Talking points from Tinubu’s portfolios to ministers-designate

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Yesterday, Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu assigned portfolio to 45 out of the 48 ministerial nominees that the Senate confirmed as ministers-designate last week. 

However, the President’s action has generated many talking points among the populace. 

The first major talking point is the distribution of the ‘important’ and ‘juicy’ ministries among geopolitical zones

Some ministries are traditionally regarded as juicy and important for some reasons. They include the ministries of petroleum, defence, finance, power, FCT, justice, communication, transportation, foreign affairs, interior, sports, and a few others. 

Therefore, Nigerians are always particular about who or which geopolitical region gets any of them.

An analysis of the assignment of the ministries shows that the North got the ministries of defence, justice, interior, and police, while the South got ministries of finance, budget and national planning.

A further breakdown of the assigned portfolios to geopolitical zones reveals that the Northwest, which has the highest slot of 10 ministries, only got 5 people heading their respective ministries while the remaining 5 five are junior ministers. The Southwest, on the other hand, with 9 slots, heads 7 ministries with the other 2 being junior ministers.

The zone got the ministries of communications, finance, transportation, marine, power, solid mineral, and tourism.

The Northeast, where the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, comes from got 6 ministers and 1 junior minister. It got education, health, police, interior, agriculture, and foreign affairs.

The second talking point is the argument that the assignments of some ministries to certain individuals are a mismatch.

Many Nigerians have particularly questioned the assignment of Festus Keyamo to the Ministry of Aviation, Dele Alake to the Ministry of Solid Minerals, and others, saying it is putting square pegs in round holes because their core strengths are not in those areas. 

The third is the President not assigning a substantive minister to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources even when he assigned someone there as a junior minister. Pundits have argued the President must have reserved the ministry for himself in keeping with the tradition of other presidents before, notably Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammad Buhari, who did the same. 

Finally, the age of the Minister of Youth, Abubakar Momoh, has also become a talking point with meaning opining that President should have assigned a much younger person to that ministry.

However, the list of talking points regarding the issue is by no means exhaustive. You can add yours in the comments section. 


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