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Senate Screens  Fayemi, Audu Ogbeh,  Lai Mohammed, Others As Ministers

Ayodele Afoabi, Abuja

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Senate on Tuesday began screening process of the 21 ministerial nominees forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari just as it revealed the identities of 16 additional nominees sent to it on Monday

Out of the ten nominees screened, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed were  given the treatment of take a bow and go, while others answered questions on topical national issues posed to them by the Senators.

First to be appear was Senator Udo Udoma who said if the Nigerian economy is to be turned around for better, we must be ready to increase our investment rate to nothing less than 30%.

He said: ‘I will do my best to help in tackling the challenges in the public sector. With the dwindling oil prices, public finances are under pressure.”We cannot rely on public sector investment alone, if we want to turn the economy around.
But when the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, asked him questions on the Petroleum Industry Bill, (PIB) and the last National Conference, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senators, shouted no, and requested that he should take a bow and go.

The request was granted and he took a bow and left. Also drilled by the senators was the former governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi who in his response to question on failing educational system in the country said the national educational system should be reviewed and made attractive for the citizens.

He posited that Teacher quality problem and mismatch between career need and enrollment are the biggest problems bedeviling the nation’s educational system.

On issues of poverty, corruption and the Nigerian economy, Fayemi said: Poverty is not indomitable; China has lifted her citizens above the poverty level. The major problem in Nigeria is the gap between the mindlessly rich and the hopelessly poor is too wide and must be bridged.’There is too much concentration of power at the centre; therefore, there is need for devolution of power to be done in Nigeria.

“Corruption must be tackled headlong. The amount of leakages in our revenues is unacceptable, and must be promptly addressed. We have to reduce our recurrent expenditures and increase our capital expenditures in this country, otherwise we won’t be able to develop meaningfully.

“We have to diversify our economy, and it is achievable.Our Criminal justice system has to be revisited. People don’t get punished for committing crimes in Nigeria. Our prisons have been saturated by those who are denied Justice”

He Suggested that the Police, Immigration and Civil Defence should be put in the Ministry of Interior; while the Prison should be taken to Ministry of Justice for more efficiency in their service delivery, crime control and criminal justice administration.

After the exercise, those nominees confirmed are: former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; the ruling APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Gen. Abdurahman Bello Dambazzau (rtd); former PDP National Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh; Dr. Osagie Ehaneri; Eng. Suleiman Adamu; the first Executive Governor of old Abia State, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; Ibrahim Usman Jubrin and Hajia Aminah Muhammad.


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