Muhammadu Buhari has been inaugurated for a second term as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What’s next? – A new cabinet. President Buhari has constantly said that he has not discussed with anybody, the composition of his cabinet for his second term as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigerians hope that they will not have to wait for six months for the new members of cabinet to be named, like it happened in 2015.
After the May 29th 2019 inauguration, the entire Nigerian state is anxiously waiting for one thing- President Buhari’s list of ministers. Most Nigerians expect the President to bring on board, men and women who swill enliven his cabinet with new ideas and ‘young minds with passion for development adventures.
President Buhari can achieve another first by taking a different direction from the previous style of presenting names of ministerial nominees to the Senate without their portfolios. If Buhari can be bold enough to send the names of ministerial nominees with their respective portfolios, it will make the screening very interesting and more productive for the Senators while also giving Nigerians a foreknowledge of how each nominee may fare in his/her post. Though, one must admit that being eloquent on stage does not necessarily translate into performing very well in the field.
No doubt, Buhari’s second term cabinet needs some young adventurers, silicon-valley-like-thinkers; men and women who can move the government with the speed of the imagination of most Nigerians. But right-thinking people and admirers of Buhari should not be deceived; Buhari also needs politicians in his cabinet including some of the first term ministers. Sidelining of politicians may be a political suicide for the APC. APC as a political party needs them in some areas- especially to hold the political front for the party when the need arises. Though, during the 2019 presidential elections, most political appointees in the Buhari government became mere spectators in their states and localities, especially in the north- Buhari personally delivered himself.
There are some ministers that did very well in the first term and deserve a return, but many performed below expectations. There are some ministries that President Buhari holds dear- petroleum, finance, solid minerals, rural development, transportation, education, health, and agriculture. These ministries should be manned by professionals. Mr. President should be very strong in this regard. If he finds competent professionals from any village in Nigeria who can effectively steer these ministries, he should be brave enough to appoint them. When professionals are appointed to man very important ministries, they know what is expected of them. They know they are called to rebuild a system that will shift the governance away from the traditional method of concentrating on only ‘off-the-shelves’ way of improving our society. They will not only saddle themselves with the responsibilities within their portfolio; but also be team players that will bring new and feasible ideas to trigger development in all spheres of the society. They will help put in place, systems that will bring dynamism into governance.
Buhari‘s second term ministers should be individuals whose senses of judgment is centered on the challenges of unlocking the future for ordinary Nigerians.
In fact, Nigeria needs to start a yearly continuous assessment of ministers. Each minister should be given realistic and measurable targets to achieve within a year or two. This is will leapfrog development; bring new thinking and fresh approach to governance. This will also make the cabinet an engine-room to provide broad variety of services to Nigerians, ranging from health to industrial development, security, a sound legal system, and an effective infrastructure and education system. Welcome to the next level.
Zayyad I. Muhammad, Jimeta, Adamawa state, 08036070980, www.zayyad.com.ng