Team Jonathan: The nation’s touch bearers and the challenges ahead

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala


Nigeria  is currently facing a lot of challenges. This explains  the present  anxiety among citizens  about the performance direction of  the present administration.    Nigerians are indeed full of expectations about what  the   administration has   to offer  in view of the  enormous challenges confronting the nation.

There are economic and security issues. And what everyone wants is   a practical  solution. One thing that is clear  is that Nigerians  do not doubt  the ability   of President Goodluck Jonathan  to fix this country once and for all.

This was what informed the  choice of many , particularly the youths  in the last presidential election.

What this  implies is  that the administration has to perform. Over the years, Nigerians  have  suffered bad leadership with economic promises that never saw the light of the day.

Trillions of Naira were budgeted for projects that if executed could change lives. But in most cases, it was all failure or haphazard delivery. The  reasons for failure cannot be far fetched.  Most of the nation’s leaders have been enmeshed  in corruption that what goes into private pockets has been   the attraction to public office  other  than  genuine  commitment to development.

That is why   many  who have tested public office have suddenly become super rich as a result of corruption. This is at a time when    the  citizens are walloping in abject poverty.

What could be so worrisome is that anti-corruption war of the  Economic and Financial Crime Commission of the  government appears to be nothing much to write home about.  And this is because the picture being painted is that of political trial with  the issue of plea-bargain arrangement in which  offenders simply agree to their crime unofficially and are allowed to refund part of their loot  and go free.

This has rubbished the essence of the war as many will continue to loot the economy  at will. The result is that in many parts of the country, there is infrastructural decay that has made life miserable for many Nigerians, especially the lower class.

In many places, federal   roads are death traps, yet billions of Naira are  budgeted  every year for  road projects. The chaotic traffic congestion   on Oshodi/Apapa Expressway  is a clear  example. It takes between 3-4  hours for workers  coming  from  Mile 2 area of Lagos to arrive Apapa. For workers who are expected to spend  8-10 hours in the office, they end up spending   most of the working hours on the road.

This is  for a journey that should not take more than 10 minutes if there is no hold up. Because of this scenrio,  some transporters returning empty containers to the Seaport spend days on the road   to be  able to deliver.

There are other places like Apapa-Oshodi road.

Every year, one notices the presence of  road contractors, but the problem has remained. Ore -Benin  road is  also a  nightmare for travelers. This is equally the same for  Onitsha –Enugu road. It takes passengers  traveling  from Lagos to the East at least  14-16 hours to arrive their  destinations in what should not have been more than 7 hours. There are other places like that in  other parts  of  the  country.

Nigeria Flag flying

Nigeria as major oil producer has over a decade been importing refined petroleum products, because the refineries have hardly  worked. Efforts made by successive governments to fix the refineries  failed. As a crude oil producer, indications are that  what is stolen  by  the mafia in the industry is close or more than what is sold on daily basis. Records have it that  Nigeria currently loses    about 600,000 barrels of crude oil daily. This amounts to    $14.5bn, and estimated as       more than 10 per cent of Nigeria’s annual GDP. The  Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)  had in 2009  disclosed that Nigeria lost about 1.7million barrels of crude oil in two months. And between 2005 and 2008, 236 vessels were reported to have been arrested for illegal bunkering.Till date, illegal bunkering has remained, and so the nation continues to lose so much revenue  to few individuals, some foreigners,  in what can best be described as economic tragedy that Nigerians are going through. Nigerians are definitely  expecting that the present administration  will address all these problems. This was  among the reasons for voting in Jonathan.  Already, some  hold the view that Nigeria is a  failed state based on these  problems. Those who hold this view seem to be saying the obvious, considering the  wealth of the nation all these decades, yet nothing  much to show for it in terms of infrastructure. President Goodluck Jonathan has already debunked  this view. But it is not enough. Nigerians expect  to be proved  wrong, and this means that the President and  his team have  to  work hard to fix  the country.

Nigerians are equally expectant that the issue of epileptic power will be addressed once and for all. Addressing the power issue holds a lot of keys to job openings, and will definitely make the economy buoyant.  Many businesses  have collapsed as a  result of poor power supply, and the  huge cost involved in using private power generation. Right now, Nigeria generates about 3,000 mw, in what has become almost nothing compared with the electricity needs of Nigerians. Expectations are that in  the next  four years of this administration, the country should be able to generate at least  20,000mw of electricity. This will promote economic growth and lighten  the country. This is  part of the  challenges of this administration.

There are other issues, like decades of flawed elections. The recent general election has been described as  a step in the right direction. Expectations are that it will  even be better  in 2015.

Perhaps, what is more worrisome now  is the current security crisis in some parts of the North.  The crises and killings in the North after each election  are condemnable and a big threat to  the unity of this country.

Goodluck Jonathan

Similarly,  the Boko Haram  phenomenon has become a major issue that is threatening peace in the country. It is expected that this will be addressed with all the wisdom of government.  Nothing less is expected considering the resultant effect of failure of government to end these security issues.

The Team:

President Jonathan recently announced his team who will drive the economy to achieve  desired results. Members of the team  are men and women of integrity,  professionals of high standard expected to change  the ways things have been over the decades. They are  expected to  introduce measures that  will boost the economy in  all ramifications. Such measures will    address infrastructural decay, power sector quagmire, bad roads, corruption  and  now threatening issue of Boko Haram  and other sect  or  religious upheavals.

 Dr.Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,  Finance Minister:

Nigeria’s  Finance Minister, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a  woman of esteemed vision. She  is a technocrat and  a woman of strong will. Those   who worked with her in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo  can tell better.   At 52, she is leaving  World Bank as Managing Director to  come and offer  her contributions to her fatherland. She is expected  now with all her experience  to come and  drive economic development.  With the dwindling world economy that has affected all countries,  including Nigeria, she is  indeed a good  choice for the ministry.  She  holds Doctorate Degree in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of  Technology   in United States. She is equally a product  of  Havard University.  Her  father  was a renowned  economist and professor.

She is expected to join  in the war against economic indiscipline among ministries and states, including corruption among public officers who collect allocations for job execution and end up diverting them to private pockets. She is expected to introduce fiscal measures  that will  boost the economy,  check inflation,  and  boost the economies of the finance industry. Okonjo-Iweala who has received many awards,  spent three years in Obasanjo’s administration during which she left an indelible mark.  She  negotiated  with the Paris Club to secure a debt relief of $18billion for Nigeria. Many believe that her second coming as Minister is a big boost to Jonathan’s administration considering her transparency in all economic issues.  Among the   challenges is for her to enforce  reduction  in recurrent spending and deficit budgeting.

Senator  Idris Umar; Transport Minister

Umar, former member of the House of Representatives for two terms,  senator from 2007 to 2011,  is  a lawyer from Gombe State. He  is coming at a time when the Transport  industry is facing a lot of challenges.  He is expected to champion  the establishment of  National Transport Commission, as a regulator in the transport sector. The commission is expected  to perform roles  that will    checkmate  all operators in the ports industry, including concessionaires and shipping companies  who are being accused of imposing illegal charges on importers. Born  December  28,1959, Umar is also expected to  continue with the rail projects,  to such an extent that major cities are linked.     All the ports  in the  country  are expected to be linked    with  rails to ease the congestion in the roads leading to the seaports. The current nightmare being suffered by   workers and business men in Apapa is also a challenge to the Minister.  Among others, he is expected to influence an end  to this nightmare through the completion of the ongoing road project  on roads leading  to and out of the Apapa port. The development of the nation’s shipping industry is also a challenge to the minister in terms of ensuring that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)  performs  this statutory  role. NIMASA was established specifically to drive indigenous  shipping development in the country.      Seen  as a grassroot politician,  many believe that he will  introduce policies that will  lift the transport industry.

Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi – Aviation Minister: 

At a time that the aviation industry  is described  as having many difficulties  with airlines  not breaking even,   and currently collecting bail-out funds,  Princess Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, no doubt  has an enormous task ahead. The infrastructure  decay in many of the airports,  aviation fuel scarcity  and workers’ warpath with  some of the concessionaires  are among these challenges. Although  she is  an expert in the   petroleum sector,   she does not seem  to have   experience in the aviation sector. This means  that she will   have to   study  the industry.  She will be  expected to  tackle safety issues  and other key infrastructure in the airports. She is expected to introduce modern touch at the airport facilities to bring them in line with world standards. She is also expected to ensure that  airfares are brought under control  for customer satisfaction  without compromising  profitability of the airlines.  She   was  born in 1962 in Onitsha, Anambra State, and holds Master’s Degree in Accounting and Business  Administration. She established    Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Limited after leaving NNPC in 1992.

 Petroleum Minister:  Diezani  Allison Madueke

The petroleum industry remains the engine room of the nation.  It holds key to the survival of the nation’s economy in many respects. A  brief profile of the Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison –Madueke,   shows that she  is no doubt equipped for this task. Mrs  Allison –Madueke  is returning to the  petroleum industry for the second time.  She is an alumna of Howard  University and Cambridge University in the United States of America and Britain. She   had put in several    years working for Shell before  she was appointed as Minister of  Transport in 2007. She was later redeployed  to the Ministry of Mines and  Steel  before she was moved to the Ministry of  Petroleum.

One major task confronting the   Minister,   is how to make the refineries work permanently. This  means  also that the country will have to end the decade  of refined petroleum  importation.   She also has the challenge of  the Petroleum Industry Bill and  the planned removal of  oil subsidy.

It also expected  that her Ministry has to sustain  the availability of  fuel as against the scarcity that  Nigerians suffered in the past. She also has the  task of ensuring that the  scam going on in the oil industry in terms of  crude oil theft is checked.

Chief Emeka Wogu: Labour Minister

Emeka Wogu  is coming to the Labour Ministry for the second time.  The task before Wogu is ability to control the volatile labour which   remains  in a position to bring down any government if not well handled. The first challenge  that government appears to have handled  is the issue of  the N18,000 minimum wage.  Yet, the matter is not  over, as some states appear not to have fully agreed that they can pay the new minimum wage.

But beyond this, the labour Ministry has to  work hard  in addressing the unemployment  situation in the country. It is a terrible thing that many graduates  have over the years remained without jobs. Expectations are that the Ministry  should work on  ensuring that the various measures  being made by the Federal Government to provide employment for  the teeming unemployed youths are realistic and not just on papers. At  the end of the administration, Nigerians will be taking a stock of how many people were able to gain employment.

Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafa:  Minister of  Environment

The issues of climate change  and flooding of many areas in the country  are among the challenges of the new  Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafa. There  is also the issue of erosion   in the South East and other  parts of the country.

In the  past few weeks,  it has been a nightmare for  some residents in  Lagos, Ogun  and some parts of the North, including Rivers State. The effect of the flood is  poverty, homelessness,  possible scarcity of food  as some farmers in the North have already said their farms were destroyed. Expectations are also  that  the Ministry  lives up to its statutory roles of  protecting   wildlife, air, water and forest.   It  is expected that the objectives of  Environmental Renewal and Development Initiative, which include taking full  inventory of all natural resources  to assess the level of environmental damage  introduced  by the Ministry  are realized.  Those who know the Minister when she was a staff of M-Tel  and the Nigerian Extraction and  Transparency Initiative, say  she is capable of the  task before her Ministry.

Dr Olusgun Olutoyin Aganga – Minister of Trade and Investment

Aganga was  former Minister of Finance  before  his current  appointment. He had to give way  for the Managing Director of World Bank, Dr. Mrs  Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

As  the new Minister of  Trade and  Investment, there  is no doubt that Aganga has a lot of challenges.   He is expected to attract a lot of investments into the country, and improve  bilateral trade  relations between Nigeria and other countries. Aganga was  Born  in 1955 at   Sabongida Ora in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State .   He attended  University of Ibadan, Nigeria where he obtained a B.Sc Degree in Biological Sciences in 1977 . He qualified  as a Chartered Accountant in 1983.  He also attended  the University of Oxford, United Kingdom where he obtained a degree in Theology in 2000. He has worked     in Arthur Young in Nigeria, Ernst & Young in London UK, and Goldman Sachs International in London, where he was Managing Director inhedge funds.  He was also   a Board member of the Nigerian Security and Exchange CommissionTechnical Committee on Nigerian Capital Market Structure and a former Chairman of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) Prime Brokerage Committee.   Aganaga also established the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) in Nigeria.  With his wealth of experience, it is expected that he will  deliver in the  President’s transformation agenda.

 Elder Godsday Orubebe   Minister of Niger Delta

Orubebe has no  doubt contributed immensely in  achieving peace in the Niger Delta  in the past one of two years.  His second coming as Minister is  seen as  the tonic to  sustain the  relative peace  that has been achieved in the zone.  Expectations are that he should pursue the   many developmental needs of the Niger Delta.   During his screening at the Senate, Orubebe said the framework for the development of the Niger Delta has been completed.  It is expected that  he will ensure that this is implemented.   This will give the people of the  Niger Delta  a  higher sense of belonging and permanently heal the wounds of the past.

One task before the Minister is to  address the issue of  the disconnect between his Ministry and  development agencies in the  area. Although, he  claimed that there is no disconnect, it is expected that there should be greater synergy between his ministry and  NDDC, OMPADEC.    There are  about 1.450  youths that are currently undergoing training in oil and gas, maritime and agriculture  to make them self reliant and dissuade them from taking up arms  as was the case before. It is expected that this programme should be sustained.

Zainab  Ibrahim Kuchi –  Minister of State, Niger Delta

Kuchi was until her appointment a business  woman. She was  President/Chief Executive of  Daralkuchi Group of  Companies. She was also  a member of the  Executive Committee of the Global Shea Alliance, an association of industry stakeholders in the  shea sector. She is  described by those who know her as  rich  managerial skills. It is expected therefore that  she will contribute immensely  in  driving development in the Niger Delta to sustain the peace there. It is expected that  she will join in identifying the  developmental needs of the people and  address them in what will heal the wounds of decades of marginalisation that gave rise to the  militant attacks in the past.

Mrs Omobola Olubusola Johnson – Minister of Communication:

Mrs Johnson is the first  to head Ministry  of Communication which  was created recently as part of the transformation agenda of the government.  Until her appointment, she was  Managing Director,  Accenture Nigeria, earlier known as  Anderson Consulting which she joined in 1985. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in  Electrical  an Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester. She also holds  a Master’s degree in Digital Electronics from Kings College, London. Among the challenges of the new Minister is how to drive the broadband revolution to achieve cheap and efficient communication. She is expected to consolidate  on the gains recorded over the past  decade  that GSM  came into the country. She is expected to  make realistic the broadband policy,  so that it can be used to  drive the economy.

She is also expected to find a solution to the multiplicity of agencies that have clashing roles in both the communication and technology sectors.   These agencies include  Nigerian Communication Commission, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission,  National Information Technology Development Agency, Galaxy Backbone Plc, National Spectrum  Board  and Nigerian Communication  Satellite  Company. She is equally expected to ensure that telecoms companies are up and doing in their service delivery.

Prof Ruqayyatu Rufai  –  Minister of Education

Prof Rufai  is believed to have   shown  sign of performance   as immediate past Minister of Education, and many believe that this was what may  have earned her a second time as Minister of the same Ministry.  She was  former Dean, Faculty   of Education at the Bayero University . She  was former Commissioner of Education and Science,   Jigawa State .

Prof Rufai has so much challenges with the falling standard  of education in  the country.  The results announced by   NECO and WAEC  in  recent past   have not been impressive. Similarly, many have noticed falling standard of education in  the tertiary institutions. The Ministry of Education is expected  to work hard in addressing this problem.

Besides this development, the  education enrolment in the Northern part of the country gives much for concern.   This is something the Ministry of Education can improve  by working with the   states involved.

The other issue is the national policy on education which is currently suffering a lot of bureaucracies.

Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe  –  Minister of Water Resources

As a human rights activist, Mrs. Ochekpe,   will no doubt do so much for the country in the area of  provision of  pipe-borne water  for the people. She is expected to introduce  water projects, including   dam irrigation projects for agricultural use.   Born in 1961,  in Benue  State , Ochekpe  is married  to Mr Ochekpe,an   indigene of Plateau state.  He  graduated from the University of Jos , where she obtained  Bachelor of  Arts  and Master’s Degrees in Political Science.

As Minister of Water Resources, Ochekpe is expected to play a vital role   in  hydro-electric projects, including the proposed Mambilla power  plant.

 Hajiyya Zainab Maina – Women Affairs Minister

Hajiyya Maina is coming on board of Jonathan’s administration at a time that women are clamouring for more  engagement in politics. Perhaps, it was this agitation that may have contributed to the appointment of 13 Ministers by the present administration. But  Maina has more challenges   getting  women to  accept the realities of politics, and that is that politicians are not spoon-fed, they work for it. The Women Affairs Minister has the task of convincing women to even  support their own sex, as this has been the opposite,  recalling the  last PDP  presidential primary when Mrs  Sera Jubril  never got any vote from women ,except her own. It is often said that women are their own enemies in Nigeria , and this is what  the Minister has to correct.  Maina is from Adamwa state. She attended Kaduna Polytechnic where she got a Diploma in  Administration and  Higher National Diploma in Catering and Hotel Management. She also holds  Certificates in Secretarial Studies  and  Institution Building Activities from the Federal Training Centre, Kaduna and   Centre for Development and Population , Washington DC , United States . She has been board chairman of many financial  and educational institutions. She has the  task of improving education for   the female sex in the Northern part of the country.

Ms. Amal Inyingiala Pepple – Minister of Lands and Housing

With   rich background in the  Civil Service,  the choice of Ms Pepple    as Lands an Housing Minister is not misplaced.  She was  Director of Federal Civil Service,    Director Economic Affairs Office, Presidency. She was   also a former  Lecturer in Political Science,  Rivers State College of Education where she started her career. She was also  Deputy Secretary, Constituent Assembly, Secretary National Assembly Provisional Office,     Clerk Designate Senate National Assembly. She later became   Clerk of the  Senate. She  graduated in 1975 with a First Class  in  Political Science, from the University of Ife ,  now Obafemi   Awolowo  University. She also obtained Master’s Degree from  the School of Oriental and African Studies, London . She was  former Head of Service of the Federation and retired in 2009.

One of the challenges before her is to ensure that the Land Use Act is reformed. She is also expected to transform the  housing policy in the country with  provision of low income houses for teeming civil servants.

Olajumoke  Akinjide –  Minister of State FCT, Abuja

Born in 1959, Olajumoke is the daughter of the former Attorney General of the Federation,  Chief Richard Akinjide. She holds Bachelor of Law from  Kings College , London and Master’s Degree  in Law from Havard   University.  She was in 2001 appointed   Special Assistant to the President on  the Federal Capital Territory . She contested the senatorial seat in Oyo  in the last general election    but lost.  An indigene of Oyo,  she    also practised  law in her father’s law firm, Lagos , and London before  she was appointed Special Assistant to the President in 2001.

She is expected to contribute in restoring the Abuja Master Plan.

Erelu Olusola Obada –Minister  of State, Defence

Erelu Obada is trained  a lawyer, an immediate deputy governor of Osun State . With the current security threat in the country following the latest Boko Haram  episode, there is no doubt that so much is expected from the Ministry of Defence.  So much is expected of the   Defence Ministry, even in  ensuring that the Niger Delta remains  peaceful  for investors to do business. While the crisis  in Plateau is coming down, the  Ministry of Defence  has  the duty of  sustaining peace in the area.

Prof Viola Onwuliri –Minister  of  State,Foreign Affairs

 Onwuliri is a professor of  Biochemistry and was running mate to former governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State .  She will work with   Amb.Olugbenga Ashiru as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The recent general election  has  no doubt improved Nigeria ’s image abroad. But so much still  needs to be done in projecting   Nigeria ’s image abroad. This is the task before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The Ministry is expected to continue to propagate the nation’s transformation agenda to the international community.

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi – Minister of Youths   Development          

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, a former   Commissioner for Education,   Science and Technology Kwara State under the administration of  Dr Bukola Saraki, was also a senior Editor with Thisday  Newspaper. He holds BSc   degree from the University of Lagos and Master’s Degree (Distinction)   in Governance and Development from the University of  Sussex. Abdullahi, brilliant and outspoken is 42 years old. He    had a success story  for the period  he served Kwara  State as   Commissioner.  He is coming to the Ministry of Youths Development  at a time when many graduates  are roaming the streets of  Nigeria without jobs. He  is expected to introduce  youth development programmes that will address the issue of unemployment in the country.

Haliru  Bello Mohammed  Defence Minister

Bello   was a former  Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Born in  Birnin Kebbi, 1945, he was Commissioner for  Agriculture between 1977 and 1979 in the old Sokoto State. He was also Vice Chairman, PDP, North-West Zone. He was also  in  2008 Deputy National  Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party.

Among the   challenges before Bello is to bring to an end  the    massacre  being perpetrated against innocent people in Maiduguri, Borno State, and other parts of the Northern State. There  is also the  Plateau ethnic and religious crises  that need to be checked. It is also expected that  though the Niger Delta  is calm,  there is the need for the government to keep an eye on the area.

 Abba Moro –Minister of Interior

 He was a former Students  Union activist  at the Ahmadu Bello  University, Zaria.  He was also  former Chairman,  Opokwu Local Government or four terms. He equally served as Director General of David Mark’s re-election  campaign  organisation.. He is  expected to also work hard to address the issue of security in the country.  He is expected to consolidate on the reform agenda in the Nigerian prisons.

Bukar Tijani Minister of State, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Before his appointment Tijani  was  the National  Project Coordinator, Third Fadama Development Project, a world bank funded  project. He is expected to  contribute his wealth of experience   in agric development in the country. This is moreso with the  climate change that  may affect  agriculture.    Already, prices of food items   are on daily basis shooting to the roof as a result of poor yields from farms. But above all, the Ministry of Agric is expected to introduce a programme that will make  the  country  have  food sufficient instead of relying on importation.

Prof Ita Okon Bassey  Ewa, Science and Technology Minister

Ewa is an indigene of  Oron in Akwa Ibom State. He is purely a member of the academia.

He is expected to introduce    programmes that will see Nigeria as  boasting of technological  advancement among  developed countries .

 Bala Mohammed – FCT Minister

Mohammed who hails from  Bauchi is former Minister of  FCT Abuja. He is expected to  ensure that  the Federal Capital Territory  is  developed   like other advanced countries in the world.  As former Minister of FCT,  Bala is no doubt in a familiar terrain. He is  also expected to ensure that  the Abuja master plan is  realized.

Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu – Minister of Health

Chukwu who hails from Ebonyi State  was former Minister of Education.  He is professor of medicine. He is a fellow of  West African College of Surgeons and a fellow of International College of Surgeons. Born in 1962 in Yaba, Lagos, Chukwu is expected to  transform the  nation’s health  policy. One major concern of many Nigerians is the rising number of people who seek medical attention  outside the country     as result of  dearth of  medical facilities in our hospitals. Chukwu and his team need to   change this trend by equipping teaching hospitals in  the country and also making medical services affordable to all.

Mike Onolememen –  Works Minister

He was a member of the  Interim  Management Committee of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).  He  was said to have supervised  the PTF  Directorate   of Project Management. He is described as    scholar, politician, teacher, architect and project manager. As the Minister of Works, so much is expected of him at time when most of the Federal Government roads are in a state of disrepair.  He is expected to  take up the  Ore-Benin-Onitsha- Enugu  Express road among other federal  road projects  in the country.     In the past, the government  spent hundreds of  billions of  Naira  on roads without anything to show for it. Expectations are that this  trend is not repeated under the present administration.

Shamsudeen Usman – National Planning Minister

Shamsudeen was   former Minister of National Planning and also Chairman of the Steering Committee  on  Vision 2020. He was also former Minister of Finance. Born in 1949 in Garangamawa, Kano State, so much is expected of him with his health of experience.  The nation’s database  is said to be nothing to write home about, a development, experts say affects our planning. The new Minister is expected to address  this issue for the economic development of the country.

 Mohammed Musa Sada –  Minister of Mines and  Steel Development

Sada, politician,  hails from Katsina State.  The importance of mines and    steel  cannot be over-emphasisized. This is considering the many needs of these  natural resources. One expects that the new Minister will embark  on an  aggressive programme to  develop the steel  and mines sector  because of their importance to the national economy.   With coal in Enugu, Kogi and Benue, among others,  one expects that the  Minister   attracts investors to develop the sector.

Mohammed Adoke (SAN)  – Minister of Justice

Adoke is an indigene of Kogi State. He   was a legal practitioner in Kaduna State. He was also immediate past Attorney General of the Federation.  Born in 1963, he  graduated  at   Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is expected to pursue the  law reform programme  of the government, and ensure that  the justice system works in the country.

 Mr Labaran Maku – Minister of Information

Maku was one time Deputy Governor of  Nasarawa State. He was also former Minister of Information.  He served former President Umaru Yar’adua before   his reappointment  in  Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.  He was former students union activist, and a senior Editor in  Champion Newspapers. He was also Commissioner for Information in Nasarawa State in  1999. Apart from the  information dissemination of the government,  Maku needs to  promote  the FOI  law in the federal government ministries and  parastatals  because of the bureaucracy    in the  civil service.

 Samuel Iorer  Ortom, Minister of State , Trade and Investment

Chief Dr Ortom  is from Gbajimba Gumba Local Government Area of Benue State. He admitted that he was once a motor tout before he  went to the University.  He was national auditor of PDP. With his background,   it is expected that he will contribute immensely in  the economic development of the country.  He will join in promoting trade and  investments in the country  that will in turn  usher in job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths.

 Olugbemga Ashiru – Foreign   Minister

As a career Diplomat, Ashiru was also  Nigeria’s  High Commissioner  to the Republic of South Africa. He holds BA Degree in History from the University of  Lagos in 1972.  He is expected to  repackage the country’s foreign policy  as well as improve the nation’s bilateral  trade agreements  with other countries. In the past, Nigeria’s image abroad has been so bad, and he is expected to disseminate  the current democrat dividends   as well as  allay the fears of  many foreigners that Nigeria is  not in crisis   as some may  see Boko Haram episode.

 Olusola Obada – Minister of State, Defence

Obada was immediate  past Deputy Governor of Osun State.  She ceded her  senatorial  ambition to  former  Senator Iyiola Omisore. She is also expected to contribute her quota in   ensuring security in the country. She will join in  addressing  security crises like Boko Haram and  keep a close watch on security threat across  the country.

 Dr.Lawan Yerima Nganga –Minister of State, Finance

He is a professional banker and worked as Director, Diamond Bank before  his appointment.  Nganga who hails from Yobe also worked  in  First Bank.  With his  background coming from the  finance sector,  he is seen as  suitable is his new position. He is expected to contribute   in introducing an economic package that will  improve Nigeria’s  foreign reserve  as well as other economic measures that will make the country buoyant.

 Bashir   Yuguda, Miniser of State, Works

He was former  Ambassador  to the United Arab  Emirates. He hails from  Zamfra State.

The task before him  include the worsening state of the federal roads.  With many  federal roads now death traps,  expectations are high for the  Works Ministry to make Nigeria proud by  tacking this problem once and for all.

 Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman – Sports Minister

Suleiman was Transport Minister  before his redeployment to the  Spots Ministry.   He was also former Director, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). He was born in 1963. Suleiman hails from Sokoto, and was first appointed Minister in  2010.  He graduated   from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria  where he obtained B.Sc  Degree in  Business Administration in 1986. He also obtained MBA  from  the same university in 1989.

 Dr  Mohammed  Pate – Minister of  State Health

Pate who hails from the  North East,  was the former Director of the National  Primary Healthcare Development  Agency, a position many believe may have  equipped him so much in  the present position.  He is expected to join Prof Chukwu in changing the  current  state  of poor health facilities and services  in the country.

 Mr Nyesom Wike  – Minister of State, Education

Wike  was former   Chief of Staff to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. He was   also Director-General of his re-election campaign.  He is expected  to  contribute  in addressing the crisis in the  education sector, especially the falling education standard.

 Dr Akinwunmi   Ayo Adesina – Minister of Agriculture

Adesina was  former Associate Director at the Rockefeller  Foundation’s Agricultural  Sciences Division. He is a renowned economist with over 20 years  experience in African agriculture.  He  has  a B Sc in agricultural economics (first class ) from  Obafemi Awolowo  University.  An indigene  of Ogun State, he holds   PhD in Agricultural economics from   Purdue  University, USA.   With his wealth of experience, he is no doubt equipped for the agric revolution in the country.

 Mr Edem Duke, Minister of Culture and Tourism

Duke is from Cross River. He  is a tourism expert.  He is expected to transform the country’s tourism industry.  Shortly on assuming office, he was quoted  as  assuring  that he will  transform the sector.  He    described tourism  sector as a goldmine    that could be a ‘frontier of growth and development of the nation’s economy’