The list containing the names of ministerial nominees in the President Bola Tinubu administration is ready and undergoing final security checks, an impeccable Presidency source has disclosed.
The source, who did not reveal the names or number of those being considered for ministerial offices, said the Department of State Services (DSS), and members of the Presidential Strategic Team (PST) were running final checks on the people who had been listed as possible ministers.
“They have the list already. Several names have been written against their respective offices. But they just have to find out and do some checks on a few of these names. That’s what is delaying the list. They are being very strategic with this,” the source said.
Should the Tinubu administration proceed with the appointment of ministers of state, 44 names are expected to be sent to the 10th Senate for screening and eventual approval. Politicians had been flocking the President’s private residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, jostling for ministerial slots, especially during the Eid-el-Kabir holidays when Tinubu was in Lagos.
“I learned that Tinubu’s ministerial list is almost done. He kept a core of ministers to himself, heavily influenced by the kitchen cabinet of his special advisers. Politicians are in Bolekaja over the rest. It’s a slugfest now,” a source had disclosed to our correspondent on Monday.
In March, the then Special Adviser to the President-elect, Dele Alake, had said Tinubu would constitute his cabinet within one month of assuming office. Alake said this was in line with the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution mandating presidents-elect and governors-elect to submit the names of their ministerial and commissioner nominees within 60 days of taking the oath of office for confirmation by the Senate or the respective state Houses of Assembly.
He had said, “I told you in an earlier interview that it didn’t take Asiwaju more than three weeks to form his cabinet as a governor. That was as at that time. I think 60 days is even too much. A month, maximum, is enough for any serious government to form its cabinet and put the structure of government in place after the swearing-in.”
However, Alake, who is now the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, was unreachable at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, there are fresh indications that the President may send the list of his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly this week after the lawmakers resume from the Sallah break for their legislative duties.
The development is coming one week after the 10th Senate and House of Representatives adjourned their legislative activities to embark on recess till July 4. This was confirmed in two separate interviews with a former coordinator in the dissolved All Progressives Congress Campaign Council, Dr Ene Ogbole, and Director of Publicity for the APC, Bala Ibrahim.
Speculations on who will make the ministerial list have generated heated debates and growing anxiety among Tinubu’s campaign members and party loyalists since he assumed office on May 29. The President has, however, kept everyone guessing as he has clutched the list tightly to his chest and away from even closest allies.
Speculations were rife last week that some APC governors might be granted the liberty to nominate more than one person as ministerial nominees with the consent of the President.
According to a source, there is a likelihood that the ministerial list may be submitted to the Senate for confirmation this week and for the cabinet to be in place later this month.
Reacting to the growing anxiety over the list, Ogbole told our correspondent that she had it on good authority that the President would forward his ministerial nominees list to the Senate for screening shortly after the legislators return from their recess.
The former campaign director also urged Nigerians not to put too much pressure on Tinubu, saying he had another 30 days to do so in line with the new law signed by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, which mandated him to unveil his ministerial list within 60 days of assumption of office.
Ogbole stated, “The ministerial nominees you talked about are still in the process. I, however, don’t think the President needs up to 60 days to unveil his cabinet. He’s trying to get the right things done. You know the 10th National Assembly has just come on board and they were on recess for the Sallah break. As the break is now over, I can assure you that you will begin to hear names being rolled out.
“Asiwaju is still on track. He is a man of his word. And I can assure Nigerians that he’s not going to do anything short of his promises. He has also signed two or three bills into law in less than 30 days in office. That is legendary.”