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Ministerial nominees rush to beat documentation Monday deadline

With a few hours left for documentation ahead of their screening scheduled to commence tomorrow, the 28 ministerial nominees have been trickling into the National Assembly Complex, Abuja to submit the necessary personal information that may be required of them by the Senate.


The exercise, which began on Friday, is due to close today.


Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele warned Saturday that the screening would not be a ’take a bow and go show’.


Bamidele was referring to the honour reserved for former federal legislators and other respected Nigerians nominated for appointments requiring confirmation by the Red Chamber.


Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Abdullahi Gumel, had on Friday invited the nominees to appear for documentation not later than today for the purpose of filling some forms that will aid the Senators to assess their suitability for appointment as ministers.


Investigation by NewMailNG on Saturday showed that some of the nominees had visited Gumel’s office as advised for documentation.


It was gathered that some others who were outside of Abuja at the time of the SSA’s announcement on Friday were making arrangement to be in the city today to do the needful.


But the number of those who have done their documentation was unavailable at press time.


Gumel did not respond to our reporter’s telephone calls or text message.


However, a source said: “Some of the nominees had left Abuja when the announcement was made on Friday.


“Some however returned to Abuja hurriedly today (Saturday) and have completed the exercise. We are expecting others who have promised to return and carry out the exercise on Sunday.


“We hope they will honour their words in order for the screening to have a seamless beginning on Monday.


“We are hopeful that all the nominees would have completed their documentation by Sunday which is the deadline.”


Bamidele: Screening won’t be bow and go show


Bamidele, who will play a key role in the screening on the strength of his position as Senate Leader, said yesterday that the exercise would not be business as usual.


The Senate, according to him, will be thorough this time in screening the nominees to ascertain their competence and capability to serve Nigeria.


He spoke during a communion service organised to mark his 60th birthday at the Church of Nigeria, Bababomi, Iyin-Ekiti in Irelodun/Ifelodun Council Area of Ekiti State.


He said the nominees would be grilled on their educational background and experience in the public or private sector.


The Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District said the 10th Senate was desirous of ensuring that those holding positions under the President Tinubu-led Federal Government are those capable of adding value to governance.


His words: “Let me assure Nigerians that the screening won’t be only bow and go, except for those who had been members of the National Assembly before and who we knew and appreciated that they have the wherewithal to give Nigerians qualitative leadership.


“Nigerians expect us to be thorough. They are expecting us to do a thorough screening.


“But take a bow and go is not an unparliamentary convention; it has become a practice all over the world, and that person must be a former member of the parliament who is well known to us. Somebody we have confidence in his ability.


“We are going to follow the constitution to ensure that we deliver on our mandate to make those who voted for us happy. This will occur at the level of parliament, oversight functions and at the committee level.


“We will partner Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to deliver on his promises to Nigerians. We are determined to ensure that all the three arms of government, particularly the judiciary, are put on good footing to be able to deliver justice without fear or favour.


“We are determined to ensure that the right people are brought on board.”


On the removal of the fuel subsidy, Bamidele said the federal government would soon roll out social investment programmes to palliate the sufferings of the masses, especially the poorest of the poor in the country.


“The federal government will put palliatives in place to help the poorest of the poor. There is also another category of palliatives that will be rolled out for the civil servants apart from the promised salary increment that will be done across states and at the federal level,” he said.


“The removal is very significant because the FG will be able to save a lot of money to do infrastructure and make all Nigerians happy.


“That was the intention of President Tinubu about the removal. He knows what Nigerians are passing through and efforts are underway to cushion the effects of this removal.”


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