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Senate Confirms 43 Ministerial Nominees

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The Senate on Tuesday, 30th July confirmed all 43 Ministerial nominees forwarded by President Buhari. The President had on 23rd July, submitted its list in line with section 147 of the 1999 Constitution that requires approval of each nominee and the guidelines for their composition.

However, not all are impressed with the tardiness of the President’s submission (54 days after inauguration); or the gender disparity in his selection, with only 7 women on the list. Other comments have questioned the efficacy of Senate’s exercise as no portfolio was attached to the nominees and with half of the nominees  (22) exempted from being asked questions.

While the President may have improved on his previous record of 6 months delay in appointing Ministers after his first election in 2015, there is still concern about delay in his government taking off. There have also been calls for a Constitutional amendment to improve the process to stipulate a period that the President must forward his /her Ministerial nominees as well as their portfolio to ensure that there is no governance vacuum created from the absence of Ministers and to aid lawmakers properly assess nominees. In the 8th Senate, a Constitutional amendment Bill titled “Timeframe for Submitting Ministerial or Commissioner Nominees attempted to do this at the Federal and State Level but was not passed by the National Assembly. The Bill had also tried to promote the inclusion of women by including a clause stipulating for at least 35% of women in cabinet.  Currently as it stands, the percentage of women occupying Ministerial positions in 2019 (16.2) is slightly less than what obtained in 2015 where 6 out of 36 women were appointed Ministers (16.6%).