Tinubu’s ministers are an extension of his mind—Adebayo, ex-SDP presidential candidate


September 3,2023.

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Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 elections, Prince Adewole Adebayo, speaks on the gaps in the federal cabinet, noting that some strategic mandates appear to in purgatory, not being under specified ministry in terms of designation.

Adebayo also speaks on what Nigerians expect of the ministers and the gains in switching from premium motor spirit (PMS) to compressed natural gas (CNG) for power source among other issues. Excerpts:

President Bola Tinubu has charged his ministers to meet the expectations of Nigerians and work for the interest of Nigeria and not their sections of the country. What do you say to that?

There is nothing unique in that because that is what the oath of office the ministers swore to says. The President could have simply charged the ministers to take their oath of office seriously, and this has to start from the President himself, the Vice President, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the principal officers and every other person in public office taking their oath of office seriously.

I will recommend that the oath of office is printed out and posted on the wall of the office of public officials so that they will see it daily, if public officials keep to their oath of office the country will be in a better place.

Are you satisfied with the placement of the ministers? Is there anyone or are there those you feel would have functioned better in another ministry?

The Presidency is a reflection of the President, and once you take the monumental step of electing someone as the President, you should have faith that that person has the capacity to appoint his ministers because the ministers are an extension of the mind of the President, an extension of his heart, an extension of his soul, and an extension of his hands.

Of all the talents and qualified people in Nigeria, these ministers are the people President Tinubu has selected; if you look at the time it took Tinubu to come out with this cabinet, it shows you that in his mind, these are the best people he can get in the present circumstances, and that alone will let you know whether the voters made the right decision when they voted for Tinubu during the presidential election in February.

It is not for anyone, more so someone like me who lost the election to him, to start telling him who he should assign to specific ministries but what is clear is that a Prince Adewole Adebayo presidency would have been diametrically different from this Tinubu presidency.
What Nigerians are experiencing now and what they are going to enjoy or endure during this Tinubu presidency will be Tinubu’s philosophy, his mindset, world vision, outlook, attitude, temperament, motivation and aspirations reflected through the ministers.
For instance, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, who said he is going to demolish this and that, is a branch of Tinubu’s presidency, and any other thing you see him or any other minister do should be regarded as Tinubu in motion.
However, the ministers have just been sworn-in, so let us allow them to settle in. Suffice it to say that if I were the President, these ministers would not be the names you will see as members of my cabinet, but I am not the President.
The cabinet with 48 ministers is a large one, perhaps the largest since 1999. Is that not a drain on the economy especially with the economic downturn and huge cost of governance? Despite this, the South-East is complaining that the region was short changed. What do you say to that?

When you say the South-East is complaining, how did those appointed ministers get their appointment as South-East representatives? Who was there at the opinion poll to select them? That some people in the South-East are complaining does not mean that the South-East is complaining.

I am sure that if you go to the South-East and ask them what their priorities are, chances are that the top ten priorities would not relate to being members of Tinubu’s cabinet.

And, if you do a cost analysis of governance in Nigeria, you will see that the cost of governance does not come from personal costs in government. Our cost of governance comes from corruption and other leakages.

Nigerians should know how their monies get missing. Whether you have 37 ministers or you have 47 ministers or even 100 ministers, just know that what is driving the cost of governance is waste, corruption, opaqueness, abandoned projects, contractual influence, white elephants, and other wrong-headed policies.

More importantly, you must know the cost-benefit ratio in what the nation gains from engaging a public servant and what the country spends on that public servant.

Are you saying for example that with the parlous state of foreign exchange, with the parlous state of monetary policy, with the parlous state of gross domestic product (GDP), that if the President were to bring in five more ministers who are experts in different fields and can attract $200 billion into the economy by way of foreign injection of funds, and can raise our GDP by an additional $300 billion, would we say that the ministers are too many? Or, if for instance we gather 37 unintelligent people with no vision or purpose, people who cannot even govern their departments correctly, cannot capture government revenue correctly, cannot administer correctly and cannot stimulate productivity, would we say that we are saving costs because the cabinet is lean? It does not work that way.

There are many ungoverned spaces in Nigeria where the government needs to show presence and there are many programs that are naturally and constitutionally the duty of government but are not covered.

We should not worry about the size of the government; rather we should worry about the quality of the cabinet.

What would you say is the quality of this Tinubu cabinet?

Some of the designations of the ministries are a bit fanciful, hyperbolic and conflicting. There are about three ministries that have innovation in their name. So, the implication is that the government’s centre of innovation is not clear.(www.naija247news.com)

Peters Anene, News Editor
Peters Anene, News Editorhttp://Naija247news.com
Anene Peters is the news editor for Naija247news Media Group. He started his journalism career as an intern on tech and science. He's a graduate of Abia State University with a major in Computer Science and Communications. You can contact him for press events on 0903 927 6505 Email: anene.peter@naija247news.com

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