Nigeria: Two new ministers confirmed


Nigeria’s Senate has screened and confirmed two ministers who were nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari in March, namely Stephen Ocheni and Suleiman Hassan.

Ocheni is from Kogi, while Hassan is from Gombe.

Hassan is expected to replace Amina Mohammed, the former Minister of Environment who has taken up top responsibility with United Nations (UN).

The ministerial nominees were quizzed by lawmakers based on their respective areas of competence and backgrounds, according to report.

Ocheni is a professor of accounting. He explained the importance of the Treasury Single Account, highliting it significance to transparency, consolidation and optimal utilisation of financial resources. He also proposed that poverty should be tackled with increased capital expenditure which creates more jobs and encourages graduates to be self-employed.

According to Ocheni, ‘If we increase capital expenditure by any percentage, we will also be reducing poverty by that percentage.’ He also mentioned that self-reliance, specifying local refinement of petroleum products, was key to moving the country out of recession.

Hassan is a surveyor and former chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change. He said that empirical determinatuion of boundaries using current geo-spatial data which we generate was the way to check unending communal disputes over boundary in Nigeria.

After quizzing both ministerial nominees, the members of the Senate resolved by verbal vote to approve the nominations of Ocheni and Hassan for ministerial offices.

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