Home News Ministerial Nominees: Senate screens Fagbemi, Pate, Alake, two others

Ministerial Nominees: Senate screens Fagbemi, Pate, Alake, two others

by Peter Friday
0 comment

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday forwarded a list of 28 ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

The Senate will today screen the remaining six ministers-designate sent to it by President Bola Tinubu for confirmation.

Those to be screened are Dele Alake (Ekiti), Lateef Fagbemi (Kwara), Muhammed Idris (Niger), Ali Pate (Bauchi) and Doris Uzoka (Imo).

They are among the 28 nominees the president, in a letter last Thursday, requested the Senate to confirm.

The legislature on Tuesday screened nine of the nominees. They are David Umahi (Ebonyi), Olawale Edun (Ogun State), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Ahmed Dangiwa (Katsina State), Uche Nnaji (Enugu State), Stella Oketete (Delta), Dele Alake (Ekiti State), Adebayo Adelabu (Oyo) and Ekperikpe Ekpo (Akwa Ibom State).

Earlier on Monday, it screened Abubakar Momoh (Edo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Joseph Utsev (Benue), Abubakar Kyari (Borno), John Enoh (Cross River) and Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa).


Also screened were Yusuf Tuggar (Bauchi), Sani Danladi (Taraba), Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye (Anambra), Olubunmi Tunji Ojo (Ondo), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia), Betta Edu (Cross River) and Iman Suleiman Ibrahim (Nasarawa).

Mr Tinubu has yet to nominate ministers from 11 states namely Adamawa, Bayelsa, Gombe, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Lagos, Plateau, Osun, Yobe and Zamfara.

The Senate will conduct today’s exercise at the Committee of the Whole with the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, as chairman.


It is expected that the upper house will take its decision to confirm or reject any of the ministers-designate at the end of the screening today.

Dele Alake, the Ekiti nominee, is appearing before the Senate. He has introduced himself and is answering questions put to him by the senators.

A senator asked him what he will do to earn Nigeria money from tourism if he is posted to the ministry of information and culture.

Mr Alake said it is when there is security that tourism can flourish. For domestic tourists there has to be peace of mind. Elsewhere in the world where people gravitate for tourism there is a modicum of security. The first thing to attack is internal security. There are other factors but in my estimation security.is the most important factor. In the last seven years, we have not had security.

Another factor is access to the tourism sites. No matter the amount of advertisements, if there is no infrastructure and personnel, tourism will not thrive.

On foreign image, he said there is no foreign image that is ever good without good governance.

He will recommend to the president to concentrate on good governance and when you have that the image of Nigeria will shoot up. We will not waste our time on polishing foreign image but instead ensuring good governance.

On social media regulation, Mr Alake said there is a positive side and a negative side. The positive side is that you communicate faster with social media. I will recommend strengthening of the laws and application of those regulations.

On re-orientation of our society, he said the problem is character. The value system has been desecrated by successive Nigerians. The leaders at different levels must start to lead with character. It is not just regulations and laws. I will support serious attitudinal change from top to bottom.

Executive disobedience to laws, Mr Alake said he will ensure strict adherence to laws. “If there are laws and motion, it will assist.”

The Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwom asked Mr Alake if he truly made a statement

However, Senator Adamu Aliero point of order Section 55 complained that there are so many interruptions “from the other side.”

When he resumed, Mr Mwadkwom asked Mr Alake to recite the first stanza of the Nigerian Anthem.

The Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, raised another point of order (Order 55 (1-5) to complain that the minority leader was asking questions on campaigns that have come and gone.

Again, Mr Bamidele also relying Order 52 (4) of the Senate rules to ask said the nominee should not be allowed to answer the question of the national anthem

The senate president said if he is asked the second stanza of the anthem, he could do it like any Nigerian adult. He ruled to sustain the order.

The Senate adopt a motion to extend its sitting beyond 2p.m. as moved by Mr Opeyemi and seconded by Mr Mwadkwon.

Mr Akpabio asked the nominee to answer the remaining questions he was itching to answer.

On press freedom, Mr Alake said “I was the first to bring a bill on press freedom to the Lagos House of Assembly. I am one of those who upholds the precession to ensure that press freedom operates in this country.

He promised to uphold the press freedom when confirmed but that press freedom must come with responsibilities on the part of journalists.

Mr Akpabio asked the nominee to answer the remaining questions he was itching to answer.

On press freedom, Mr Alake said “I was the first to bring a bill on press freedom to the Lagos House of Assembly. I am one of those who upholds the precession to ensure that press freedom operates in this country.

He promised to uphold the press freedom when confirmed but that press freedom must come with responsibilities on the part of journalists.

The Senate President asked Mr Alake to take a bow and step out of the senate chamber at 1:53 pm

Mohammed Idris, the nominee from Niger State has been admitted into the Senate chamber for screening.

The Niger nominee is addressing the Senate

He said he was born in 1966 in Katsina though he is from Niger State. He said his father is a Nupe man.

Mr Idris is the publisher of the Blueprint newspaper.

The nominee said he specialised as corporate communication consultant

He said he is a member of IPI, NIPR, secretary of NPAN and other professional bodies.

Aliyu Wadada (SDP, Nasarawa Wrst) said it is time to put the round pegs in round whole. He asked the senators to support his nomination because he is eminently qualified.

Senator Garba said the nominee was his junior in secondary school and had done well. He asked him that as an entrepreneur, what he will do to generate employment for the teeming youth.

Senator Ziam from Benue State asked the nominee if he is satisfied with the reportage of government activities and information Nigerians are getting from the media organisations.

The Bauchi South senator asks the nominee if confirmed and send to information ministry, what he will do to bring back the FRCN Kaduna to life.

Another senator asks Mr Idris if he thinks the Nigerian media has portrayed Nigeria in good light and how do think media should be used to portray this country in good light.

Senator Olamilekan asked if he is satisfied with the performance of the Nigerian media and also the issuance of radio licences currently. He asked if he is satisfied with the performance of NTA compared with Channels, AIT, TVC

Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger) said the three senators from Niger are in support of the nominee. He said the Blueprint newspaper reported every issue as it was during the recent campaigns. He appealed to the Senate to approve the nominee after answering the questions.

Responding to the question on high rate of unemployment, Mr Idris said “Policies formed by the government should involve the private sectors , that is one the methods to reduce unemployment. He said if given right environment, jobs will be created. He says he currently employs about 200 people.

He said he is not satisfied with information flow in the country because it gives room for rumour. He said there were about seven versions of the ministerial nominees and only one featured his name. He said that is what result from inadequate information flow.

The NTA and FRCN, he said are doing well but they can do better. There must be some form of modern equipment for them and the people to man them are properly trained .

He said NBC needs to move more with time and and that it should reduce its licencing fees. He said after paying high fees, it becomes difficult for stations to commence operation because of funds.

Mr Idris also said Whatsapp, Facebook and Ticktock need to be regulated.

The nominee said many of those that get the NBC licenses are politicians.

Kwara nominee, Lateef Fagbemi, is about to be screened. He is addressing the Senate now.

Mr Fagbemi is accompanied by the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and several Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) including Wole Olanipekun and Yusuf Alli.

Mr Fagbemi has introduced himself. He said he was born in 1959 and worked under Afe Babalola.

Kwara Central senator, Saliu Mustapha,  describes Mr Fagbemi in glowing terms. He said the nominee if confirmed will bring his wealth of experience to run the nation.

Kwara South senator, Sulaiman Umar, said Mr Fagbemi is a man well known.  He said he should have requested the Senate to allow him to go but since the Kwara people are proud of him, he should take questions.
Oyo South senator, Sharafadeen, said he has known him for a long time and he resides in his district in Ibadan.  He said the nominee is the first to be accompanied to the screening by his governor and about seven SANs. He requested Mr Fagbemi should be allowed to go.

The Senate Leader relying on Order 12 (1) (i) moved invoke the order to admit former Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who is the chief of staff to the president into the Senate chamber.  It was seconded by the minority leader.

Mr Gbajabiamila comes and and goes straight to meet the Senate President.

Mr Gbajabiamila hands over an envelope  to Mr Akpabio apparently a correspondence from President Tinubu.

He did so last Thursday when he submitted the list of 28 ministers.

It is speculated that Mr Gbajabiamila submitted the list of ministerial nominees from the remaining 11 states.

At 3:19, Femi Gbajabiamila has submitted the letter at exactly 3.19 pm.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia) asked Mr Fagbemi what will he do if the government does not obey court orders or desecrate the constitution.
Mr Akpabio asks if there is anybody that will help Mr Abaribe to frame the question better.  He said the Tinubu administration is just two months old and the question  suggests the government is already desecrating the constitution. He said it was wrong for Mr Abaribe to use the word – desecrate.
Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP Kebbi Central) framed the question asked by Mr Abaribe and went on to ask his own question.

Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, questioned the Kwara nominee on issues bordering on “unexplained source of wealth”  and his position against fighting corruption in the country

On Senator Sadiq Umar”s question on the relation between the office of AGF and the National Assembly, he said there is no water tight separation of power.

On sources of wealth, he said iIt is only in Nigeria that you want to make omelette without breaking an egg. He said it is not impossible.
The way corruption is being fought leaves much to be desire. He said if he has his way he will unbundle to some corruption agencies.

Responding to question whether he will have relationship with the National Assembly if appointed as the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Fagbemi said he cannot do anything without permission of the National Assembly.

“SSS cannot be an island onto itself.  No.”

You do your investigation before arrest and not arrest before investigation

Mr Fagbemi said it is not government that disobeys court orders, it is people around the government.

“There’s no government especially the head who will want to joke with the judiciary, it is those around him. You have the EFCC, SSS and other security, you’ll not find the president disobeying order.”

“My advice will be that in matter of law, the Attorney General of the Federation should be involved. You do investigation before arrest and not arrest before investigation.

Responding to question on reviewing the judiciary, the Kwara nominee said good laws need to be put in place.

“It is better to have bad laws in place administered by good men than to have good laws in place to be administered by bad men.
The Senate President asked a question on the conflicting and divergent judgements by different courts on the same issue and how he will bring sanity to the system.
He said it is an unfortunate matter and the courts have been trying to resolve it. He said most of the cases involved are political cases. He said the appropriate authorities, that is the disciplinary bodies, would sanction lawyers involved but cannot say much about the litigants.
He said we need proper reporting system of reporting judgement.
On boundary dispute, Mr Fagbemi said it is not a legal matter but a political matter.

Mr Fagbemi leaves the Senate chamber.

Bauchi nominee, Prof. Ali Pate, is the next to be screened. He addresses the Senate as directed by the Senate President.

He said he was born in 1968. He expesses gratitude to President Tinubu for nominating him as a minister.

He said late President Umaru Yar’adua brought him back to the country to serve. He said he also served in President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

“This hallowed chamber confirmed in July 2011.”

Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP Bauchi) said he has known the nominee all his life and he schooled in Misau, his town. Mr Ningi said he is one of Bauchi’s best. He said every media outfit in the country has rated Mr Pate as the minister to watch for because of his integrity. He said Pate can be relied upon to deliver the democracy dividends.

The Bauchi South senator  while speaking  about Prof. Pate said he (Pate) called him six years ago to urge him to join politics. He said today Ihe is a senator standing here to confirm him as a minister.  He said he was one of Mr Pate’s boys.

“This gentleman is very honest but very, very thorough, he is also passionate,” he added.

A senator asked why the National Cancer Centre Abuja abandoned?  He said his bank where he was the chief executive contributed N2 billion towards that project at the time.
Senator Adamu Aliero, who was FCT minister at the time, under Yar’adua administration, explained that Pate was not responsible for the centre. He said it was not abandoned. It was funds they were waiting for funds.

Prof Pate, responding to questions, said to stop doctors from moving out of the country, “we need to look at the condition of service.”

The senate president said he worked with Pate when he was Akwa Ibom governor and he helped to stop polio in the state.

He commended President Tinubu for going outside the country to pick Pate and said he will add value to the country.
He asked the nominee to go after answering several questions, which the senate president described as a “lecture.”

The last nominee, Doris Uzoka-Anite, from Imo State is addressing the Senate.

She said she hails from Oguta LGA. She is a medical doctor but worked with Zenith Bank. She paid tribute to Jim Ovia and others for mentoring her. She also expressed gratitude to Governor Hope Uzodinma.

She’s speaking about her achievements in the banking sector.

She said it was while working in the bank that Governor Uzodinma spotted her and invited her to serve in his administration as finance commissioner.

Dr Uzoka-Aniche ends her address.

Senator Asuquo Ekpeyong (Cross River South) said he has known her for a long time having worked with her.

The Imo North senator, Patrick Ndubueze, said the nominee as a commissioner was coordinating 12 ministries in Imo. He said she is so dedicated and can ask questions but that there may be no need, He said any ministry you send her to she will perform, whether in finance ministry, trade and industry. He urged those raising to ask her question to be brief.
Senator Osita Izunaso (Imo West) said the nominee “is one of our best and brightest.” He said since she came to Imo State the state IGR has moved from point A to point B. He said she has worked in both private and public sectors. He said the Senate should allow her to take her leave as it did to female nominees on Tuesday.
Senator Ibeabuchi (Imo East) said he has no doubt that Uzoka-Aniche will be an asset to the Tinubu administration.
Senator Ireti Kingibe (LP, FCT) said the nominee is a well accomplished woman. She said there is no need to belabour her with questions because if the senate allows that she will answer questions for two hours and the lawmakers will not want to be in the chamber for the next two years.
Senator Ziam (Benue North-west) asked why the nominee abandoned the medical field for the banking sector. after spending six years studying medicine.

Senator Idiat Adebule (Lagos) asked how she can make it easy for businesses to operate in the country if she posted to the trade and industry ministry.
Dyke Plang, the senator representing Plateau Central, congratulated the Imo nominee. The Senator is urging the Imo nominee to always accept advice from people when she’s eventually confirmed and deployed to ministry. He then asks question on the abandonment of the Primary health care centres in some of the 774 LGAs

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, told the nominee to tell the senators her family background, status, husband and children names.

The nominee said she was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Uzoka. She said her father’s name is Uzoka and her mother’s name is Victoria.

The Senate President said the nominee has vast experience in various fields such as medicine, financing and governance. He asked her not to go home thinking that she will be posted to the trade and industry ministry going by the questions she was asked . He said it is at the discretion of the president to allocate any ministry to her.

At 5:33 pm The Senate President has just directed that the Imo nominee should take a bow and go

The Senate has reverted to plenary and the senate president is reporting what transpired at the Committee of the Whole.
He said the Senate deferred the confirmation to another legislative day.

The Senate President announced that in view of the fresh list of 19 ministerial list sent by President Tinubu, the Senate is adjourned till Friday. He said this is to enable the new nominees to prepare for screening.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Logo jozebrain

Jozebrain Media is an entertainment and pop culture website; that focuses on offering you the best and latest updates in the music market when it comes to the entertainment industry, both in Nigeria and beyond.

Jozebrain Media. All Right Reserved.

Update Required Flash plugin