Buhari Moves to Ap­point 8 New Min­is­ters, Re­struc­ture Min­istries

Power, works and hous­ing min­istry may be split into three Avi­a­tion and marine trans­port may be hived off from trans­porta­tion Tinubu, APC gov­er­nors may get nom­i­nees

THISDAY - - FRONT PAGE - Omololu Ogun­made

In a move to keep to his prom­ise to the chief­tains and loy­al­ists of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) to ap­point more min­is­ters to his cab­i­net, Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari is con­sid­er­ing a ten­ta­tive pro­posal to re­struc­ture some of the min­istries, ap­point eight new min­is­ters to his cab­i­net and reshuf­fle the cab­i­net, THISDAY has learnt.

Pres­i­dency sources privy to the pro­posal in­formed THISDAY yes­ter­day that the plan is to ap­point eight new min­is­ters who will all be politi­cians, to ac­com­mo­date the yearn­ings of his party mem­bers in­clud­ing its na­tional leader,

Asi­waju Bola Tinubu and at the same time po­si­tion APC for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions.

In or­der to ac­com­mo­date the eight new ap­pointees to the cab­i­net, the plan is to get the pres­i­dent to split the Min­istry of Power, Works and Hous­ing into three min­istries that will be manned by full min­is­ters, and hived off the avi­a­tion and marine trans­port units from the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion.

One min­is­ter will man Avi­a­tion and an­other may lead Marine Trans­porta­tion.

A pres­i­dency source who spoke on the is­sue said the pro­posal that has been sent to the pres­i­dent pro­vides for the ap­point­ment of eight new min­is­ters, one rep­re­sent­ing each of the six geopo­lit­i­cal zones in the coun­try and one from La­gos (who may be a nom­i­nee of Tinubu) and Kano State (who may be a nom­i­nee of Rabiu Kwankwaso).

Fashola is ex­pected to re­tain Works and Road Trans­port, Lt.-Gen. Ab­dul­rah­man Dam­bazau who is from Kano is ex­pected to re­tain Min­istry of In­te­rior.

How­ever, Po­lice Af­fairs may be hived off from the Min­istry of In­te­rior.

The ap­point­ment of two more min­is­ters from the two most pop­u­lous states in the coun­try is strate­gic and is aimed at en­sur­ing that the ap­pointees from La­gos and Kano play cru­cial roles in de­liv­er­ing both states to the APC in 2019.

The source also re­vealed that with the split of the power and trans­porta­tion min­istries, Fashola would most likely be made re­spon­si­ble for the newly cre­ated Min­istry of Works and Roads In­fra­struc­ture, an ap­pointee from the North-east geopo­lit­i­cal zone will be ap­pointed to man the Min­istry of Hous­ing while an ap­pointee from either the North-cen­tral zone or the South-east will be handed the Min­istry of Power.

In the case of the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion, once it is split, the cur­rent min­is­ter, Ro­timi Amaechi, will be ap­pointed to man the Min­istry of Rail Trans­porta­tion while Hadi Sirika who is cur­rently a Min­is­ter of State in the trans­porta­tion min­istry (avi­a­tion) will most likely be made a full Min­is­ter of Avi­a­tion.

An­other ap­pointee will be given the Min­istry of Marine Trans­port af­ter it is hived off from the trans­porta­tion min­istry.

All the new ap­point­ments, said the source, will be done with the con­sul­ta­tion of state gov­er­nors.

“The pro­posal has been put to­gether and sent to Mr. Pres­i­dent for his fi­nal ap­proval. It re­mains ten­ta­tive for now, but if it meets the ap­proval of the pres­i­dent, the an­nounce­ment will be made pub­lic be­fore the end of the month and the names of the nom­i­nees will be sent to the Sen­ate for con­fir­ma­tion,” the source vol­un­teered.

He also dis­closed that the pro­posal in­cludes a cab­i­net reshuf­fle which could see the Min­is­ter of State for Petroleum Re­sources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu re­de­ployed to the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and a new min­is­ter ap­pointed to re­place him as min­is­ter of state while Buhari con­tin­ues to hold on to the petroleum min­istry port­fo­lio as the full min­is­ter.

At the last meet­ing of the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee of the APC held last month in Abuja, Buhari had promised to ap­point more min­is­ters and mem­bers to the boards of fed­eral paras­tatals.

The pledge was made to ap­pease ag­grieved mem­bers who had felt that they had been ditched af­ter help­ing the party to win the 2015 elec­tions.

He had said that the new ap­pointees will be fit for pur­pose and will breathe new life into the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Although Buhari has not yet pub­licly de­clared that he will run for a sec­ond term, the move is also tar­geted at em­pow­er­ing strong politi­cians who can de­liver crit­i­cal states dur­ing the 2019 elec­tions.

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