Ministerial Nominees: Senate Confirms Shekarau, Others

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By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of former Governor of Kano, Mr. Ibrahim Shekarau  as Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Senate on Wednesday also ratified the nomination of Dr. Abdu Bulama, Dr. Stephen Orise Oru and Mr. Adeyeye Adedayo, as ministers after due screening.

President Goodluck Jonathan had recently submitted the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate for approval.

The appointment of Shekarau shortly after his defection from the opposition All Progressive Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party was seen as a deft political move by the presidency in its political calculation to gain inroad into Kano come 2015.

President Olusegun Obasanjo also made similar move in 2003 when he appointed incumbent Kano Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, who had then lost election to Shekarau, as defence minister in a bid to booster the support base of the PDP in the state.

Speaking after the unanimously clearance granted the nominees Wednesday’s plenary, Senate President, Senator David Mark, charged the confirmed ministers to take Nigeria as their constituency and not their state or political parties.

“We hope that whenever they are given portfolio, they will see Nigeria as their constituency and not their state or political parties,”  Mark said.

The various portfolio of the newly confirmed ministers are expected to be announced very soon by the Presidency.

Speaking with Journalists after screening, Adeyeye assured that he would put in his best in whatever capacity he is posted to serve.

While responding to question on whether the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), should be scrapped as often suggested in some quarters, Adeyeye said the scheme should be retained and even further strengthened, saying, it is a veritable vehicle that will catapult Nigerian graduates from their  localities to other parts of the country.

Shekarau, who is being  rumoured to be the next substantive Minister of Education, while answering question on the way out for Nigeria on the unemployment problem, said the issue of skills acquisition for Nigerian students at the first three years of Secondary education as envisioned in the 6-3-3-4 curriculum should be revisited by government and effectively implemented.

According to him, the skills acquisition component of the 6-3-3-4 education curriculum which started in 1976 with the implementation of  Universal Primary Education (UPE) and followed up with importation of Introductory Technology Material from 1979- 1982, for skills acquisition by Junior Secondary pupils, would have to a very large extent, assist the country in the churning out self reliant and self employed school leavers at that level on yearly basis if the Programme had been implemented has envisioned.

“Part of the way out for our dear country on the problem of unemployment which breeds indiscipline, unrest etc in the country is for us to go back back to the curriculum by making it to practically serve as catalyst for addressing the issue of unemployment of school leavers right from the classrooms,” he posited.

He also recommended fixing of the power sector by the government as a critical factor that could assist in solving the problem of unemployment .