President Bola Tinubu has sent his list of 42 ministerial nominees to the Senate for approval, in what he called a “cabinet of (political) unity”. The list includes five former governors from both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as well as many technocrats.
The former governors are Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abdulahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Muhammad Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers). They are expected to get key portfolios in the new administration.
The president also nominated former Ogun State governor, Senator Gbenga Daniel, ahead of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, for the ministerial slot from the state.
The list also features some prominent names from the private sector, such as Toyin Subair, founder of HiTV; Segun Dada, CEO of Sterling Bank; and Paul Adekanye, founder of Farmcrowdy.
The president said he chose his nominees based on their track record, competence and loyalty. He said he wanted to form a government that would reflect the diversity and unity of Nigeria.
He also said he would abolish the position of ministers of state and allow his special advisers to participate in the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings. He said he would also unbundle some large ministries into smaller ones to create more portfolios for his cabinet members.
The president’s list has been hailed by some political analysts as a bold move to bridge the gap between the ruling party and the opposition, as well as to bring in fresh ideas and expertise from outside the political sphere.
However, some critics have questioned the rationale behind some of the nominations, especially those of former governors who are facing corruption charges or have unresolved political issues in their states.
The Senate is expected to begin the screening of the nominees next week and confirm them before the end of the month.