Ministerial list: Female representation drops to 19%, FCT gets first nominee

FOLLOWING the new ministerial list transmitted by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu to the Senate on Wednesday, August 2, the percentage of female nominees dropped from 25 to 19.

Tinubu sent a new list to the Senate in a letter presented by Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, containing 19 names, out of which only two are female.

The President had sent a first list to the Senate on Thursday, July 27, made up of 28 names, of which seven are women. This brings the total number of ministerial nominees to 47, with only nine females included.

The two female nominees on the fresh ministerial list are Political and Social Activist Maryam Shetty and Information and Technology expert Lola Ade-John, according to the letter from Tinubu, read by Senate President Godswill Akpabio on Wednesday.

“In compliance with the provisions of Section 141(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and further in my earlier correspondence dated 27th day of July, 2023, I am pleased to forward to you the underlisted 19 ministerial nominees for confirmation by the Senate,” the letter read.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) also got its first ministerial nominee, Zephaniah Jisalo, who was a former member of the House of Representatives.

This comes after years of clamour for the appointment of a minister from the FCT.

The list contained five former governors: Adegboyega Oyetola, Atiku Bagudu, Bello Matawalle, Simon Bako Lalong and Ibrahim Geidam.

Others are Ahmed Tijani, Bosun Tijjani, Ishak Salako, Tunji Alausa, Tanko Sununu, Shuaibu Aninakar, Tahir Mamman, Aliyu Sabi, Alkali Ahmed, Heineken Lokpobiri and Uba Maigari.

    To enhance women’s representation in governance, which has been historically low, Nigeria introduced the National Gender Policy (NGP) in 2006, which recommends that women fill up 35 per cent of appointive positions in the country for more inclusion.

    Despite this policy, Nigeria ranked 123rd out of the 146 countries rated in the 2022 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum.

    Tinubu promised that women and young people will feature prominently in his government during his inaugural speech on May 29.

    However, chances of attaining the 35 per cent affirmative action in appointive positions are beginning to look slimmer for Nigerian women.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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