The President has released his ministerial nominees list of 21 and as largely expected there were reactions of varying proportions. Some of the reactions were bothering on genuine concerns, while some bothering of unabashed long standing hatred of the President. For the later, nothing from the President would ever be good and it would always be wrong. The President has to live with that.
Nigeria is a peculiar country where things that you read in school as the normal convention don’t turn out to be so in reality. Due to this, I have never been a fan of ministers in Nigeria based on what I knew and still know about many of them which is quite unfortunate I must confess. It doesn’t matter if former or current, the ministers have been a drain in our resources. And with crude oil selling below $US45/barrel (instead of the over $110/barrel) we are used to, I can only fear about the further brutal drains of the scarce resources left in the system. In many instances, as far as Nigeria is concerned, it is always jobs for people the President believes he trusts and can work with.
Each minister would come with his own aides, special assistants, special advisers and other political hanger-ons that he must feed. It is the normal Nigerian system leave grammar. The ministers, depending on how politically active in his state, would find a way to be relevant in his state because of future aspirations. We all have examples we can point toward in this instance. It is always so. However, the most important aspect of how a minister behaves depends largely on the personality and body language of the President. It is the President whose ways of life guards the ministers in their various forms. The responsibility is surely his.
The ultimate responsibility of fighting corruption is the man in charge(President) not the minister. If the President refuses to fight corruption no minister would bother with it. If the President is promoting friends to front for companies in bidding processes, ministers would do the same thing. If the President is interested in signing contracts every Wednesday without any due process, then the ministers would just key in. No minister argues with the President unless he or she is the president’s “business” Partner. No minister of the federal republic can approve a contract of more than US$100k contract without the president’s approval. Infact the president can reduce the amount further downward. It is his call and not the minister. I also know for a fact that the presidents usually have “inner-cabinet” members, who most times are not ministers, as the main advisers in critical issues. The power of a minister depends on the leverage given to him by the President.
There was a minister of state for finance in the last regime that raised alarm that NNPC was broke. This guy is a First class brain, but what happened? Dem commot am!! However there was a minister of internal affairs, in the same last regime that scammed millions of jobless graduates of fake employment opportunities in immigration service. What happened to him? He was left alone in the same position despite the death of applicants. Naadaa happened to him. We are all witnesses to the Deziani Drama in the UK. This lady rose to become an executive director in SPDC. She was quite comfortable in the oil industry. However we can all see the “wayo-wayo” in the oil industry. Despite all the iron cast facts against her that she couldn’t even deny, she was still left alone in the ministry. To tell you how anointed she was; she “supervised” the forensic audit of herself. Can you beat that? The former President even defended her on live TV. Everything depends on the president I tell you. What the President wants is the real issue.
People can trivialise the fact that the President declared his asset in this corruption fight. However, we know the effect of the former president non-declaration of his assets. That act alone gave the glimpse of how not to fight corruption.
The funniest thing about the ministerial list is this: Amaechi is being ‘accused’ of corruption but he’s not been charged of corruption. Fashola is being ‘accused’ of corruption but he has not been charged of corruption by any court. Do you know what? They are going to be screened and vetted by a senate led by Saraki who has lots of accusations bothering on corruption and he is presently in dock for corruption. So if Saraki says they can’t be ministers because of the “accusations” what about him who is in court for corruption? E go remain abi?? See the confusion……
My people the person in charge is the President…. Forget mata…Ewolewooo!!