Buhari And The Coming Penny-Pinching Era

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It was Shehu Shagari who first introduced the idea of having Ministers of in a presidential system of government. He could be excused for the introduction, for he was a graduate of the First Republic when junior ministers were allowed during the parliamentary system.

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Section 135 subsection 2 of the 1979 Constitution made provisions for nomination of ministers and not ministers of state. Since President Shagari made that initial mistake, every elected president in Nigeria had followed suit.

On October 18, 1979, he nominated the following ministers for Senate approval–ministers with cabinet rank: M. Mohammed Ibrahim Hassan (Bauchi); M. Adamu Ciroma (Borno); Mr. Isaac Shaahu and Mr. Paul Unongo (); Prof Iya Abubakar (Gongola); Alhaji Umaru Dikko and Prof. Ishaya Audu (Kaduna); Alhaji Bello Maitama Yusuf (Kano); Alhaji Akanbi Oniyangi (Kwara); Alhaji Ndagi Mamadu (Niger); Mrs Adenike Ebun Oyagbola (); Mr. Samuel Adebisi Ogedengbe (Ondo); Chief Richard Akinjide (Oyo); Mr. John Jatau Kadiya and Mr. Gorge Baba Hoomkwap (Plateau); Mr. Victor Masi (); Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau (Sokoto); Mr. D.C. Ugwu and Mr.Chimezie Ikeazor (Anambra); Prof. Sunday Matthew Essang (Cross River); Mr. Israel Amadi Emina (Bendel); Dr. Sylvester Ugoh and Dr. I.I. Maduike (Imo), and Dr. Wahab Olaseinde Dosunmu ().

Other ministers with non-cabinet rank were Alhaji Ahmed Musa (Bauchi); Chief P. Bolokor (Bendel); Alhaji Asheikh Jarma (Borno); Alhaji Ali Baba (Gongola); M. Iro Abubakar Dan-Musa (Kaduna); Alhaji Bilyamin Usman (Kano); Mr. Ademola Thomas (Lagos); Chief Olu Awotesu (Ogun); Chief Mrs. J. Akinrinade (Oyo); Alhaji Ahmudu Nahuce (Sokoto); Chief E. Okoi-Obuli (Cross River); Mallam Mamman Ali Makele (Kwara); Mr. Cladius Agboola Bamgboye (Ondo), and Dr. Jakiri Igbani (Rivers).

Two days later at the Senate confirmation of the ministers at the committee stage, Senators Abraham Aderibigbe Adesanya, Jonathan Odebiyi, Emmanuel Kayode Ogunleye, David Olatunbosun Oke, Emeka Patrick Echeruo, Jaja Anucha Wachukwu, Obi Wali, Emmanuel Idahosa Akpata, Stephen Adebanji Akintoye and Senator F.O.M. Atake rejected the idea of junior ministers but because the National Party of Nigeria were in the majority at that time, President Shagari had his way.

Shortly after re-election, Shagari wrote to then Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas, seeking confirmation for 35 ministers.

In the letter dated October 17, 1983, he nominated the following: Chief Eleazar Chukwuemeka Anyaoku and Mr. John Nwodo Jnr.(Anambra); Alhaji Sule Katagum, Alhaji Ibrahim Tahir and Alhaji Magaji Mu’azu (Bauchi); Chief J.A. Orhorho and Mr. Ralph Uwechue (Bendel); Mr. Audu Ogbeh and Dr. E.Y. Atanu (Benue); Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Alhaji Muhammadu and Alhaji Haliru Dantoro (Borno), Dr. Simi Johnson (Lagos), Senator Idirisu Ibrahim (Niger), Chief Kehinde Sofola, SAN, Attorney-General of the Federation (Ogun); Dr. Bode Olowoporoku (Ondo); Chief S.M. Afolabi and Dr. Bimbo Akintola (Oyo); Alhaji Hassan Mohammed and Mr. Robert Doshun Gumut (Plateau); Chief Okoi-Obuli and Dr. A.J. Okonno (Cross Rivers); Alhaji Ali Baba and Mr. Paul Wampana (Gongola); Chief Emmanuel Adiele(Imo), Dr.Umaru Dikko and Alhaji Isma’ila Isa (Kaduna), Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, C.F.R., Alhaji Bilyamin Usman and Alhaji Hamisu Musa (Kano); Dr. Ishmael Igbani and Mrs. E. Diete-Spiff (Rivers); Alhaji Muhammadu Lugga, Alhji Idirisu Koko and Alhaji Bala Sokoto(Sokoto).

After seizing power from President Shagari on December 31, 1983, the then Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in January 1984 reduced the ministers to 15 without appointing any as ministers of state.

The following were his ministers: Maj Gen. Domkat Bali (Defence); Dr. Buka Shuaib (Agriculture); Dr Mammoud Tukur (Trade); Col. A. Abdullahi (Communications); Alhaji Yerima Ibrahim (Education); Dr. Onaolapo Sholeye (Finance); Major Gen. Mamman Jaya Vatsa (FCT, Abuja); Dr. Emmanuel Nsan (Health); Maj. Gen. Muhammed Magoro (Internal Affairs); Dr. Ibrahim Gambari (Foreign Affairs); Group Captain Sampson Omeruah (Information); Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim (Transportation); Prof. Tam David-West (Petroleum); Rear Admiral Patrick Koshoni (Works and Housing) and Chief Chike Offodile (Attorney General and Minister of Justice).

On seizing power from Buhari on December 31, 1984, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida increased the ministers to 22 on September 12, 1985.

The following were his ministers: Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development); Lt. Col. Tanko Ayuba (Communications); Maj. Gen. Domkat Bali (Defence Secretary and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff); Prof. Jubril Aminu (Education); Rear Admiral Patrick Koshoni (Employment, Labour and Productivity, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi (External Affairs); Maj. Gen. Mamman Vatsa (Federal Capital Territory); Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu (Finance); Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti (Health); Alhaji Lawal Mala (Industries); Lt. Col. Anthony Ukpo (Information); Lt Col. John Nanzip Shagaya (Internal Affairs); Prince Bola Ajibola (Justice); Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman (Mines and Power); Dr. Chu Okongwu (National Planning); Prof. Tam David-West (Petroleum Resources); Lt. Col. Ahmed Abdullahi (Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture); Prof. Emanuel Emovon (Science and Technology); Air Vice-Marshal Ishaya Aboi Shekari (Special Duties); Maj. Gen. Gado Nasko (Trade); Brig. Jeremiah Useni (Transport and Aviation) and Air Comdr Hamza Abdullahi (Works and Housing).

Between Gen Sani Abacha, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Abdulsalam Abubukar, ministers of states were appointed but their cabinets were not more than 26 ministers.

However, in 1999, it was President Olusegun Obasanjo who had the largest list of ministers to date with 51.

They are Alhaji Sani Zango Daura, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, Chief Chris Agbobu, Engr. Mustafa Bello, Alhaji Mohammed Adzika, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, Alhaji L. Ade. Haruna-Elewi, Mrs Modupe Adelaja, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Amb. Hassan Adamu, Mallam Lawal Tukur Batagarawa, Dr. Imeh T. Okopido, Arc. Ibrahim Bunu, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Mr. Solomon S.A. Ewuga, Sen. Jubril Martins-Kuye, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Dr. Tim N. Menakaya, Chief Dubem Oniya, Dr. (Mrs.) Aminat Ndalolo, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Chief Lawarence Nwuruku, Chief Dapo Sarumi, Chief S.M. Afolabi J.P., Prof. Jerry Gana, Dr. Mohammed Shata, Kanu Godwin Agabi (SAN), Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, Chief Phillip C. Asiodu, Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, Maj. Gen. David Jemibewon, Chief Bola Ige (SAN), Muhammed Bello Kirfi, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, Vincent Ogbulafor, Ibrahim Umar Kida, Chief Ebitimi E. Banigo, Engr. Dan Chuke, Mrs. Pauline K. Tallen, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, Dr. (Mrs.) Kemafo N. Chikwe, Dr. Bekky K. Igweh, Alhaji Bello Usman, Col. M. Bello Kaliel, Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Precious Ngelale J.P., Isaiah C. Balat, Hajia Aishatu M.S. Ismail, Damishi Tonson Sango and Mr. Yomi Edu.

Both President Umaru Yar’dua and outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan have since maintained the culture of appointing ministers of state.

However, one of the major tasks before the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, now is the compilation of his list of ministers.

Section 147 of the 1999 Constitution as amended dictates that he must have 36 ministers from the 36 states but the section does not dictate that he should have ministers of states.

Indeed, having a large cabinet might prove unwise.

Teniola, a former director at the presidency, stays in Lagos.



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