Two of the incoming ministers in the proposed cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Adebayo Shittu and Khadija Abba Ibrahim, on Tuesday, gave signals of hope for economic revival when they called for entrepreneurial skills among youths to curb unemployment and youth restiveness.
The duo, who were the only ministerial nominees screened by the Senate out of the remaining 18 nominees, made a case for the reform of the nation’s system and promotion of culture and tourism as an economic agenda of the Buhari administration.
For Adebayo Shittu, a former attorney general/commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice should be separated.
Legal experts say the separation of the roles will better serve the course of justice at both the federal and state levels, because while the minister is the chief law officer of the government, the attorney general serves the interest of the public.
Although the seventh National Assembly had recommended the separation of the two offices in the last constitutional amendment, former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign it into law, saying the amendment failed to satisfy strict requirements of Section 9(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
Shittu was upbeat that with the appointment of ministers, what had been lost in the last five months would be regained.
He called for reform of the justice system in the country and promised strict execution of the Criminal Administration Act, passed by the National Assembly, if appointed as Attorney General of the Federation.
According to him, education and entrepreneurial skills will curb unemployment and youth restiveness in the country.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts the number of unemployed Nigerians as of May this year at 22.6 million.
He called for establishment of cattle ranches to curb frequent clashes between cattle rearers and farmers, saying, “what I believe must be done and which are captured in both the constitution and manifesto of APC is to ensure that policies which directly affect the lives of individuals are captured.”
The other nominee and serving third term member of the House of Representatives, Khadija Abba Ibrahim, was asked to take a bow and go after she highlighted her CV.
However, the much-awaited screening of former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, failed to hold, as his name was not scheduled in the Order Paper for screening. Senate spokesperson, Dino Melaye, said the Senate decided to reduce the number of nominees for screening for thorough exercise.
Also yesterday, Senator Achonu Nneji (PDP, Imo North), presented 10 petitions against the nomination of Anthony Anwuka.
Senate president, Bukola Saraki referred the petitions to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, to report back tomorrow.
Meanwhile, today’s resumption of plenary had been rescheduled for Thursday.
A statement by the acting clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh yesterday, did not however give reason for Wednesday’s postponement of plenary but sources say this is not unconnected with Saraki’s trail at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which resumes today.