Buhari’s Cabinet: The Good, The Blunders And The Ugly

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Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, assured that the federal government and ASUU will end negotiations in three days

I was seated at the lunch canteen the other day when one of my co-workers asked me if I was excited about Buhari’s ministerial appointments. And I responded “excited about what and who exactly?”

And let’s not forget the list came out God knows how many months late!

But I suppressed most of my thoughts to avoid a full-scale political argument. To be honest I had not done enough in-depth research to develop a solid opinion … I wished someone could do an analysis of each ministerial positions along with their pros and cons!

And that’s when I stumbled upon this gem of an article by Bayo Adeyinka who reviewed each ministerial position from Fashola to Amaechi to Adamu Adamu and rated them. While I don’t agree with everything he wrote, it is the closest to best article I have seen on the Ministers list … enjoy!

Article Begins…

On Wednesday the 11th of November, President Buhari inaugurated his new cabinet. He also whittled down the total number of ministries to 24 from 36, by combining and eliminating supposedly redundant ministries and appointing a fair number of nominees to junior positions. Some of President Buhari’s moves make a lot of sense considering the need to cut down waste and excess, but some of the appointments have left political and economic observers baffled. Here’s the run down of Buhari’s appointments – the good, the blunders, and the ugly.

Kemi Adeosun as Minister of Finance: Blunder

Kemi Adeosun - Finance Minister

With a challenged economy, significant dip in revenues, the increased risk of inflation running riot, the Naira under significant pressure, foreign financial organizations exiting our bond markets, a liquidity squeeze and the need to churn out policies that will impact the economy positively, it appears she does not have the clout or the qualifications to run that ministry. Adeosun lacks the pedigree of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the gravitas of Charles Soludo. Her ability to hold her own with international rating agencies and financial organizations is untested. For someone who ran her Ogun State economy to a point where the State needed a bail out to pay salaries, appointing her to run a national economy without a supporting Minister of State is a decision that defies logic. You cannot have a struggling CBN Governor and also have a struggling Minister for Finance. This is a first class blunder.

Babatunde Raji Fashola as Minister of Power Works and Housing: Ugly

Raji Fashola- Minister of Power,Works & Housing

I do not envy Babatunde Raji Fashola. I honestly don’t think Buhari did him any favors by assigning three very significant ministries to him. Being the Minister for Works alone is a tasking assignment but when you have Power and Housing added, then tasking becomes daunting. Fashola is being set up for failure. That is the entire infrastructure framework of the country resting on the shoulders of one man! The fact that he will be supported by a Minister of State for Power does little to relieve the enormous burden of responsibilities he now has. With 192,300km of Federal Roads to be covered, national power supply hovering around 4,000MW and a housing deficit of 17m, this could get ugly.

Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals: Blunder

Kayode Fayemi - Minister of Solid Minerals

The worst thing you can do to anyone with great potential is to underutilize their abilities or put them in a position where their latent capacities may never be called upon. That’s exactly what may happen to Kayode Fayemi as the Minister for Solid Minerals. He should be the Minister of Foreign Affairs given his experience or even the Minister for the Interior supervising the Police and other para-military agencies given the fact that he has a PhD in War Studies. A blunder.

Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, Ugly

Adamu Adamu - Minister of Education

I don’t know whether or not to weep over the appointment of Adamu Adamu as the Minister of Education. Making a journalist the supervising minister to resuscitate a moribund educational sector like ours is bad enough, but making a Professor of Education and a former Vice-Chancellor of a Nigerian University, Anthony Anwukah a junior minister reporting to Adamu Adamu truly shows the value our leaders place on education. The appointment should have been the other way round. Even Nyesom Wike was made a junior Minister of Education to Professor Rukayat under former President Jonathan. This is ugly

Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs: Good

Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan - Minister of Women Affairs

Aisha Alhassan came into national reckoning after losing the Taraba Governorship election narrowly. If she had won, she would have been the first elected female Governor in Nigeria. Traditionally, the ministry has been supervised by women and President Buhari would certainly not have departed from the norm, especially as he has been accused of not giving enough consideration to women in his cabinet. Aisha Mohammed should have been the first pick given her previous work on the Millenium Development Goals but Aisha Alhassan should do just fine also. A good fit.

Wondering how Rotimi Amaechi was rated … then read the full article written by Bayo Adeyinka for Venture Africa here.



Okechukwu Ofili is the author of 3.5 books and writes political satire for the BBC/RNW What's Up Africa show. He is also the founder of okadabooks.com and blogs daily at ofilispeaks.com.

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