Senator condemns exclusion of FCT on ministerial list, as Senate begins screening of nominees
Written by Henry on July 24, 2019
The Senate on Wednesday commenced the screening of the 43 ministerial nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the list of the nominees was sent to the Senate on Wednesday in accordance with section 147 (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan had announced that there would be two sessions for the exercise.
He said the morning session would commence by 10:00 a.m. daily and terminate at 1:00 p.m., while the second session would commence by 2:00 p.m. and end in the evening “depending on the mood of the Senate.”
Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, the nominee from Abia opened the floor by introducing himself to the lawmakers and requesting for questions.
Senator Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi) and Senator George Sekibo (PDP Rivers) were the first to ask Ogah questions about the solutions to what they described as the slow economic growth and youth unemployment in the country.
Ogah, in his answer, identified the building of critical infrastructure and agriculture as ways out of the current challenges.
He said, “We need to improve our critical infrastructure, that’s the only way we can create jobs.
“We do not need to also concentrate our industries in urban areas; we need to create industries in rural areas.
“We cannot build our economy purely on oil. Yes, agreed that oil is a cash cow but we can develop our agriculture.
“Nigeria has the capacity to feed the whole world. Nigeria economy is about N43 trillion and the private sector is expected to drive the nation’s economy.”
Meanwhile, Senator Philip Aduda (PDP FCT) had raised a concern about the non-inclusion of the Federal Capital Territory in the ministerial list.
He was backed by Senator Dino Melaye (PDP Kogi) who referred to Sections 297 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution which mandated that the FCT be treated like other 36 states of the federation.
Debate on Aduda’s point of order delayed the commencement of the ministerial screening till 11:09 a.m. when Lawan finally put the issue to rest.
The Senate Leader, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya (APC Kebbi), thereafter, moved for the Senate to receive the nominees, and the motion was seconded by Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia).