By Uche Amunike
After a thorough screening during plenary, Wednesday, the Nigerian Senate has confirmed the seven ministerial nominees in the list sent by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 21, 2022, seeking their confirmation.
The President had conveyed a list of the ministerial nominees to the lawmakers explaining that his confirmation request was in accordance with the provisions of section 147, sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), three out of the seven nominees screened and confirmed by the Senate were excused from taking questions from the lawmakers as a result of their legislative backgrounds and experience according to the ethics guiding the Senate, while the remaining four nominees fielded questions from the lawmakers.
The seven Ministerial nominees are: Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh (Abia State); Ekumankama Nkama ( Ebonyi State); Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom State); Good luck Nana Opia (Imo State) ; Ademola Adewole Adegoroye (Ondo State); Odum Udi (Rivers State) and Umar El-Yakub (Kano State).
The ministerial nominees who were asked random questions on the economy, education and insecurity among others were Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Odum Odi (Rivers State) and Ekumamkama Joseph Nkama of Ebonyi State, while the three others that were asked to take a bow and go because of their legislative backgrounds and experience were Goodluck Nana Opia (Imo), Ibrahim El-Yakub (Kano) and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye (Ondo).
While responding to questions, the Abia State ministerial nominee, Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh promised to make contributions towards the development of the nation’s economy, given his background in the private sector as an industrialist.
He also made great emphasis on how jobs could be created for the uncountable unemployed Nigerian youths by re-establishing modular refineries that will aid in refining Nigeria’s crude oil locally, stressing that apart from creating more jobs, an ultimate growth of the economy would be an added advantage.
He spoke about making the partnership between the Federal government and private sector more in-depth, in order to create more industries and in turn, create more job opportunities.
He spoke about the expediency in ensuring that graduates of tertiary institutions are technically knowledgeable enough to become job creators, especially in the local communities.
The Akwa Ibom ministerial nominee, Umana Okon Umana, on his part, give his ideas on how to improve the revenue and foreign exchange earnings to the country, as according to him, the free trade zone was a great platform to improve the nation’s revenue earnings.
He spoke on the need to improve Nigeria’s production sector for exports, which will in turn help the inflows of foreign exchange.
As for the 46 year old ministerial nominee from Ebonyi state, he was passionate about how to contribute to youth development, saying that it was important to see that there is a national re-orientation for the youths on their get-rich-quick mindsets. He suggested that the youths should be encouraged to seek various opportunities in the country instead of focusing on government jobs. Also, he stated the need for the federal government and ASUU to put heads together and resolve issues by reaching a compromise. He ended by suggesting more budgetary allocation to the education sector.
The Senate president, during his remarks, congratulated the ministerial designates after their screening and confirmation.