House Of Reps Pushes For President To Nominate Ministers Within 30 Days

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A bill seeking to make it mandatory for a president to nominate ministers for confirmation by the Senate within 30 days of being sworn in has passed second reading on Thursdays at the House of Representatives.

The bill, when passed, will also ensure that nomination of commissioners will be made within 30 days from the day a governor takes oath of office.

It should be recalled that it took President Muhammadu Buhari almost six months to nominate his ministers after being sworn in on May 29, 2015.

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The sponsor of the bill, Solomon Adaelu (PDP-Abia), said the bill would amend sections 147 and 192 of the constitution, stressing that the amendment would bring about efficiency in governance.

He said that sections 147 and 192 of the Constitution are not explicit as to when the president or governors are to make the nominations for appointment of ministers and commissioners.

Adaelu said that, “Consequently, it is feasible and practically necessary to impose a constitutional time limit for a president to present nominated ministers and their portfolios to the Senate.

“Preferably, 30 days’ time limit after swearing in will be ideal as it provides sufficient time for the president to settle down into governance and carry out final vetting of his nominations.

“And also ensure that the running of governance is not necessarily delayed or held up by the absence of ministers to run the various government departments.”

He pointed out examples from other developed countries where the president already have clear nomination list prior to swearing-in.

He said that, “And this is forwarded to the parliament within a short time of inauguration.

“This practice should be constitutionally mandated in Nigeria to improve the efficiency of governance upon a change in government.

“The experience of 2015 whereby it took almost four months after swearing in for the president to forward nominated names to the legislature resulted in a serious setback for governance.

“This adversely affected the serious handling of pressing national issues in the country; this must be prevented by constitutionally imposing time limit.”






     

     

    Adaelu also advocated that portfolios of the nominated ministers and commissioners should be attached when submitting their names for confirmation by the legislature to ensure effective screening.

    He said that, “This will greatly reduce the fixing of round pegs in square holes which is the bane of governance in Nigeria.

    “The discretion of the president to assign people to whatever department he deems fit after screening by the legislature is unhealthy as the legislature will not be able to adequately assess his suitability for that role.”

    The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, referred the bill to a special ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review for further legislative input.

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