Buhari’s Season III

Muhammadu Buhari, like Obasanjo , now has a rare opportunity to be Nigeria’s number one citizen the 3rd time and of course, the last, constitutionally. The world, voters and the masses are concerned about the legacy he intends to leave behind

By Valentine Eromonsele Oleabhiele

Silence enveloped the Federal Executive Council Chamber on May 22 as President Muhammadu Buhari held  a valedictory session with his cabinet Ministers. Tears rolled down the cheeks and there was purgation of emotions.

Questions pumped in the adrenalin of the outgoing ministers as they  move into another phase of life where the sirens will no longer wail, phones will ring less often and the retinue of aides will vapourize.

The last Cabinet started on November 11, 2015 six months after Buhari’s inauguration as the 4th President since the rebirth of democratic practice in 1999.

It was a tale of mixed fortunes. Not all those who started the race with the president completed it due to exigencies. While ex-Minister Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN) died in a car crash alongside his wife and son, the immediate past Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun was consumed by the scandal surrounding forgery of her National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC) discharge certificate.

 Aisha Al-Hassan, (Women Affairs and Social Development) hastily resigned from office to pursue her gubernatorial ambition.

A few others moved up the ladder – among them were Amina Mohammed, Minister for Environment, who bagged the post of the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations;  Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Solid Minerals Development, who is now the governor of Ekiti State; Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, returned to her first love of politics  and got elected as a member of the House of Representatives and Ibrahim Jibril, Minister of State for Environment who  earned a royal call when he was chosen as the Emir of Nasarawa.

Despite Buhari’s tight fiscal policies to get improvement in the standards of living,  the  level of achievement seems unimpressive.

A skeletal  review  of key sectors during his first term indicates that unless he injects more intellectual and creative  energies  into governance, the expected “Next Level” may just be a mirage.


Under  Buhari’s first term, Federal Ministry of Finance had two ministers. The first was Kemi Adeosun who focused on the initiation, development and aggressive implementation of innovative fiscal operations, management policies and initiatives aimed at redressing the economic fortunes of the country.

The other minister is Zainab Ahmed, who seemed to be  learning the ropes. However, she demonstrated lack of innovation and a weak grasp of what is expected of the ministry. Her natural terrain is the extractive sector where she is highly respected.

Under Adeosun, the following initiatives were introduced: Family Homes Fund; Whistle-blower Policy; Efficiency Unit; Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme; Road Trust Fund; Development Bank of Nigeria; Asset Tracking and Management Project; Fiscal Sustainability Plans and Budget Support Facility for States; Genuine implementation of Treasury Single Accounts and hitherto hidden government monies; Clearing of inherited pension arrears and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA). That is a rate of 3.27 initiatives every month while she was in office. But her successor spent eight months and could not initiate new policy.

As a way of encouraging public participation in the fight against corruption, President Buhari, through Kemi Adeosun championed the introduction of the landmark Whistle-blower policy, designed to support the fight against graft by exposing financial crimes and rewarding credible informants of such malfeasance.

The Federal Government on June 29, 2017 launched a revolutionary and bold reform initiative – the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), through which citizens (tax payers) are offered a window of opportunity to regularize their tax status relating to previous tax periods, without incurring penalties. This implementation of this tax initiative resulted in an increase in the number of tax payers from 10 million before the assumption of office by the incumbent Administration to 14 million in 2016 and 19.3 million in 2018.

It is instructive to note that some local and foreign companies are now disposed to the VAIDS initiative, and have started to regularize their tax status.

Buhari also  settled outstanding pension arrears up to March, 2017. The sum of 41.5 billion was released by the Federal Ministry of Finance to pay off outstanding pensions arrears of 2014, 2015 and 2016, while the sum of N12.5 billion was paid out to clear pension claims for up to March, 2017, bringing the total payment of outstanding pension arrears by the current administration to over N54 billion – an unprecedented feat, which has been commended by the various workers’ unions.

Despite the good intention of these initiatives, annual budget performance remains low even Nigeria’s total debt package currently stands at N24.7 trillion. 

In 2018, budgeted revenue was N7.2 trillion . This is against the realized figure of N3.96 trillion, signifying a negative variance of 45%. Despite this shortfall the government has  been able to fully pay salaries and  service 100%. There was  also a release of  seven months overhead for 2018, two months for 2019, and N2.079trillion capital expenditure as at 14th May 2019.

In the  Petroleum Resources Ministry, the greatest of  landmarks was the renegotiation of the Joint Ventures Cash Calls (JCC) exit from which the Federal Government has paid $1.5billion out of the over $5billion arrears. The measure has boosted the international oil companies’ investment confidence in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

To address corruption in the system, Buhari, through Ibe Kachukwu, the Minister of State in the Petroleum Ministry,  introduced the Direct Sale and Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme in exchange of crude oil for petroleum products from the refiners. The measure which was used to replace the previous Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) has saved Nigeria over $2.2billion since its introduction in 2016.

Buhari was  able to bring the menacing militant groups in the Niger Delta under control with the high level decision such as the relocation of the head offices of the IOCs from Lagos to the Niger Delta. The same measure also culminated in the quenching of the unending protest over the Ogoniland clean-up with the announcement and subsequent implementation of the UNEP blueprint on the region.

The notorious incessant fuel scarcity as a result of the Petroleum Support Scheme that was milking over N1.3trillion from the nation’s coffer annually with little or no product to show for it was addressed through the introduction the price modulation formula that absolved the fuel queues overnight.

Although the price of the Premium Motor Spirit was to rise from about N97 per litre to a maximum band of N145, the petrol stations are constantly wet with product. Besides, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has successfully remained the lone importer of petrol as private importers have shirked their responsibility owing to the escalating forex challenges. Although analysts have criticized the resultant under- recovery measure that they depict as a return to petrol subsidy, Nigeria has not run out of product under Buhari’s  watch which has reduced product diversion to adjoining countries.

The volume of oil production has also increased from less than 1.86million barrel per day in 2016 to 2.019million barrels per day in the early of 2019. The sector has succeeded in reducing the contracting circle of upstream operation from 24 months to nine months. This sector has reduced gas flare by 75 per cent as a result of the introduction of commercial gas utilization.

The  Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is creating an enabling business environment for businesses to thrive; implementing the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP); attracting long-term local and foreign investment; encouraging expansion of MSMEs; and promotion of global and regional value chains that enhance trade.

Except for the sudden introduction of TraderMoni  and MarketMoni through one of its agencies, the Bank of Industry,  most of his laudable initiatives are still at gestational stages.

Buhari’s past  four years have seen a lot of imbalance between Nigeria and its major trading countries. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics confirmed that Nigeria recorded N6.83trn worth of trade deficit with China in the last four years. As at 2015-2018 Nigeria imported goods worth N7.65tn from China and exported N818.46bn worth of goods to China.

However, the government  recorded progress on Ease of Doing Business reforms, which was also spearheaded by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). These reforms led to a reduction of challenges encountered by SMEs and other businesses in areas such as starting a business; access to credit; paying of taxes, enforcing contracts or trading within and across borders, and investor-interest in Nigeria has increased.

Under his watch, the country rose 24 places from 169 to 145 in the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business Index; its highest jump in the history of the rankings. And although Nigeria ranks 146 in the latest Doing Business rankings, the country’s Distance-to-Frontier (DTF) score, which is the absolute metric, improved from 51.52 in Doing Business 2018 to 52.89 in 2019.

With the advent of the Buhari government, worker had much hope that things will go differently as a result of the personality of the President and his change agenda. But the question is: Can workers beat their chest and say they are satisfied with his performance?

Four years after, the new minimum wage of N30,000 for Nigerian workers and the fact that no worker in the public service has lost his job, especially getting employers in the oil and gas sector not to sack workers are major achievements.

Buhari has made tremendous success in his plans for railway modernization in Nigeria which could be classified into three namely completed, ongoing and upcoming projects. The completed Standard Gauge Railway Projects are the Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna and Segment 1 of Lagos to Kano standard gauge railway modernization project). The total length of the Abuja to Kaduna is 186.50KM.

The Ongoing Standard Gauge Railway Projects include the 156.5kilometre Lagos to Ibadan Double Track Standard Gauge Railway project with extension to Apapa Port Complex (Segment 1 of Lagos to Kano Standard Gauge Railway Modernization Project).

As part of his achievements, the Federal Government, it was learnt, is on the verge of possible signing of the co-financing loan agreement to kick off the project of the outstanding portion of Lagos-Kano rail line (Ibadan-Abuja and Kaduna-Kano approximately 1000km).

The prioritized upcoming railway projects include Lagos to Calabar Coastal Railway Line with branch line from Benin City to Onitsha (1431.5Km); Kano to Dayi to Kastina to Maradi (354km), and Railway Industrial Park in Port Harcourt D. Port Harcourt to Maiduguri Standard Gauge Railway Line (2,058.838Km).

The main features for the Port Harcourt- Maiduguri  are -Port Harcourt – Enugu -Akwanga – Gombe – Maiduguri (1305.638Km), Bonny -Port Harcourt (67.0Km); Port Harcourt to Owerri to Awka to Enugu (266.0Km); Enugu to Abakaliki (61.4Km); Akwanga to Abuja (142.0Km); Gombe to Yola and Gombe to Jalingo (216.8Km).

The proposed railway project when completed will connect 11 states – Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River) in the southern region of the country from western flank to eastern flank of Nigeria.

It will also connect 17 states which include: Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nassarawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere of eastern flank of Nigeria. The branch lines will connect all the nearby states to the main line and traverse the following states: Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Taraba and FCT, Abuja while it will also connect the Kano to Jibiya in Maradi (another commercial hub of Niger Republic).

Ditto the aviation sector where the President has shown commitment to keep the nation’s airspace safe and guarantee smooth flights.

Nigeria has also attained Level 3 out of 4 levels, thereby moving Nigeria from red to green on the ICAO dashboard. In line with ICAO and WMO standards, in July 2017, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency acquired ISO9001 2015 certificate, which qualifies it to offer aeronautical meteorological services. The agency became the first in Africa to be so certified.

He placed premium on Growing and Sustaining the Domestic Aviation Industry; Re-introduction of zero import duties on aircraft, engine and introduction of same for spare parts. The government also  ensured the completion of the Kano Tower Automated Air Traffic Management and Meteorological Systems, installed the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) Category II (CAT II), Doppler VORs (DVORs), Distance Measuring Equipment (DMEs) at four airports namely Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Kaduna. Those of Minna, Jos, Yola, Maiduguri, Benin and Akure are still on-going and nearing completion.

Meanwhile, the name and the man, Muhammadu Buhari, has evolved into one of the most prominent personae that have influenced the storyline of the Nigerian political manifestations in the last four decades. His involvement or the lack of it thereof in the design of Nigeria’s prevailing circumstance has made his placement in the roll call of equitable and effectual leaders quite contestable.

With the hallmark being the economic recession of 2016, the divided opinions that have trailed him would largely remain a never-ending debate after he led the seventh republic, an administration that was overwhelmingly adjudged to have grossly underperformed by all standard measures. Nonetheless, by May 29th, the man and his name resonated again in the forefront of national discuss, this time as a returning president for another democratic dispensation; his second and last lap as a civilian ruler.

As Nigerians and the seeing world await the unveiling of the NEXT LEVEL, a soubriquet of the new tenure and the bane of expectation that the nation’s hope is hinged on for a better country that offers a shift away from the past, how keen should Nigerians be going into this term?

An insight into the past of the man at the helm of affairs would help pave an inroad towards this poser.

Educated largely in Katsina, Buhari was born in December 17, 1942 in Daura, an ancient town in Kastina State, northern Nigeria. He was the twenty-fourth child of his Fulani parents and he received military training in Kaduna as well as in Great Britain, India, and the United States. 

At age 20, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion stationed in Abeokuta. His first role cast in the Nigeria leadership brawl that would eventually introduced successive military truncation of Nigeria’s infant democracy was his involvement in the military coup that overthrew Yakubu Gowon in 1975. In return, he was rewarded with an appointment as military governor of North Eastern state which is current day Borno State. 

When Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo became military head of state in 1976 after Murtala Mohammed, Gowon’s successor, was assassinated, Buhari was appointed Federal Commissioner for petroleum resources and Chairman of the NNPC. A position he held till 1978.  During his reign $2.8 billion was alleged to have been fraudulently remitted from the NNPC account held with Midland Bank in the UK. This followed evidence presented by a US auditing firm, showing records that several monies were untraceable going by the bank proceedings of the NNPC. In 1980, the Shehu Shagari government appointed Justice Ayo Irikefe to chairman the tribunal that investigated the allegation. Interestingly, neither Buhari nor Obasanjo who were both overseers of the country’s oil sales and the NNPC account during the period in question ever appeared before the tribunal. Like many financial allegation leveled against military top brass in the course of a military regime, this one too remained an unsolved mystery.  

However it’s worthy to mention that as Federal Commissioner for petroleum, he instituted a handful of significant developments amongst which were the construction of 21 storage deports for petroleum products at strategic locations within the country and connecting distributing pipeline networks across the federation. 

Buhari moved a notch higher in the military echelon by becoming the Secretary at the Supreme Military Headquarters, which at that time was the seat of government, and he held on until September 1979 before he was drafted back into regular army duties. He was reposted as a General Officer Commanding of the Third Armored Division based out in Jos. 

At this time, Shehu Shagari has been enthroned through a democratic process into the presidency, easing the country back into civilian rule. Unfortunately, a widespread dissatisfaction amongst the military would plunge the country back into the abyss of  khakistocracy. And Muhammadu Buhari was a leading actor and the major beneficiary of the December 31, 1983 ouster of what was seemingly a promising democratic system. 

Military Head of State

Buhari’s military government of 1983 inherited a plethora of economic inconveniences that plagued the Shagari administration. And to salvage the situation, Buhari introduced several austerity measures that further deepened the plight of the populace with inflation hitting the roof.  

He took a hard-hitting position on corruption as many prominent figures in business and politics were tried and convicted. Many others were awaiting trials on corruption-related charges. The “War Against Indiscipline” was launched and targeted at promoting positive values in Nigerian society.

But the method employed to drive home the programme was authoritarian and dictatorial, drawing condemnation from many quarters. To further suppress a rising league of dissent and rebellion against his policies that were apparently threatening the survival and liberty of the people, Buhari established restrictions on trade unionists, the press, and political freedoms. 

As usual, the Nigerian people had embraced Buhari’s attempts to rid the country of corruption and advance generally acceptable values, but the measures he deployed were eventually degenerating into abuse and maltreatment. Worst still, it was a developing situation in the midst of enduring economic quandaries.  A significant numbers of the early cheerleaders turned around and agitated. 

At some point in August 1985, it appeared the rebellion has diffused into unconventional quarters as the military weren’t warming up again to Buhari’s doctrines of governance anymore.

On the 27th day of August, 1985  Major General Ibrahim Babangida took control of the government putting a leg to the door of Buhari’s first reign as Nigeria’s number one citizen.

As expected under most military dictatorship, allegations bothering on fraud would always go unchallenged and Buhari’s regime, despite fronting policies that insist on being incorruptible, was no different.

For example, the fate of 53 suitcases with unknown content brought in from oil rich Saudi Arabia on the 10th of June, 1984 without custom inspection was never addressed.    

In the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections, Muhammadu Buhari, more than two decades after retirement, was defeated by Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Musa Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan respectively, all of whom were incumbent and of the People Democratic Party, PDP.

In 2014 the All Progressives Congress (APC) which was a conglomeration of four other Political parties in addition to a faction of the PDP nominated Buhari to stand as its candidate in the 2015 presidential election. 

His longstanding reputation for being incorruptible and conservative and most importantly his military background made him particularly attractive as a presidential candidate. Betting on his expansive experience in the military, many Nigerians hoped he might be able to effectually have a firmer grip of the heightened security threat posed by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, whose vicious acts have continued to terrorize parts of the country. 

In what was Nigeria’s most narrowly contested election ever, Buhari garnered some 2.5 million votes ahead of Jonathan, his closest rival. He was declared the winner. His victory demonstrated the first time that an incumbent president would be defeated from office in the world most populous black nation. Buhari was inaugurated on May 29, 2015.

Development under Buhari return as a civilian president was mixed. His presidency had what would be better described as a rough and uncertain start, after it took more than six months to inaugurate a cabinet. This was coupled with the country sinking into recession in 2016 which in part could be blamed on the declining revenue from oil sales. By the threshold of 2018, there were noticeable evidences of some economic recovery from the recession, although Nigeria Bureau of Statistics pegged the number of job lost at 3.3 million as many Nigerians were still submerged in extreme poverty with many businesses crumbling under the weight of the economic crises. The situation gained international attention as Nigeria overtook Indian as the poverty capital of the world with 87 million people, more than 40 percent of its population living below poverty level.    

As the nation ebb into a state of uncertainty, agitation arose from South East secessionist group, IPOB with the government using military might to quell them under the operation Crocodile Smile. The situation was not helped with the president looped sided appointment favouring the northern region where he hails from. He went further to justify this with the five and ninety-seven percentage theory. The country was deeply divided across ethno-religious line. 

The war with Boko Haram became intricate as the group broke into two formidable factions and fought the country from different fronts with the Nigerian army falling prey on quite a lot of occasions. The successes recorded were entirely ‘technical,’ which is a synonym for patchiness. Hostility soon broke out in the North Central with Fulani Herdsmen clashing with farmers and ransacking communities. Banditry and kidnapping also started making waves in the North West and the military and security forces continued to botch-up in the face of confronting bloody crises.

Nevertheless, through all of these, the administration managed to embark on major infrastructural projects across the nation. Most noteworthy of them was its rail projects and road construction. Its social intervention policies, such as N-Power, Trader Moni, the school feeding programme and the Conditional Cash Transfer ensured Nigerians had reasons to smile.    

His administration’s fight on corruption was both applauded and vilified. He received praised for its progresses and knocks for focusing more on political opponents than on allies. In the course of his first tenure Buhari had reasons to visit his London hospital to manage an undisclosed ailment so frequently that his physical and mental ability to remain as president were called into questions severally.

And whenever he makes those extended absence, vice president Yomi Osinbajo takes charge. In an interview with BBC Aisha Buhari, wife of the president stated that her husband’s government may have been hijacked by a few people who are behind presidential appointments. This also brought into fore the resounding doubt on Buhari’s capacity and competence to have substantial control of the happenings under his watch with many calling on him to dispose his reelection ambition and retire to the tranquility of Daura.

Regardless, he was named the APC candidate for the February 2019 presidential election. He emerged victorious, winning by some 56 percent of the votes cast.

As the next level officially commence on the 29th of May, the government had during their re-election campaign presented an outline of lofty ideas which is supposedly the pivot necessary for Nigeria’s immediate and long-term development.

The government has promised to create additional 10 million jobs with N-Power graduates seeing an increase from over 200,000 to one million entrants. It has also vowed to expand its Anchor Borrowers Programme to one million beneficiaries. And add another 1.5 million jobs through agriculture mechanisation. 

The government is banking on its feeding programme as an incentive for poor parents to send their wards to school. Also there are plans to feed more school children from 9.2 million to 15 million. This will in turn help eradicate the country’s abysmal number of out of school children that currently stands at 13.2 million according to data from UBEC. It also projected that this increase will generate an additional 300,000 jobs for food vendors and farmers

In the buildup to the election, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo crisscrossed the country evangelising Trader Moni, the government soft loan scheme for petty traders.

Despite the criticism that trailed the venture, the government plans to create more trajectories which would target artisans and increasing the money from ₦10,000 up to N1 million each. 

The next level also promises to sustain the infrastructural development drive with the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Kano rail, the Eastern rail and the Lagos-Calabar rail. Others include Regional Industrial Parks and 109 Special Production and Processing Centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district.

On security and anti-corruption, the next level isn’t presenting anything different from the past except the continuation of the ongoing onslaught against Boko Haram, armed bandit and political opponents respectively.     

For opinions, the next level is pregnant with promises just like the ‘Change’ mantra of the previous four years. But then expectations have remained low because the antecedent of the government doesn’t give much reason for excitement. 

Again many corrupt politicians who were previously on the EFCC watch list have crossed carpet into the APC and as expected their sins would be forgiven and shielded from persecution. 

Unlike 2015, Buhari has announced his cabinet ministers who are being screened by the Senate.

To most Nigerians, the cabinet make up is uninspiring.

For instance, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said Buhari’s ministerial list s colourless, stagnant, uninspiring and did not convey any sense of hope or purposeful governance.

Ologbondiyan said to the utter disappointment of Nigerians, the list was replete with alleged incompetent individuals who failed in their erstwhile ministerial assignments and allegedly left their ministries in a shambles.

According to him, such a ministerial list can only come from a leadership that does not have the mandate of the people.

Ologbondiyan said, “The list has further shown Buhari and the APC’s insensitivity and disdain for Nigerians and it does not in any way reflect their hope and eagerness for a better Nigeria.

“Furthermore, in recycling failed yesterday’s men for today’s assignment, Buhari and the APC have left no one in doubt that they have no vision to move our nation out of the economic and security predicaments into which they have plunged us in the last four years.”

Also, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said Buhari’s list lacks innovation.

 He  stated, “People are talking of a generation change and injecting fresh blood or a mixture of the old and the new. But the new names on the list are people who have been in the political circle for some time. I am sure the younger generation would have been looking out for a list that would have accommodated their interest and representation.”

Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association said the ministerial nominees list contained mostly names of recycled politicians.

The Director-General, NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, said Nigerians had waited and expected to see some names of technocrats on the list, but the association discovered that the list contained mostly recycled politicians that were picked based on political patronage and mostly for their roles as party men.

 “We had expected that with the delay by the President in constituting his cabinet, the team would be populated by professionals that had distinguished themselves in their area of calling,” he stated.

For those who have witnessed Buhari’s leadership since 1983, it’s difficult to predict a modification in tactics and mannerism. Therefore, voters are waiting with mixed expectations  on what the “next level” holds for the masses.    

 President Muhammadu Buhari’s “Next Level” 43-man ministerial cabinet

 Okechuckwu Ogah: The Abia-born Ogah is a Consultant Physician/Cardiologist Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan. He is also the President of The Nigerian Cardiac Society. Sources said may he may be made Minister of Health.

 Mohammed Musa Bello: The immediate past FCT Minister has been nominated again by Buhari possibly to continue overseeing activities in the ministry. He has a B.SC in management with a major in Banking and Finance from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. He has an MBA in the same field. He represents Adamawa state.

Godswill Akpabio: The former Governor of Akwa Ibom lost his re-election bid to the Senate. He defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) months to the last general elections after following out with his godson and successor Udom Emmanuel. His nomination is expected to galvanise the APC in the state and region where he is considered the leader.

Chris Ngige: Many thought he will be dropped from the incoming cabinet following his long-drawn battles with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and medical doctors. But the former Anambra governor staged a comeback and is likely to be assigned to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

Sharon Ikeazor: The current Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) is a surprise inclusion in the cabinet considering the massive reforms she initiated in the PTAD. Buhari certainly needs better needs of her to have nominated the former Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for cabinet role. She is expected to serve as a Minister of State being a first-timer.

Adamu Adamu: The immediate past Minister of Education from Bauchi state is likely to continue in the same capacity upon constitution of the new cabinet.

Ambassador Maryam Katagun: The new entrant is expected to serve as a junior minister from Bauchi state despite being Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. Considering her functions in UNESCO, she is likely to be assigned to the Ministry of Education.

Timipre Sylva: One of the former governors to make the list, Sylva’s inclusion means he won’t contest the November 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa, which he presided over from 2007-2011. He replaces former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, who has since picked the nomination form for APC governorship primary.

George Akume: The former Benue governor, who lost his senatorial re-election bid, is back as a ministerial-nominee. He replaces former Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbeh as the state’s representative.

Mustapha Baba Shehuri: The immediate past Minister of State for Power Works Housing is back on the list ostensibly to give more impetus to ongoing projects in the ministry.

Goddy Jedy- Agba: The former Group General Manager (GGM) Crude Oil Marketing Division (OMD) NNPC wanted desperately to govern Cross Rivers but was stopped by powerful forces. He left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC where he has been rewarded with a ministerial slot.

Festus Keyamo: The human rights activist won the Delta ministerial slot having served as Director of Strategic Communications of Buhari’s re-election bid.

Ogbonnaya Onu: The immediate past Minister of Science of Technology is back to represent Ebonyi state. He may be asked to continue with the ministry.

Osagie Ehanire: Another returnee, Ehanire served as Minister of State for Health. He may just be back in the ministry.

Clement Ike: The accountant was Commissioner for Environment and other ministries in Oshiomhole’s government for eight years. He currently works with Chevron.

Adeniyi Adebayo: Former Ekiti governor is a top chieftain of the APC. He is back with a public office since he left as governor from 1999-2003.

Geoffrey Onyeama: The immediate Minister of Foreign Affairs from Enugu is widely believed will continue in the same capacity.

Ali Isa Pantami: Gombe-born Director General and CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Nigeria is a new inclusion on the cabinet list.

Emeka Nwajiuba: He has just been elected a member of the House of Representatives on the platform of Accord Party. Nwajiuba was a member of the House from 1999-2003.

Suleiman Adamu: The immediate past Minister of Water Resources from Jigawa may continue with the ministry. He was also a former Inspector General of Police.

Zainab Ahmed: The Kaduna-born accountant is immediate past Minister of Finance.

Muhammad Mahmood: The current Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) is a former member of the Kaduna House of Assembly and Chairman of the Buhari Support Organisation.

Sabo Nanono: The retired banker has long been tipped for ministerial appointment. He comes to the cabinet with years of experience in banking.

Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi: A former Sokoto governor (1990-1992), he was retired along with other military chiefs in 1999. He was a legal adviser for the defunct All Nigeria’s People Party (ANPP) and governorship candidate of Democratic People’s Party (DPP) in Kano.

Hadi Sirika: The immediate past Minister of Aviation is a former Senator.

Abubakar Malami: The Minister of Justice and Attorney General is an expected returnee being one of the President’s men in the last cabinet.

Ramatu Tijjan: The National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is widely speculated to head the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Lai Mohammed: The immediate past Minister of Information and Culture is not a surprise inclusion. He may be back in the same Ministry.

Gbemisola Saraki: The former Senator led the APC assault that led to the collapse of his elder brother’s political empire in Kwara state. She is tipped to serve as a Minister of State.

Babatunde Fashola: The immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing is expectedly back to continue with projects he initiated in the first term.

Olorunnibe Mamora: The former Senator and Lagos Speaker is a surprise addition to the list considering he was just appointed Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in 2018.

Mohammed H. Abdullahi: He is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Nasarawa State Government.

Zubair Dada: He is the  nominee from Niger. He was born in Minna and he is 67 years old. He is a graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University where he studied Business studies. He finished in 1974

Olamilekan Adegbite: He is the immediate past Ogun Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure.

Tayo Alasoadura: The former Senator was a former Secretary to Ondo State Government.

Rauf Aregbesola: He is the immediate past Osun Governor and trained engineer.

Sunday Dare: The former editor is Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission. He is to represent Oyo state.

Paulen Talen: The former Deputy Governor of Plateau is a chieftain of the APC.

Rotimi Amaechi: The immediate past Minister of Transportation is also a former 2 term governor of Rivers State from  2007-2015. Before then, he was River State House of Assembly Speaker for 8 years from 1999-2007

Maigarai Dingyadi:  Is the nominee from Sokoto state. He has both business and political background. He is married with children.

Abubakar D. Aliyu: He is a former deputy governor of Yobe.

Sadiya Umar Faruk: The Zamfara-born nominee is Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

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