Buhari’s Star Ministers: Challenges, Expectations, Hopes

Buhari’s Star Ministers: Challenges, Expectations, Hopes

The long awaited Ministers are finally here.  The golden rule is clear. They must all gird their loins and work in concert to deliver jobs, services and infrastructure to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty. We present here some Ministers whose tasks are really crucial to lifting the country to the next level in

The long awaited Ministers are finally here.  The golden rule is clear. They must all gird their loins and work in concert to deliver jobs, services and infrastructure to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty. We present here some Ministers whose tasks are really crucial to lifting the country to the next level in the vision of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC)

  • Adamu Adamu: Minister of Education

The government needs to increase spending on education and ensure that a large chunk of our youthful population, are offered skills that make them compete with other youth globally. Nigerian schools particularly our tertiary institutions must be returned to their previous enviable falcon height which attracted some of the best intellectuals from around the world.  With 13m out-of-school kids, Nigeria needs to redeem its insidious image of a nation of dropouts. Adamu has to set himself a target of at least halving this by 2023. Apart from building more schools to tackle this menace, he must ensure proper infrastructural upgrade of all our schools

  • Ogbonnaya Onu: Minister of Science and Technology

To make hay and seize the initiative in a globally competitive economy, we must brace up our development of Science and Technology. We need to retrieve out economy from its status of largely import dependent and begin to manufacture a great deal of what we consume. Mr Onu needs to set targets for car manufacturing, ship building, aircraft assembly and the country becoming self-reliant in the area of manufacturing consumer goods like TVs, fridges, laptops, mobile phones, washing machines, microwaves, etc

* Sunday Dare: Minister of Youth & Sports

With a large youth population, we must arm and empower our youth for the future. Sports development is vital. Dare must evolve a policy that will give hope to our youth and develop their talents to take over the world. We have always had the potential to take on the best in the world, our drawback is the absence of a coherent policy that will move away from the idea of persistently seeking a nine-day wonder but concretely develop our sporting talents. We must set a target to massively renovate all our moribund stadia particularly the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos which has remained decrepit for over 16 years. We must also ensure that all our discarded sports development programmes and age grade and schools sports are full resuscitated.   

  • Adeniyi Adebayo: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

There is a consensus that a well endowed nation like Nigeria needs to do away with its largely mono economy and begin to earn foreign exchange from several fronts. Unless we diversify, we will never grow our GDP and national budget to meet the yearnings of our growing population.  Adebayo needs to set himself a minimum target of double digit economic growth every year between now and 2023. If we have 20% GDP growth every year between now and 2023, we will be on the verge of a $1trn economy

  • Geoffrey Onyeama: Minister of Foreign Investment

Many may have been surprised that Onyeama made the list of Ministers despite his previous largely lacklustre performance where the Foreign Ministry was nonexistent and had ceded its lot to the Diaspora agency headed by Mrs Abike Dabiri. What we need now is a foreign policy that divulges itself from humanitarian concerns to investment policy. We must eschew playing Father Christmas to countries that hardly appreciates our support, contribution and selfless sacrifices. We need to borrow from countries whose foreign policy gamble is tailored to translate to better life for their people.

Onyeama should set himself the target of attracting about $50bn in foreign direct investment each year between now and 2023. Our Diaspora remittances, which was $22 billion and $23.63 billion in 2017 and 2018 respectively is set to grow to $25bn in 2019. If unofficial remittances are taking into consideration, it is surely higher. It is already estimated that Diaspora inflows even at current estimates is 6.1 per cent of our GDP.

Remittances in 2018 translate into 83 per cent of federal Government Budget in the same year. It was also 11 times the inflow from Foreign Direct Investment and 7.4 times the amount of foreign aid. PWC estimates that remittances could grow to $35.4 billion in 2023 although the World Bank is forecasting global growth to slow down to 2.6 per cent in 2019. Apart from evolving a policy to keep these remittances flowing, we need to concretely harness it for the development of our people. Onyema also needs to come up more forcefully to defend our people against increasing xenophobic attacks in South Africa and other places where our citizens are being derided for sport.

  • Zainab Ahmed: Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning

It’s important the country must go back to those years of development and rolling plans where we made a lot of strides. Analysts say we need to strive to deliver a $1trn economy by 2023and the Mrs Ahmed will play a key role in ensuring this

  • Sabo Nanono: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Apart from stepping up our agricultural production of cocoa, cassava, yam, kolanuts, palm oil, coco yam, shea nuts, millet, sorghum, rice cashews, coconuts, we need to embark on the massive processing of all our cash and food crops to earn considerable foreign exchange. This is achievable if Mr Nanono comes to brass tasks. We must also encourage our people to eat our home grown foods in order to reduce our food import bill.

  • Babatunde Fashola: Minister of Works and Housing

It should excite the populace that the government has said Infrastructural development will continue to be a major focus. Fashola needs to tackle our infrastructural deficit by ensuring that all our major arteries presently under construction are completed. He must breathe on the neck of the contractors handling the Lagos-Ibadan and Benin Shagamu-expressways, which handle considerable traffic, are finished in good time. This must include getting the contractor to renovate parts of the phase 1 and 2 of the Benin-Shagamu expressway that are already in bad shape.  Thanks that Fashola do not need to worry any longer about Power which has been stripped off his hands. He now needs to focus on works and housing. Our housing policy in particular, must conform to the needs of our people. We must also evolve policies to make them affordable. We also need to see better collaboration with the Lagos State Government to make sure that land is released for the housing scheme meant for the state.

  • Olamilekun Adegbite: Minister of Mines and Steel Development

We must ensure the tapping of all our solid minerals. We also need to strive to be self sufficient in steel development. Adegbite must ensure that life is injected to all our steel mills: Ajaokuta, Aladja, Jos, Oshogbo and Katsina.

  • Rauf Aregbesola: Minister of Interior

Insecurity has increasingly been a major challenge. From Boko Haram/ISWAP, to kidnapping, banditry and herdsmen attacks, the nation is sitting on a time bomb. President Buhari must know his reasons why he opted for a civilian like Aregbesola to head the Ministry. Apart from immediately moving to secure our seeming porous borders to stem indiscriminate entry of weapons into the country, he needs to ensure that some peaceful social life is restored to our communities so that our people can return to their farms and continue to conduct viable social and economic businesses.

  • Rotimi Amaechi: Minister of Transport

It is important that we massively develop our rail network to take away the pressure on the roads. Apart from completing the ongoing Lagos-Kano and Port Harcourt standard guage, Amaech must bring on stream the long awaited Lagos-Calabar rail line that is expected to tremendously decongest traffic on both the Benin-Shagamu expressway.and the East West highway. All our major ports and industrial hubs must be connected to rail lines for easy delivery of cargo. He must strike a chord for the development of road, water and rail transport to further ease the weight of movements on our roads.

  • Saleh Mamman: Minister of Power

It is projected that Nigeria needs about 250,000MW of power to fire her industrial growth and thrust her as a global giant. Mr Mamman needs to come up with a programme that includes hydro, thermal, solar, wind and gas powered electricity. He then needs to attract investors into the distribution and transmission network.

  • Hadi Sirika

Developing our airports into beautiful architectural artworks is at the heart of transforming our tourism industry. Apart from driving up our passenger traffic at our airports which combined figure is still far below that of Johannesburg airport in South Africa, Sirika must appreciate this as a major task. He needs to set a target to build our version of the Singapore Chiangi airport or the China’s new Beijing airport. He needs to also ensure that both the international and domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos are effectively linked via underground rail to ensure seamless transfer of passengers.

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