar Hassan, Mrs Wakama Belema Asifieka, Mr Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Mr Sabiu Zakari, Mrs Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi and Mr Aminu Nabegu.
Others are Mr Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele, Mr Alo Williams Nwankwo, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, Mr Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu, Mrs Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa, Mr Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, Mr Bassey Apkanyung, Mr Louis Edozien and Dr. Ugo Roy.
A statement by Mr Adesina gave a breakdown of the deployment, as approved by President Buhari.
Breakdown of Deployment
- Dr. Shehu Ahmad – Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development
- Arch Sunday Echono – Federal Ministry of Communications
- Alh. Sabiu Zakari – Federal Ministry of Transportation
- Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba – Federal Ministry of Information & Culture
- Amb. Danjuma Sheni – Federal Ministry of Defence
- Dr. Shade Yemi-Esan – Federal Ministry of Education
- Mrs. Fatima Mede – Budget & National Planning
- Alh. Mahmoud Isa Dutse – Federal Ministry of Finance
- Amb. Bulus Lolo – Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Dr. Amina Shamaki – Federal Ministry of Health
- Mr. Aliyu Bisalla – Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment
- Mr. Bassey Akpanyung – Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Mr. Taiwo Abidogun – Federal Ministry of Justice
- Dr. Habiba Lawal – Federal Ministry of Science & Tech.
- Dr. Clement Illoh – Federal Ministry of Labour & Productivity
- Dr. Jamila Shu’ara – Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources
- Mrs. Binta Bello – Federal Ministry of Women Affairs
- Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye – Federal Capital Territory
- Mrs. Rabi Jimeta – Federal Ministry of Water Resources
- Dr. Bukar Hassan – Federal Ministry of Environment
- Mrs. Wakama B. Asifieka – Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs
- Mr. Istifanus Fuktur – Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals
- Mr. Christian Ohaa – Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports
- Engr. A.G. Magaji – Federal Ministry of Works & Housing
- Mr. Louis Edozien – Federal Ministry of Power
- Mr. Jalal Arabi – State House
- Mr. Mohammed Bukar – General Services Office, OSGF
- Mr. Abbas Mohammed – Ecological Fund Office, OSGF
- Dr. Ugo Roy – Council Secretariat
- Mr. Aminu Nabegu – Special Services Office, OSGF
- Amb. Bamgbose Akindele – Political Affairs Office, OSGF
- Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo – Economic Affairs Office, OSGF
- Mrs. Obiageli Nwokedi – Special Duties Office, OSGF
- Mr. Innocent Ogbonnaya -Career Management Office, OHCSF
- Mr. S.K.Y. Adelakun – Common Services Office, OHCSF
- Mrs. N. Batagarawa – Service Policy & Strategies Office, OHCSF
President Buhari had earlier ordered the mass retirement of 17 Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service.
Why were they fired?
Though no reason was given for the retirement of the permanent secretaries, Vanguard reported that ahead of unfolding the new structure today, President Buhari made it clear to the permanent secretaries that his administration did not need more than half of the existing ministries. According to a source, all permanent secretaries who had put in more than four years were dropped.
Similarly, those known to have questionable records of service were also not spared the sweeping changes
The slash in the number of permanent secretaries is in line with the recommendations of the Ahmed Joda Transition Committee Report, which recommended that the Buhari administration should reduce the number of ministries and adopt cost-saving measures to revive the Nigerian economy. The Joda Committee had recommended that existing ministries should be pruned to only 19 while some Ministries, Departments and agencies, MDAs, not covered by law in Nigeria, should be scrapped.