A Quick Look at Yar`Adua`s Ministers - And A Few Troubling Issues to Ponder
July 29, 2007 | posted by Nigerian Muse (Archives)


 

 

 

 

MONDAY QUARTERBACKING:  A Quick Look at Yar’Adua’s Ministers - And A Few Troubling Issues to Ponder

 

By

 

Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD

alukome@gmail.com

 

 

Monday, July 30, 2007

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Suppose two “mothers” are arguing over who has a particular baby – but the baby is with one of the contending women?  One expects that the baby will be given the greatest amount of care in the interim, no matter who the baby is eventually given to as the rightful mother.

 

That is the attitude that I have with Yar’Adua’s government:  until the Presidential Election Tribunal rules otherwise, he has the country under his Federal Government presidency to take care of – and he better take good care of it well even in the interim.

 

Yar’Adua’s Ministers – General Statistics

 

On Wednesday July 25, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (UMYA) named the portfolios of his thirty-nine approved ministers.  There were only eight (8) women, all the others being naturally men.  Their ages ranged from 39 to 67, the youngest being Dr. Hong Aliyu Idi (Minister of State, Tourism and Culture), and the oldest being Prof. Adenike Grange (Minister of Health).  However, the average age of all the ministers is 52.38, which falls between the age of  Goodluck Jonathan (49, going 50) and Umar Yar’Adua (56).

 

Six (6) of them have PhD degrees, fifteen (15) have Masters degrees, eight (8) have non-law-degree bachelors degrees, six (6) are lawyers, two (2) are medical doctors and the rest have just Post-Graduate Diplomas.  Twenty-three (23) of the ministers are alumni and alumnae of just seven (7) institutions: nine (9) from ABU, three (3) each from the Universities of Lagos and Calabar, and two (2) each from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Bayero University Kano, Howard University (Washington DC) and the University of Birmingham in England.  Except for five (5) others, all the eleven (11) others had their post-secondary degree training only in Nigeria.

 

Thus in terms of youthfulness and educational attainment, the cabinet can probably not be faulted,  although one would have wished for more than one quarter of them to have had international education degree training.

 

 

Round pegs in round or square holes?

 

I have in another essay [“Sunday Musings: How Not to Knock a Cabinet Together – And Suggestions for Effective ‘Carpentry’ ”] faulted the way and manner in which these ministers are nominated and approved by the Senate in the first instance, that is with state governors being asked to nominate possible candidates, and, following the President’s selection, without the Senate knowing their portfolios before screening.  The possibility of not being able to match names with portfolios becomes quite real – as can be seen in Yar’Adua’s list.

 

First, the good matches…..

 

The Attorney-General’s Office (Michael Aondoakaa, SAN; we will have to learn to pronounce his name!), Finance (Shamsudeen Usman and Aderemi Babalola, the latter being minister of state), and Health (Prof. Nike Grange) seem to be the only ministries in strong professional hands.  Halima Tayo Alao in Environment/Housing also does not seem to be a bad choice, with her background in Architecture, as are Tijani Yahaya Kaura in Foreign Affairs (State 1) and Major-General Godwin Abbe (Rtd.) in Interior.   Dr. Hassan Lawal is reprising his role under the Obasanjo administration in the Labor Ministry, while John Odey, as PDP’s most recent Public Secretary was a natural choice for the Information/Communications Ministry.

 

Rejected Bode Augusto would also have been a good match in the Finance Ministry, but I continue to wonder why he was not quietly asked to withdraw his nomination rather than been shamed by outright rejection.  One would have expected better grace from President David Mark’s Senate.

 

Now the bad matches……

 

What the heck is Adetokunboh Kayode (SAN) looking for as Minister of Culture and Tourism, or medical doctor Idi Hong as his minister of state?  In the Energy Ministry – which obviously Yar’Adua is reserving for himself -  the only saving grace is Ekiti representative Olatunde Odusina (whose NNPC antecedents might help him as Minister of State for Gas), but lawyer Odein Ajumogobia in Petroleum and French graduate Mrs. Fatima Ibrahim in Power make me to shake my head. I also cringe at Chief Sarafa Ishola and Alhaji Ahmed Gusau, both diploma holders in Marketing and Modern Management, being minister and minister of state respectively in the very important Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.  Honestly, to my mind, these three ministries (Culture/Tourism; Energy and Mines/Steel Development) exhibit the greatest mismatches in Yar’Adua’s choices.

 

A few others are also surprising.  Widow, mother of four, and pharmacist Fidelia Njeze at Ministry of Defence (State) is quite head-scratching – but I remember that Mrs. Dupe Adelaja was once in her position in the Navy ministry.  Also, after eight arguably vibrant years of Professor Turner Isoun as Minister of Science and Technology, one would have hoped that a stronger hand than Zoology BSc graduate – and long-time civil servant Mrs. Ekpewhire – would now be heading that ministry.

 

 

The Ministry of Education – What Gives?

 

I end this quick assessment with my primary constituency:  Education.   This ministry has had the greatest amount of ministerial turnovers since the beginning of the Nigerian republic – at least twenty-two ministers in forty-seven years (See Table 2) – which may be one of the hidden reasons for the turmoil in our educational system.  I had expected that the last minister of Education, Dr. Abba Sayadi Ruma, would be left in that ministry, but rather he has been moved to Agriculture and Water Resources, maybe in order to ensure that he does not continue wholesale the controversial policies of his predecessor in the Education Ministry (Ezekwesili) while he (Ruma) was her Education Minister of State?    

 

Just wondering, but moving on….

 

The education ministry is now to be headed by Dr. Igwe Aja-Nwachukwu of Ebonyi State,  reprising not only his father’s first-republic role as Federal Minister of  Education, but continuing a curious recent tradition of reserving that ministry for the South- East (Oby Ezekwesili, Chinwe Obaje, Fabian Osuji served recently in reverse order – see Table 2). 

 

Yar’Adua’s father also served in that first-republic cabinet of Tafawa Balewa.  Who knows – Igwe and Musa might have been old ministerial/GRA brat-friends?

 

Moving on…

 

Whether Dr. Aja-Nwachukwu’s local degrees from Ibadan (BSc), Nsukka (MBA) and Calabar (PhD), and his local lecturerships at Abia State University (Uturu) and Ebonyi State University Abakiliki until 2006 make him well prepared for this most important portfolio remains to be seen.  More problematic is that he is to be assisted in the Ministry of Education by two Ministers of States who were former Secondary-School principals-turned-senior civil servants: Dr. Jerry Agada (most recently Permanent Secretary in Benue Civil Service until he retired in 2006), and Mrs. Aishatu Dukku (Principal of a Girl’s College in Gombe State before becoming a Federal Inspector of Schools in March 2006 until appointment.)

 

With the dire situation of education in the country, the ministry needs the strongest of hands possible, but I am NOT SURE whether this is what we currently have in these three persons.

 

But we shall see….

 

Epilogue

 

One sincerely hopes that we will be in for some pleasant surprises if these ministers prove in general more capable than my prognosis offers.   Otherwise, Mr. Yar’Adua should quickly re-shuffle his cabinet – including bringing in new hands – if and when he discovers that some of his ministers are over their heads in their new positions.

 

Finally, now that he has his ministers in place, next is his supplementary budget – and/or his 2008 budget – that will finally let us know what his real priorities are.

 

Comments are welcome.

 

 

 

Bibliography:

 

http://www.nigerianmuse.com/essays/?u=SUNDAY_MUSINGS_How_Not_to_Knock_a_Cabinet_Together_in_Nigeria_And_Suggestions_for_Effective_Carpentry_.htm

Sunday Musings: How Not to Knock a “Cabinet” Together – And Suggestions for Effective “Carpentry”

 

 

 

TABLE 1:  Ministerial Nominees & Their Ministries

(by Alphabet Order of Ministries)

 

Compiled by NigerianMuse.com

 

 

S/N

Ministry

Name of Minister

Age

Highest

Degree

State of Origin

1.

Agriculture/Water Resources

Abba Sayyadi Ruma

45

PhD (Int’l

Relations, Abuja)

Katsina

2.

Agriculture/Water Resources (State 1)

Adamu Maina Waziri

54

MBA (ABU)

Yobe

3.

Attorney-General/Minister of Justice

Mr Michael Aondoakaa (SAN)

51

BA, LLB (Maiduguri)

Benue

4. 

Commerce/Industry

Chief Charles Chukwuemeka Ugwu

64

HND, MSc  (Mechnaical Engineering Birmingham)

Imo

5. 

Commerce/Industry (State)

Alhaji Ahmed Garba Bichi

42

HND, MBA (BUK)

Kano

6..

Culture/Tourism

Prince Adetokunbo Kayode

48

LLB (UniLag)

Ondo

7.

Culture/Tourism (State)

Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong

39

MBBS (ABU)

Adamawa

8.

Defense

Mahmud Yayale Ahmed

55

BSc, MPA (ABU)

Bauchi

9.

Defense (State)

Mrs. Fidelia Akubata Njeze

43

BSc (Pharmacy), UNN

Enugu

10.

Education

Igwe Aja- Nwachukwu

55

PhD (Econs), UniCalabar

Ebonyi

11.

Education (State 1)

Anthony  Jerry Agada

54

PhD (Public Sector Management, Birmingham)

Benue

12.

Education (State 2)

Mrs. Aishatu Jibril Dukku 

43

BA (Education), BUK

Gombe

13.

Energy (State) Gas

Olatunde Emmanuel Odushina

63

BSc, MSc (Organic Chem, Oklahoma)

Ekiti

14. 

Energy (State) Petroleum

H. Odein Ajumogobia

51

LLB (UniLag), MA, LLM (Harvard)

Rivers

15.

Energy (State) Power

Mrs. Fatima Balaraba Ibrahim

50

BA (French, ABU), MA (French), BUK

Kebbi

16. 

Environment/Housing

Halima Tayo Alao

50

MSc (Architecture, ABU), MPA (Ilorin)

Kwara

17. 

FCT

Dr. Aliyu Moddibo Umar

48

PhD (Comparative Ed), UCLA

Gombe

18. 

FCT (State)

Senator John James Akpanudoedehe

46

(MSc Sociology), UniCalabar

Akwa-Ibom

19.

Finance

Dr. Shamsudeen Usman

57

PhD (Economics), LSE

Kano

20.

Finance (State)

Aderemi W. Babalola

42

MSc (Banking), UniLag

Oyo

21.

Foreign Affairs

Chief Ojo Maduekwe  

62

LLB (UNN)

Abia

22.

Foreign Affairs (State 1)

Tijani Yahaya Kaura                                       

48

MA (Int’l Affairs), ABU

Zamfara

23. 

Foreign Affairs (State 2)

Amb. Baudu M. Hirse

59

BSc (Biology), ABU

Plateau

24.

Health

Adenike Grange

67

??? Prof. of Pediatrics (LUTH)

Lagos

25.

Health (State)

Arc. Gabriel Yakubu Aduku

63

BSc (Architecture), ABU

Kogi

26. 

Information/Communication

John Ogar Odey

47

BSc (Banking), UniCalabar

Cross-River

27.

Information/Communication (State)

Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande

51

HND (Business Admin,) KadPoly

Plateau (ANPP)

28.

Interior

Maj. Gen. Godwin Abbe (Rtd).

58

PGD (Intl Relations), OAU

Edo

29.

Interior (State)

Hassan Alhaji Haruna

63

BA (Pol Sci), Ohio U.

Jigawa

30 

Labour

Dr. Hassan Muhammed Lawal                               

52

PhD (Law), Warwick

Nasarawa

31.

Mines/Steel Development

Chief Sarafa Tunji Ishola   

46

Diploma in Marketing (CIM, London)

Ogun

32.

Mines/Steel Development (State)

Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Gusau

57

PGD (Modern Management), ABU

Sokoto

33. 

Science/Technology

Mrs. Grace Ekpiwhere

58

BSc (Zoology)

Delta

34 

Transportation

Mrs. Diezani K. Alison-Madueke

46

BSc (Architecture, Howard U), MBA (Cambridge)

Bayelsa

35..

Transportation (State)

Prince John Okechukwu Emeka

45

BSc (BusAdmin, Columbia), MBA (Fontbonne, St. Louis)

Anambra

36.

Youth Development

Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi

51

MBA (Howard U.)

Osun

37.

Women Affairs

Saudatu Usman Bungudu

62

BA (Education), UDU, Sokoto

 Zamfara (ANPP)

38.

Minister/Deputy Chairman National Planning Commission

Senator Muhammed Sanusi Daggash                               

46

MSc (Arch.), ABU

Borno

39.

Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission

Abdularahman Hassan Gimba                                               

62

LLB (ABU)

Niger

 

SUMMARY OF 39 NOMINEES

 

Ave.

52.38

# - Institution

9  - ABU

3 – UniLag

3 – UniCalabar

2 – OAU

2 - BUK

2 – Howard

2 –Birmingham

 

 

40

??? – New nominee (replacing Dr. Adamu Ahmed Jantalan)

Felix Hassan Hyet

???

???

Kaduna

41

??? _ New nominee (replacing Tukur el-Sudi)

Malam Hassan Bako Zaki

???

???

Taraba

 

 

 

TABLE 2:  MINISTERS OF EDUCATION OF NIGERIA – 1960 - 2007

 

 

S/N

Period

Head of State

Fed Minister of Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

1960

Balewa

Mr. Aja Nwachukwu

2

1966

Ironsi

None

3

1966

Gowon

Mr. Wenike Briggs

4

1975

Mohammed

Lt. Col. Ahmadu Ali

5

1978

Obasanjo

Dr. Garrick Leton

6

1979

Shagari

Dr. I.C. Madubuike

Mr. C. Bamgboye (Junior)

Alhaji Billyamin Usman (Junior)

7

1984

Buhari

Alhaji Yerima Abdullahi

(Ed.,  Science & Tech.)

8

1985

Babangida

Prof. Jubril Aminu

9

1990

Babangida

Prof. Babs Fafunwa

10

1993

Babangida

Prof. Ben Nwabueze

11

1993

Sonekan

Dr. Ibrahim Omogie

12

1993

Abacha

Dr. Ibrahim T. Liman

13

 

Abacha

Dr. Iyorcha Ayu

Wada Nas (State)

Mrs. Ada Adogu (State)

14

 

Abacha

Alhaji Dauda Birma

15

1998

Abdusalami Abubakar

Chief Olaiya Oni

16

1999

Obasanjo

Prof. Tunde Adeniran

17

 

Obasanjo

Prof. Babalola Borishade

18

2003

Obasanjo

Prof. Fabian Osuji

19

2005

Obasanjo

Mrs. Chinwe Nora Obaji

20

June 2006 to April 27 2007

Obasanjo

Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili

Dr. Abba Ruma (State)

 

21

May  2007

Obasanjo

Dr. Abba Ruma

22

July 2007 - ??

Yar’Adua

Dr. Igwe Aja-Nwachukwu

Anthony  Jerry Agada (State 1)

Mrs. Aishatu Jibril Dukku  (State 2)

 

 

 

 


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