Nigerian Senate confirms two ministerial nominees

By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of two new Ministers to feel the existing vacancies in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Minister designate is Professor Stephen Ocheni from Kogi state, and he replaces the late Mr. James Ocholi who died in 2016 thereby leaving the slot of Kogi state in the FEC vacant.

Also confirmed by the senate, is Mr. Suleiman Hassan, who occupies the slot of Gombe state in the FEC, earlier held by Mrs. Amina Mohammed, following her appointment as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.

In his response to questions by the Senators, Professor Ocheni suggested that one of the quickest ways to exit the current recession was to fully implement the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The objectives are sufficient enough to restore the country back to financiual stability at least to some extent. This plan that was launched recently emphasizes on the need to boost local revenue generation unlike what obtained in the past when there was no much emphasis on IGR, and that was because of the over reliance on the oil revenue,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Suleiman Hassan, while addressing the Senators on how to solve the problem of the lingering interstate and communal border crisis, urged the political class to define the various boundaries empirically using the current data being generated.

“The issues of boundary everywhere in the world is an issue that will keep going and coming back because, the every entity or boundary is defined by coordinates but the interpretation of the coordinates depending on which side of the divide you are, will determine how you want to shift it. So, it is an elitist problem,” he explained.

Consequently, the lawmakers unanimously confirmed the Ministerial nominees after a satisfactory screening session.

Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki has urged the Ministers-designate to ensure they bring their vast experience to bear on the ongoing efforts of the present administration to return Nigeria to the era of boom.

The Senate President advised the newly confirmed Ministers to appreciate the challenges facing the government by contributing their immense value to the success of the administration