Tuesday, 13 October 2015

AT LAST... SEE 10 Ministerial Nominees Screened By Nigerian Senate

The Senate on Tuesday, October 13, screened 10 ministerial nominees from the first list sent by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It is believed that at least two out of the three senators from each state must endorse the nomination of a ministerial nominee before the confirmation can be carried out.

However, the endorsement by two senators of a ministerial nominee would not be the only yardstick for confirmation, as the Senate will consider other criteria.

But, with 21 nominees from ‘batch A’ and 16 nominees from ‘batch B’, the screening exercise is billed to take three days.

Ten ministerial nominees were announced before noon, but shortly after the resumption of the plenary, the Senate moved into close-door session.

Speaking to newsmen, Dino Melaye, the spokesman of the upper chamber and the chairman of the Senate adhoc committee on publicity, said: “The decision to move into close sessions is because Senators want to meet first. We want to agree that those who have been members before, will be prioritized. We also want to look at the additional nomination, and adopt a modality for the screening process.

He continued: ”I want to assure Nigerians that the closed door session will be very short, and in the next one hour, the senate will proceed with the screening exercise.”

The senator was right. The closed-door session was short and the following order of screening has been announced:

1. Udo Udoma (Akwa-Ibom)
2. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti)
3. Audu Ogbeh (Benue)
4. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi)
5. Osagie Ehanire (Edo)
6. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Kano)
7. Lai Mohammed (Kwara)
8. Amina J Mohammed (Gombe)
9. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa)
10. Ibrahim Jibril (Nasarawa)

With the Senate back to session, Senator Phillip Aduda raised a Point of Order on the need for the FCT to be represented in the Federal Executive Council. The Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu supported the idea, adding that all the names of the ministerial nominees should be released with their respective states.

Meanwhile, Senate President Saraki has read the names of the new batch of ministerial nominees.

Chat212 brings you minute-by-minute account of the screening exercise below:

17:15: Bukola Saraki announces that the Senate plenary session is adjourned to Wednesday, October 14, 10am.

17:10: With all 10 nominees screened, Bukola Saraki gives a recap of the proceedings at its Committee of the whole.

17:07: Having answered series of questions. Ibrahim Jibril is told to take a bow.

17:05: Jibril says: “There has been policy inconsistency in the past 30 years in regards to land allocation.”

16:57: On land issues, Jibril says: “Land committees are not allowed to function at the appropriate time.”

16:48: Jibril is being quizzed by senators.

16:45: Saraki asks Jibril to introduce himself.

16:40: Having answered series of questions, Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa state) is told to take a bow. Next to be screened and the last for today is Ibrahim Jibril (Nasarawa state).

16:39: Adamu says: “We must consult professionals to prevent collapse of buildings.”

16:38: Adamu says: “As a professional, my biggest calamity is to have an uncompleted project. If confirmed minister, my priority will be to look at all the uncompleted projects and complete them.”

16:30: Adamu says: “We need to really go into Public-Private partnership to attract investors from outside.”

16:25: More questions for Suleiman Adamu.

16:20: On bad roads, Adamu says: “There is need to conduct feasibility studies for projects. Project managers should always be carried along to ensure progress of projects carried out.”

16:15: On water resources, Adamu says: “There is need to invest money in water infrastructures.”

16:10: On employment, Adamu says: “I think the APC manifesto has been clear that they will be massive creation of employment. There should be emphasis on skill acquisition to improve employment of youths.”

16:02: Saraki asks Adamu to introduce himself.

16:00: After answering series of question. Mohammed is told to take a bow. Next to be screened is Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa state).

15:50: On the stock market, Mohammed says: “We need partnerships to develop this country and grow domestic relationships.”

15:44: Mohammed quizzed by senators.

15:42: Saraki asks Amina J. Mohammed to introduce herself.

15:37: Without having to answer any question, a motion is moved for Mohammed to take a bow which is seconded. He takes a bow and leaves. Next to be screened is Amina J. Mohammed (Gombe state).

15:35: Lai Mohammed says: “I might have ruffled a few feathers in the course of my duties, it wasn’t personal. I believe four years is too small to stay in opposition, they might have to stay longer. It is service to be in opposition but its higher service to serve in government.”

15:30: Lai Mohammed says: “The APC government will not be as harsh to the PDP as it was when his party was the opposition party.”

15:25: Saraki asks Lai Mohammed to introduce himself, but the senators demand he takes a bow and go. Saraki, however, insists the APC national publicity secretary must say something about himself.

15:20: Having answered series of questions, Dambazau is told to take a bow. Next to be screened is Lai Mohammed (Kwara state). In a move that brought comical reaction from senators, Alhaji Mohammed bowed to Saraki three times.

15:15: On unemployment, Dambazau says: “Youths come into the military come not just for a salary but to defend their Nation.”

15:08: Dambazau says: “Our soldiers need maximum support.”

15:00: Dambazau says: “I’m very passionate about the welfare of soldiers.”

14:52: On the conflict between farmers and herdsmen, Dambazau says: “We need to recapture our lost lands caused by desertification and erosion to reduce this conflict.”

14:46: More questions for Dambazau.

14:42: Dambazau says: “Allowances of soldiers need to be reviewed.”

14:35: Dambazau proposes a review of the defence policy.

14:30: Senator Ali Wakili and Senator Na’Allah open the floor of questions towards Lt. General (rtd.) Dambazau.

14:27: After introducing himself, Nigeria’s former chief of staff, Dambazau is quizzed.

14:25: Saraki asks Dambazau to introduce himself.

14:22: Enahire finally takes a bow after answering series of questions from the floor. Most questions for Ehanire were centered on health issues because of his background as a medical doctor. Next to be screened is Abdulrahman Dambazau (Kano state).

14:15: Enahire says: “It is important to use money allocated to health efficiently.”

14:10: Enahire list problems of health care as: “Availability of equipment, trained staff affordability of the service.”