Why Tinubu Did Not Include Portfolio In Ministerial List – Gbajabiamila
President Tinubu's Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, reveals the strategic reasoning behind not assigning portfolios to ministerial nominees, sparking speculation on potential restructuring of ministries.
In a bid to shed light on President Bola Tinubu’s recent move to withhold specific portfolios for his 28 ministerial nominees, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff, has offered an explanation.
Gbajabiamila revealed that the decision not to attach portfolios to the nominees sent to the National Assembly was to afford President Tinubu and his team the flexibility to strategically assign roles to the candidates based on their strengths and expertise.
The list of ministerial nominees was submitted to the Senate on Thursday, and as per tradition, they will undergo a rigorous screening and confirmation process. Gbajabiamila asserted that this approach would allow the President and his team to carefully assess each nominee’s qualifications and determine the most suitable office for them.
When asked about the possibility of assigning specific portfolios beforehand, Gbajabiamila acknowledged its advantages but also pointed out potential challenges. “Yes, I mean for me that would have been one way to go about it, it would have been a welcome development,” he stated. “As good as that sounds, it straitjacket’s the president to pigeonhole one person to an office or the other.”
He further illustrated the potential complications that could arise if a nominee’s portfolio had to be changed after the initial screening process. “What happens if you change your mind, do you then bring the person back for screening again, because the president is at liberty to change his mind?” Gbajabiamila posed.
Using the example of the Minister of Labor position, he highlighted the significance of allowing room for alterations if new information about a nominee surfaced. “For instance, if I decide I want somebody as minister of labor, and then after sending the name, later on, I decide that you know what, I didn’t know this about this person, this person would actually be better with another portfolio.” Meanwhile, the Senate has screened that person for that initial portfolio, what happens then? Do you now re-screen the person? he explained.
“So a lot of these things have their merits and demerits, advantages and disadvantages. I like the idea of attaching portfolios, I actually do, because it makes it necessary for the Senate to know exactly what you’re asking and what you’re looking for.
“But for now, it’s been thought wise that we stick to the tradition of sending the names and then whilst the screening processes going on, allow the Mr president and his team to look at the portfolios and the characters and see how they fit.
“The first step that he has done is that these are people that can work wherever you put them, except specialized fields like attorney general and what have you. But in the main time, he believes most of them can fit in anywhere.
“And what’s important also is that Mr president intends to separate portfolios or restructure the ministries in such a way that you might be hearing of new ministries that were not stand-alone ministries before. So the process continues.”