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Senate backtracks, says it’s not mandatory for Buhari to attach portfolios to ministerial nominees’ list

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The Senate on Friday said President Muhammadu Buhari is not under compulsion to attached portfolios to his ministerial nominees’ list, contrary to a resolution passed on the subject by the 8th Senate.

It would be recalled that the 8th Senate under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki had passed a resolution asking the President to indicate the portfolios that would be assigned to the ministerial nominees.

According to members of the 8th Senate, such an arrangement would enable the lawmakers to know the specific questions to ask the nominees.

Senator Bassey Akpan, representing Akwa Ibom North East, had reminded his colleagues of the resolution passed by the 8th Senate during one of the plenary sessions, to which he received satisfactory nods from other Senators.

According to Akpan, the best way to help the President put the right person in the right position was to know the specific ministry each nominee would handle when they appear for screening, asit will help lawmakers to assess the competence of the nominees.

However, the spokeman of the Senate, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, while speaking with reporters on Friday, said it was not mandatory for the President to attach portfolios to the ministerial nominees’ list.

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According to him, Presidents of advanced countries like the USA which subscribed to such practice still reserved the right to swap portfolios of their nominees before and after their inauguration.

He also argued that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a lawyer, performed well as minister of finance while the late Aminu Kano, a teacher, also did well as the minister of health.

He said: “It is not a constitutional prerequisite neither is it mandatory for the President to assign portfolios to the ministerial nominees.

“Also, Senate up till now has not made any law or any regulation that would insist on that.

“There is nothing, either in the Senate rules or in the Constitution that will compel the President to do that.”

He however admitted that attaching portfolios to ministerial nominees list would have assisted senators to ask specific questions but insisted that it was not necessary for the parliament to emphasise it.

“Our major concern is to identify the leadership qualities in the nominees being presented to us for screening”, he added.

Timothy Enietan-Matthews

Timothy is a versatile journalist, down to earth with a critical and curious mind.

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Timothy Enietan-Matthews

Timothy is a versatile journalist, down to earth with a critical and curious mind.

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