• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Ministerial Screening: El-Rufai stopped from addressing petition against him


The Senate faced a dramatic session on Tuesday during the ministerial screening exercise as the former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, faced strong opposition over a petition against him.

El-Rufai, among the 28 nominees on President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial list, arrived at the red chamber for confirmation.

As the screening commenced, El-Rufai shared his resume with the lawmakers. Still, things took a turn when Senator Karimi Sunday from Kogi West Senatorial District raised an earnest petition against him. The petition focused on insecurity, lack of national unity and cohesion in Kaduna state.

Although Senator Sunday acknowledged El-Rufai’s stellar performance as Kaduna governor and FCT minister, he believed the petition needed consideration during the screening exercise. However, some lawmakers, including Muhammad Sani from Niger East Senatorial District, suggested that El-Rufai should be allowed to “take a bow and go” like other ex-governors.

El-Rufai requested to respond to the petition, but the Senate President intervened, explaining that the Senate is not the appropriate platform to address petitions. He clarified that formal petitions would be handled accordingly and may be referred to the Presidency or security agencies. As a result, El-Rufai was advised to “take a bow,” and the Senate continued the screening process.

Read Tinubu’s ministerial list in numbers.

The Senate screened other ministerial nominees on the same day, including Wale Edun, Ahmed Dangiwa, and others. The session covered various challenges faced by different sectors in the country, such as power and exchange rate stabilization.

During the screening, Wale Edun, a finance expert and ministerial nominee representing Ogun State, discussed the subsidy removal and President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to moving the country forward. He also emphasized the importance of increased investment in the power sector, particularly infrastructure, to meet Nigeria’s power demands. Edun supported the biometric registration identification of Nigerians for money transfer policies, suggesting the need to expand the register.

Regarding exchange rate stabilization, Edun highlighted the importance of continuous investment flow and other measures for the naira’s stability. Like other ex-governors, Edun was also allowed to “take a bow and go” after the questioning.

Read also Ministerial list: David Umahi set to resign from the Senate.

Former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai also faced questions on the nation’s power challenges during his screening. He identified the unavailability of gas supply as the main problem affecting power supply in the country. El-Rufai stressed that addressing distribution problems and tariff issues would be crucial in solving the power crisis, particularly the need to tackle estimated billing. Following the screening, El-Rufai was also allowed to “take a bow and go.”

Another nominee screened was Ahmed Dangiwa, representing Katsina State, who discussed the housing deficit in Nigeria. Dangiwa highlighted the need for increased collaboration between the agency and state governments to build affordable housing nationwide. He called for additional funding and cooperation between the federal government, the private sector, and mortgage banks. Dangiwa was subsequently allowed to “take a bow and go.”

In summary, the Senate’s ministerial screening exercise witnessed drama and swift confirmations as lawmakers addressed petitions and screened various ministerial nominees, including Nasir El-Rufai, Wale Edun, and Ahmed Dangiwa. The process aimed to tackle critical challenges facing Nigeria’s different sectors and ensured the nominees’ qualifications were considered for their roles in President Tinubu’s administration.