Wednesday, 28 October 2015

How Nominee Survived Petition To Steal Show At Ministerial Screening

The Senate today, October 28, concluded the ministerial screening as five nominees answered questions raised on the floor of the House.

The five ministerial nominees who were screened today, brings the total number of nominees screened to 36.

A little drama occurred at the beginning of the Plenary as Senate President Bukola Saraki invited Senator Anyawu, chairman of the ethics comittee, privileges and Public Petitions to submit a report of the petition against one of the ministerial nominee, Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto state.

Senator Anyawu however reveals the report wasn’t ready and will be made available tomorrow, October 29. His statement was greeted with disgust from some senators.

But in a dramatic fashion, Senator Ibrahim Gobir of Sokoto East immedately moved the Motion to withdraw the earlier petition against Aisha Abubakar. The Motion was seconded by Senator Ahmed Sani, and so Aisha Abubakar was declared eligible to be screened. Saraki would later inform Senator Anyanwu not to bother about the report of the petition.

Taking to the podium as the final ministerial nominee to be screened, Aisha Abubakar was dramatically told to take a bow and go without having to answer any question.

In all, 18 nominees have been confirmed, while the remaining 18 are yet to be approved as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

However, the 18 nominees may likely undergo confirmation process tomorrow as the Senate adjourned plenary session till October 29.

Those confirmed as ministers include: Udoma Udo Udoma (Akwa Ibom state), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti state), Audu Ogbeh (Benue state), Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi state), Osagie Ehanire (Edo state), Abdulrahman Dambazau (Kano state), Lai Mohammed (Kwara state), Amina J Mohammed (Gombe state), Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa state) and Ibrahim Jibril (Nasarawa state), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos state), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu (Delta state), Abubakar Malami (Kebbi state), Chris Ngige (Anambra state), Aisha Jummai Alhassan (Taraba state), Solomon Dalong (Plateau state), Kemi Adeosun (Ogun state), Hadi Sirika (Katsina state).

Chat212 was live at the Red Chamber to bring you live coverage of the final lap of the ministerial screening exercise. Read our coverage below:

15:23: Saraki reads out what transpired in the House and announces that the Senate has adjourned plenary session till tomorrow, October 29. Recall 18 nominees were confirmed ministers, the remaining 18 may likely undergo confirmation process in tomorrow’s plenary session.

15:22: Senate has now moved back to plenary to continue the session.

15:20: After listingher achievements, Aisha Abubakar is told to bow and go without having to answer any question.

15:11: Saraki asks Abubakar to introduce herself.

15:07: Adamu Adamu is told to bow and go after answering few questions. The final ministerial nominee to be screened is Aisha Abubakar (Sokoto state).

15:05: Adamu says: “Everyone has interest but national interest supersedes. National Interest will be my guidance”

14:55: Adamu now being quizzed by senators. Senator Shehu Sani opens the floor for questions.

14:50: Saraki asks Adamu to introduce himself.

14:48: Having answered series of questions raised on the floor of the House, Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa state) is told to take a bow and go. Next to be screened is Adamu Adamu (Bauchi state). He is a veteran journalist.

14:47: Bello says: “Govt only pays salaries and wages of staff working for the Hajj Commission.”

14:46: Bello says: “States with boundaries should look at how they can create policies to increase export of their product.”

14:45: More questions for Bello.

14:44: Bello says: “We should be able to arrange shipments and allow farmers travel out to locate their market & negotiate.”

14:43: Bello says: “The public sector cannot be the sole employer of youths. We need to revive private industries.”

14:40: Bello says: “The policy of government should be more strict so as we could start producing textile here in Nigeria.”

14:39: Bello says: “Every state governor should chief industrial officer of his/her state.”

14:37: Bello says: “Industrialization in Nigeria for quite some time has been driven by the Federal government.”

14:32: More questions for Bello

14:31: Bello on Hajj tragedy: “I am sure the Govt of Saudi Arabia will ensure that what occurred in the last Hajj will not repeat in subsequent years.”

14:29: Bello says: “We must registrar any foreigners coming in from our borders and capture those with more than 10 cows.”

14:28: Bello says: “Airports with high traffic per annum can be open to lots of investments between the Private/Public sectors.”

14:25: Bello says: “A merger is like a marriage, it cannot be enforced.”

14:23: Bello says: “Bailout Fund is not right for development purposes.”

14:10: Bello is now being quizzed.

14:05: Saraki ask Bello to introduce himself.

14:01: After answering few questions based on Education and tourism, Anthony Anwuka is told to bow and go. Next to be screened is Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa state).

13:58: Anwuka says: “‘We need to involve Parents and Community in teaching our children out Indigenous Language.”

13:55: Anwuka says: “Emphasis on Language and culture must start at the primary level.”

13:53: More questions for Anwuka.

13:50: Anwuka says: ‘There is a need for the Government to declare a kind of State of Emergency on our Educational System.”

13:47: Anwuka says: “There is need to upgrade the golf course in Oguta Lake there to attract international golf players to come. It is in the mind of the government to develop Oguta lake.”

13:46: Anwuka says: “There must be a total re-look in the UME examinations. That’ll be one of the areas we are going to look at.”

13:45: Anwuka says: “About 85-90% indicate interest in going into the Universities.”

13:42: Senate moves motion for the extension of time beyond 2pm closing time to take more ministerial nominees.

13:35: Questions for Anwuka who is a former Vice Chancellor of Imo state University and former Secretary to the Govt. of Imo state.

13:25: Anwuka is asked to introduce himself.

13:22: After answering series of questions for over an hour,  Okechukwu Eyinna Enelamah (Abia state) is told to take a bow and go. Next to be screened is Anthony Gozie Anwuka (Imo state).

13:21: Enelamah on tax payment: “We need to have a responsible government that will create a relationship with the people.”

13:20: Enelamah says: “I’m a very people-centred person, I love humility.”

13:17: Enelamah says: “We should budget for what we can spend and spend what we have. The Key is transparency and accountability.”

13:15: Enelamah says: “You serve God by serving man and he’s ready to serve Abia state.”

13:05: More questions for Enelamah from Senator Akpabio among others.

13:03: Enelamah says: “We need to create room for local investors to invest and give opportunity for Local entrepreneurs.”

13:01: Enelamah says “Foreign investors don’t invest because our local investors don’t invest in Nigeria. It’s sends a wrong message.”

13:00: Enelamah says: “There is a difference between Interest rate and Currency rate.  One of the reasons why interests rates are high is because of the Currency.”

12:52: More questions for Enelamah.

12:51: Enelamah says: “I believe creating infrastructure and putting facilities in place will create an enabling environment.”

12:50: Enelamah says: “We need to signal that we are friendly to investors to create an enabling environment.”

12:45: Enelamah says: “To have an enabling environment, we need to have a clear vision of what we want.”

12:44:  Saraki asks Enelamah to specifically talk on what ‘enabling environment’ is needed for the economic growth.

12:39: Enelamah says: “We need collaboration to solve the power problem.”

12:30: More questions for Enelamah from Senator Adeyeye, Senator Nnaji, Senator Anyawu among others.

12:28: Enelamah says: “No nation develops on its own, its paramount that an environment is attractive for investors to invest.”

12:25: Enelamah on Foreign Exchange Policy: “We need to look at the policies that will foster inclusive growth. You have to create an enabling environment to export.”

12:22: Enelamah says: “Most people will only invest in places where they are sure to get returns. I believe we can attract investment.”

12:20: Enelamah says: “I’m a greater believer of the partnership that can occur in the private and public sector. The Private Sector wants profit & Public Sector wants service to the people, I believe they can coexist.”

12:11: More questions for Enelamah from Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Stella Oduah and Senator Binta Garba.

12:10: Enelamah says: “We need to invest in hard and soft infrastructure.”

12:09: Enelamah on unemployment: “Our youths should be getting training that can make them equipped. The most important a young man needs to get is skill.”

12:06: Enelamah says: “All growth are not equal, there is growth and there are growths. The potential of this country is enormous.”

12:05: Enelamah says: “We facing challenging times in this nation. We need shared visions.”

11:58: Enelamah now being quizzed by Senators.

11:57: Enelamah says: ‘I will work tirelessly in collaboration with other stakeholders in building a Nigeria of our dreams.”

11:56: Enelamah says: “I’m honored to be nominated.”

11:55: Enelamah says: “The tax we collect in this country is quite small.”

11:54: Enelamah says: “We need to build an economy that’s inclusive, that is an economy that will create jobs.”

11:53: Enelamah says: “Me and my generation have benefited so much from the nation and it’s time to give back.”

11:50: Saraki asks Enelamah to introduce himself.

11:45: Senate President Bukola Saraki ushers the first ministerial nominee, Okechukwu Eyinna Enelamah (Abia state).

11:40: The Senate resolves into the committee of a whole to commence the ministerial screening. The ministerial nominees will be screened in this order: Eyinna Enelamah, Anthony Gozie Anwuka, Musa Bello, Adamu Adamu, & Aisha Abubakar.

11:30: The Senate has now moved to debate the Motion on the Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja Second Runway Contract by Senator Dino Melaye

11:27: However, in a dramatic fashion, Senator Ibrahim Gobir of Sokoto East has moved the Motion to withdraw the earlier petition against Aisha Abubakar. The Motion is seconded by Senator Ahmed Sani and so the ministerial nominee is now eligible to be screened. Saraki informs Senator Anyanwu not to bother about the report of the petition.

11:25: The Senate Leader, Senator Ndume guides the House regarding public petitions. He says the Senate should not deliberate on a matter in Court.

11:20: Senate President Bukola Saraki invites Senator Anyawu, chairman of the ethics comittee, privileges and Public Petitions to submit a report of the petition against one of the ministerial nominee, Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto state. Senator Anyawu however reveals the report isn’t ready and will be made available tomorrow, October 29. His statement is however greeted with disgust from some senators.

11:16: Before commencing the Ministerial screening, the Senate are right about discussing other matter raised in the House. Senate Leader Ali Ndume and the Clerk of the Senate has moved to Present a total of 5 (Five) Bills for their respective First Readings. The Bills are: Prevention and Punishment of Torture Bill 2015 (SB. 47) by Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South), Nigerian Biodiversity Bill 2015 (SB. 79) by Senator Theodore Orji (Abia Central), Fire Arms Act CAP F28 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill 2015 (SB. 85) by Senator Joshua Dariye (Plateau Central), Counterfeit Goods Bill 2015 (SB. 117) by Senator Isah Misau (Bauchi Central), National Ecological Agency (Est. Etc.) Bill 2015 (SB, 121) by Senator Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central).

11:15: Speaking outside the Red Chamber, Senator Babajide Omoworare, chairman committee Rules and Business said the final five nominees will be screened today, including Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto state.

He added: “At the conclusion of the ministerial screening, the Senate can then focus on the screening of the INEC chairman and the five INEC commissioners. From all indications, the screening of the INEC chairman and commissioners will hold tomorrow, October 29.”

11:09: Saraki  announces the presence of Staff and Students of St. Mike Anglican School and Christ Ambassador College in the Senate Gallery.

11:06: Saraki reads a letter from Senators representing Sokoto State endorsing a minsiterial nominee Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto state. Several petitions have been filed against her candidacy.

11:01: Saraki takes the Opening Prayer.

11:00: Senate President Bukola Saraki just arrived the Senate Gallery, He is seen exchanging pleasantries with Distinguished Senators.

10:55: Distinguished Senators are spotted greeting and chatting up one another.

10:35: Some Distinguished Senators already seated in the gallery as the atmosphere is calm going into the last day of the ministerial screening exercise. Senate President Bukola Saraki is reportedly on his way to the Red Chamber