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Buhari Swears – in Ministers, Creates Three New Ministries




By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

At last, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday, inaugurated a new cabinet for his second term in office, three months after his inauguration on May 29, 2019.

The President commenced the event with the administering of oath of office on the reappointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and the 43 Ministers who are now part of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The swearing in ceremony took place at the Aso Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Idris Wase; All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and senior presidency officials in attendance.


It was also witnessed by family and friends of the new ministers; APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; the Chief of Defence Staff and military service chiefs, as well as the Inspector-General of Police.

Also present was the embattled Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who is being investigated over an alleged N3billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 

She had been absent from public functions in the past few days, particularly the induction retreat organised for the incoming ministers in Abuja, at which she was listed as one of the resource persons. 

President Buhari in his remarks, charged the ministers to work closely and harmoniously with fellow cabinet members as well as with the Permanent Secretaries in their respective Ministries.

This, he said, has become necessary considering the fact that, the task of moving the country to the Next Level requires dedication, focus, and collective efforts.

He reminded them of his earlier charge to channel cabinet memos through the SGF and requests for meetings and presidential matters through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

Buhari warned that failure to follow appropriate vertical and horizontal channels of communication in the work of the cabinet among them would be sanctioned with requisite repercussions. 

The President said: ”The core objectives of this Administration are to improve security, achieve diversified, inclusive economic growth and fight corruption. I am convinced that we can build a buoyant economy that supports inclusive growth and creates broad-based prosperity for every Nigerian – one that will absorb the two million Nigerians entering the labour market each year, as well as reduce the backlog of over 20 million unemployed or underemployed Nigerians.

”We must also intensify efforts to reduce internal security threats and eliminate corruption at all levels so as to ensure that our citizens have a safe and corruption-free environment where they can live and conduct their businesses, without fear and intimidation.

All these are only possible if we are relentless about delivering on the priorities that are vital to our overall objectives – and on the specific actions and targets that have been identified to guide policy direction and implementation as specified in our roadmap.

We have also agreed on the appropriate Key Performance Indicators and deliverables to be achieved in the road map on Government priorities – 2019 – 2023. 

”I am pleased to note that at the end of the retreat, we have agreed and prioritized the key strategic initiatives required to drive socio-economic growth in our country, which must be accomplished, because the people of Nigeria expect nothing less from us. 

”Our primary business over the next four years is to work together towards delivering the results that the people of Nigeria expect from us.  We have a great opportunity as an Administration to build on the progress already made in order to fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory on the path of steady growth and development.

”While recognizing the existing challenges, and the urgent need to surmount them, we must not fail to note the progress we have made since inception.  

”Our economic policy, which is the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, is still robust and on course with the necessary policies and initiatives to sustain the country’s exit from recession, engender growth and promote the value chain of infrastructural development.  We believe that we can sustain our legacies and developmental strides if they are based on sustainable policies and good governance.”

While assigning portfolios to the Ministers, Buhari announced three new Ministries, namely Ministry of Police Affairs, which he had scrapped in 2015; Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs;  as well as Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.

The Ministers who were sworn-in in groups of fives and three, making a total of nine batches; were seven female and 36 male Ministers as screened and cleared by the Senate last month.

Meanwhile, a one-minute silence and special prayer were observed in honour of late Mr. Tijani Yusuf, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on General Duties, who died two weeks ago; before the new Ministers took a group photograph with the President. 

Ministers at the State House

The Ministers and their portfolios as announced by President Buhari at the ceremony are: Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah (State, Mines & Steel); Mohammed Musa Bello (FTC); Godswill Akpabio (Niger-Delta); Chris Ngige  (Labour & Employment); Sharon Ikeazor (State, Environment); Adamu Adamu (Education); Maryam Katagun (State, Industry)

Timipre Sylva (State, Petroleum); George Akume (Special Duties); Mustapha Shehuri (State, Agriculture); Goddy Jedy Agba (State, Power); Festus Keyamo (State, Niger-Delta); Ogbonnaya Onu (Science); Osagie Ehanire (Health); Clement Ike  (State, Budget); Richard Adebayo (Industry); Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Aff.); Ali Isa Pantami (Communication); Emeka Nwajiuba (State, Education); Suleiman Adamu (Water Res.)

Zainab Ahmed (Finance, Budget and National Planning); Muhammad Mahmood (Environment); Sabo Nanono (Agriculture); Bashir S. Magashi (Defence); Muhammad Buhari (Petroleum); Sen. Hadi Sirika (Aviation); Abubakar Malami (Justice); Ramatu Tijjani (State, FTC); Lai Mohammed (Information)

Gbemisola  Saraki (State, Transport); Babatunde Fashola (Works & Housing); Adeleke Mamora (State, Health); Mohammed H. Abdullahi (State, Science & Tech.); Zubair Dada (State, Foreign Aff.); Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines & Steel); Tayo Alasoadura (State, Labour); Rauf Aregbesola (Interior); Sunday Dare (Youth & Sports); Paulen Talen (Women)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport); Maigari Dingyadi (Police Aff.); Sale  Mamman (Power); Abubakar D. Aliyu (State, Works & Housing); Sadiya Umar Faruk (Humanitarian, Disaster Management & Social Development). 


TETFund pledges support to reduce unemployment




The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund),  Sonny Echono, has pledged support for measures that will improve employment of graduates in the county.

Echono made the pledge at an Implementation Support Workshop for National Employability Benchmarking Programme in Nigerian universities in Abuja on Wednesday.

He stressed the importance of implementing the recommendations contained in a report submitted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to ultimately reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country.

“The report indicates that the aggregate average score of Nigerian benchmark institutions across the five dimensions of employability is 2.

3 out of 4.0 which is just above the average of all institutions benchmarked globally (2.2).

“The report which also covers the assessment of the institutions’ Digital Learning Strategy shows that surveyed universities lagged behind global best practices in application of digital learning strategies, access to large multidisciplinary databases and digital course-reserves as well as the level of faculty digital skills.

“This obviously require deliberate action on the part of all stakeholders to address our peculiar challenges,” he added.

Echono said that Nigeria being a developing economy is faced with the challenges of high unemployment, particularly youth unemployment which is at an all-time high in the country.

He added that an increasing number of young Nigerian graduates from tertiary education institutions are being released into the labour market with a continuously shrinking absorptive capacity.

“The structure of the economy which is largely import dependent has further limited the ability of the country to generate commensurable jobs due to low level of industrialisation, thereby aggravating the unemployment situation in Nigeria.

“Thus, aligning our intervention activities to meet our changing needs, and strengthening our education delivery towards fostering an entrepreneurship culture are some of the best ways for unleashing the enormous youth potential,” he said.

He added that the fund is also working to address unemployment as well as other societal problems, thereby growing the economy.

He said that strengthening entrepreneurship education and training are crucial to achieving this.

“As an intervention agency for tertiary education in Nigeria, TETFund is deliberately refocusing its intervention activities to support learning outcomes and employability of Nigerian tertiary education graduates.

” I am pleased to report that the Strategic and Operational Plan for refocusing TETFund entrepreneurship intervention for employability and innovation was approved by the Federal Ministry of Education in March 2023.

“Consequently, the requirements and guidelines for accessing entrepreneurship development intervention of the Fund were revised in line with the approved Plan.

“In addition, the Fund is in the process of establishing entrepreneurship and innovation hubs in our beneficiary institutions across the six geo-political zones of the country, to link them with industry.

“This is with a view to enhance entrepreneurship development, innovation and employability in line with contemporary global best practices,” he said.

He, therefore, said that the interventions would help promote the transformation of beneficiary institutions into catalysts for knowledge creation and organising the translation of knowledge into usable products and services for addressing societal problems.

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Chairman tasks new CEOs on leveraging expertise for delivery




The Chairman, Uniccon Group, Dr Chuks Ekwueme has tasked newly appointed Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to leverage their expertise and social currencies to deliver on the responsibilities entrusted to them.

The General Manager of the group, Mr Kehinde Ake, who said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, added that the CEOs were appointed at the Uniccon subsidiary offices.

Ake quoted  the Chairman as saying that the appointees of its Chuksprime Organics, SmartAfri Labs and Baba Sky Technologies subsidiaries were Mr Chris Ebosie, Mr Eval Esege and Mr Ronald Ajiboye accordingly.

He said the appointments were critical to repositioning the Group’s subsidiaries for market traction and more impact in the technology space.

Ekwueme said that they were appointed based on their great expertise and specialty.

He said: “The choice of Chris to lead Chuksprime was an easy one, given his great expertise and management experience across several industries and stake in creating the blockchain technology and managerial prowess.

“On Ajiboye, I could not have made a better choice given his foothold in UAV-drone research, development, marketing and networking in the  UAV space.”

The chairman said that Chuksprime was an agro export company focused on the sourcing, processing, and export of Natural and organic agro commodities.

He said Smartafri Labs was a blockchain hub for the NFT marketplace, utility tokens and the metaverse. It drives African creatives, and creation and incorporates its cultures into the specialised niche.

According to Ekwueme, Baba Sky Technologies engages in the research, development, deployment and commercialisation of customised military, surveillance, agro and use-case UAV-drone.

In response, the new executives thanked the chairman for the confidence reposed in them and promised to exceed expectations with the cooperation of management and members of staff. 

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Police declare Owodunni Ibrahim, `Primeboy’, wanted in connection with Mohbad’s death




Police in Lagos State on Wednesday declared one Owodunni Ibrahim popularly known as “Primeboy’’, wanted in connection with the death of 27-year-old singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, better known as Mohbad.

The police also placed a N1 million bounty on Primeboy’s head for anyone who gives information leading to his arrest.

Mohbad died in controversial circumstances on Sept.

12 and was buried on Sept.
13, but his corpse was exhumed on Sept. 21 for autopsy.

Fans and celebrities took to the streets protesting the singer’s death and demanding that justice be done as they suspected foul play in his death.

Police spokesman in Lagos State, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, stated that police declared Primeboy, an associate and friend of Mohbad, wanted following his refusal to honour police invitation.

“Following his failure to honour police invitation successfully sent to him since the commencement of investigation into circumstances leading to Mohbad’s  death, the police hereby declare Owodunni Ibrahim aka Primeboy wanted.

“Ibrahim is approximately 1.64m tall, male, dark-complexioned with tribal marks and Yoruba by tribe.

“His last known address is 3rd Power, Oke Eletu, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

“If seen, contact the nearest police station or call 08036885727.

“Commissioner of Police, Mr Idowu Owohunwa, offers a handsome reward of N1 million to anyone with useful information leading to Primeboy’s arrest,’’ Hundeyin stated.

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