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Val Ozigbo, Former Transcorp Hotel MD Joins Race For Anambra Guber

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Kenechukwu Amaechi, Awka-  As 2021 draws near it does seem that the race for the office of governor will take the shape of an all comers affair, at least for now.  This can be confirmed with the entry of Valentine Ozigbo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria plc, TRANSCORP, a diversified conglomerate with interest in so many areas,  yesterday declared his interest to govern Anambra state under the People’s Democratic Party , (PDP) .

 

The standpointng.com gathered this today after he, Valentine addressed a stakeholders meeting comprising of members of the Amesi Ward of the PDP, at the said meeting, the business magnate announced to the gathering that he would be seeking the nomination of the party for the 2021 guber race and that he had the basic requirements not only to win the ticket but to go on and nick the seat for the party at the elections proper.

 

Prior to the “Amesi Declaration “ , the political rumourmill had been absorbed with speculations of Ozigbo’s entry into the race, his declaration confirming such.

 

With this Ozigbo will now confront heavyweights such as Uche Ekwunife, Chris Azubogu, Godwin Ezeemo and  Godwin Maduka for the ticket as well as a number of political heavyweights in the APC who are only a couple of days away from defecting to the PDP.

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Alex Asigbo @50

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I have seemingly surmounted what looks like a writing block or a set of them as I write this piece. Perhaps, I will not intuit such a situation to the case of writing blocks as such can only be said to occur when you have nothing to write about, and unlike the Christian song which says “ What shall I say unto the Lord?” , for Professor Alex Asigbo it should be what shall I not say? Here’s to a man of many parts, a colorful persona and first class academic.

At 50, the youngest professor in the field of Theatre Arts would naturally appear to be a fulfilled man, after all we are in a country were life expectancy is still hobbling within the range of 45-47 years of age, he is 50 and at the near summit of his career as an academic; life has being fair to him, no doubt. However, to those who know him, he is not a fulfilled man in that sense, and why should he be? 

Alex Chinwuba Asigbo is rolled up in one person a social crusader, a raging phenomenon and a trailbrazer of no mean repute, but that is not all, like Claude Eke ( Jegede Shokoya) of the hilarious sitcom, “The New Masquerade “  who in praise of himself described one set of his normal use of panegyrics as stanza one! Asigbo is entitled to stanza one, two , three and four if not five stanzas, the only difference is that unlike Jegede, he

Is not the one heaping the praises on himself. 

From the look of it, it is obvious that Professor Asigbo was born without a silver spoon, and if comets did blaze that day, the 12th of November, 1969 to announce his birth, the people of Oroma Etiti did not see it. He was to have his primary education at Hope Rising Primary School, Oroma Etiti Anambra between 1975 and 1980, where he achieved the feat of being the first Oroma Etiti man to complete the primary form of education. He had his stint with secondary school education at Anam High School, Oroma Etiti Anam between 1981 and 1986 before proceeding to the University of Port Harcourt. At the University of Port Harcourt, Asigbo distinguished himself bagging a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Second Class Honours, Upper Division) in Theatre Arts with specialization in playwriting in 1994. An assiduous scholar, Asigbo quickly added a Master of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts and subsequently capped his degrees with a PhD in Performance Studies, both from the University of Ibadan.

Still on his academic footprints, Asigbo  has a number of feathers to his overcrowded  hat; this distinguished gentleman is also a Post Doctoral Fellow of the American Council for Learned Societies’ (FACLS) African Humanities Program (AHP) as well as the Nigerian Institute of Corporate Administration (FCAI); Fellow, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists, (fsonta).

Rising through the ranks, Alex Asigbo was elected as Dean, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in October, 2012 and served in that capacity until Oct 2014, when he was appointed, Director, Centre for Arts, Culture and Humanities in which capacity he served until September, 2019. He served as Director, TETFUND, Implementation Committee between June, 2016 and September, 2019. He also served as Head, Department of Theatre and Film Studies from January 2017 to September, 2019. He was also the National Social Secretary, Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA) 2001 – 2006; National Secretary, SONTA 2006-2011; Financial Secretary, SONTA 2011 – 2013. Asigbo is also the National Public Relations Officer, Society of Non-Fiction Authors of Nigeria, (SONFAN). He is also a National Vice President of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), and was inducted into the SONTA Hall of Fame with a Life Time Achievement Award in 2011, (HSONTA). He was elected 9th President of SONTA in November, 2017 and after that has been returned twice as President due to his sterling achievements in that position. 

This quintessential professor is a Member of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Senate and Visiting Adjunct Professor to Imo State University, Owerri as well as Anambra State University, Igbariam Campus. Asigbo has also been on the NUC panel of Experts either as Chairman or member for the accreditation of Theatre and Arts programs in different Nigerian Universities among which are University of Benin, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Bayero University, University of Abuja, University of Uyo, Adekunle Ajasin University, Federal University, Lafia, Lead City University, Igbinedion University, Ekiti State University, Bowen University, Delta State University, etc.. 

As an accomplished playwright, Asigbo has to his kitty a string of works which include his published plays such as Fate of an Orphan & Obidike: The Last Warrior (2000); Once Upon a School (2001); War of the Tin Gods (2002/2008), The Reign of Pascal Amusu (2008) among others. He also has a number of publications which include over forty journal articles in both National and International Journals. 

Between 2009 and 2010 he spent his Sabbatical leave at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi where he helped to set up the Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies.

Asides academics, Asigbo is fervent lover of the Nigerian nation and a detribalized Nigerian. This is not to say that he is not proudly Igbo, far from it, however he believes that the Nigerian nation has not being fair to the Igbo man nor the minorities that make up Nigeria and believes that the Igbo Nation can push for such a fair Nigeria by aligning with the minorities and championing their cause vis a vis theirs whilst maintains cordial relationships with the other major ethnic groups.

As he looks forth to another fifty years or more, it is my hope that we will see more of Professor Asigbo in the onerous task of shaping our society into one where his likes will be like Plato’s Philosopher King’s and our society a semi or near utopia!

 

Igboeli Arinze is the Editor in Chief of thestandpointng.com

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I Have Not Decamped From The APC-Tony Nwoye

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Igboeli Arinze& Taiwo Okunola, FCT-  Following our report that the two time Anambra guber candidate for the 2013 and 2017 guber elections in Anambra State, Honorable Tony Nwoye had decamped from the All Progressives Congress, APC, thestandpointng.com has gathered that contrary to such a report, Honorable  Nwoye is still a bonafide member of the APC.

 

Our Editor in Chief had received detailed information from a source which had stated that Hon. Nwoye had decamped from the APC to the PDP, however calls from Nwoye himself  to the Editor and also from a number  associates who had cited the possession of a video at the said meeting claimed otherwise. It was alleged that at the meeting some of the participants had moved motions for his defection from the party to which he had allegedly declined and stated that he was still for now a bonafide member of the party.

 

Speaking in clear terms, Nwoye had categorically stated that he had never broached the idea of defecting, he questioned the authencity of the source from which  thestandpointng.com had quoted in the initial story. Nwoye said,

 

“ I am for now a member of the APC, I have not decamped nor am I planning to decamp anywhere, I have a video of the said meeting, if indeed I decamped I will do so through the appropriate channels, I do not intend to decamp now or in the nearest future, please kindly retract the story”.

 

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Opinion

IPPIS : Understanding ASUU’s Fears

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By Igboeli Arinze Napoleon
        What looked like a small quarrel might soon blow up into a volcanic eruption between the Federal Government and the Academia. The lecturers this time are not demanding that the 2009 agreement be implemented, neither are the baying for blood over some allocation here or there, no! ASUU is simply rejecting the extension of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Informationg, IPPIS to them as a body. Like the name goes,IPPIS seeks to capture all persons working under the aegis of the Federal Government under a unified pay roll system. This will obviously eliminate the issue of ghost workers and the huge loss of government resources. It is a progressive policy or should I say initiative by the Federal Government, one worthy of commendation.
But the Nigerian academia have in turn opposed the initiative; such opposition benumbs one’s thinking initially, raising questions as to why would ASUU reject an initiative so noble as this? Is ASUU now a stumbling block to the progress of the nation? Should such a process and scheme not receive ASUU’s loving embrace and support?
Yet ASUU feels otherwise, and here are its reasons which I feel are germane enough to warrant such resistance.
First of all ASUU has the salient argument that they are not civil servants: this is indeed true as I recall whilst receiving my History of Education lectures from the late Reverend Father Dr. Onwueme, in the then revered lecture halls of the University of Benin, one concept that struck me was that of Academic freedom, which is simply the conviction that the freedom of inquiry by university lecturers is essential to the to the mission of the academia or university as well as the principles of academia, and that scholars should have freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment. Universities are run under governing councils and not the Federal Government per se, it is these councils that the lecturers are answerable to ,the essence of university autonomy. One, may agree with ASUU in this line, as ASUU enrolling itself into such a process would make it an extension of the civil service, this you will agree with me will not mean well for the nation’s academia, bad as it seems now, imagine where the academia comes under a unified payroll system?
Again, ASUU insists that the unified payments system would adversely affect the situation where universities like ours which are in dire need of the presence of visiting scholars from the far ends of the earth would be affected. How would these visiting scholars be captured by IPPIS, given the nation’s penchant for red tapism, would this not affect the exchange of ideas such a practice was meant to encourage? Come to think of it, why would a visiting lecturer from say Australia come to teach in say Awka and then first have to stop at Abuja to register with IPPIS?
Let’s look at our teaching hospitals, the medical doctors who work there as consultants receive a payment commensurate with their trainings as doctors, as what the university pays them cannot meet their basic salary requirements,so the time they spend in the teaching hospitals, treating patients and teaching medical students is paid for, ASUU is saying that IPPIS does not capture such, should it acquiesce to enrol with IPPIS then we would have a brain drain in our teaching hospitals, something we as a nation can not afford.
The issue of external examiners and external supervisors is still another touchy point, imagine all external examiners running to Abuja to get enrolled in IPPIS; can there be another expression of the word bedlam!
This is not to say that the Federal Government does not have a point or two; first there is the issue of massive corruption in the university system, cronyism at its best. Here lecturers hide under the visiting lecturer scheme to rip the the university system off, and you see a number of lecturers becoming visiting lecturers to more than three universities all at once, a situation one will agree is unethical. Then there is also the issue of Vice Chancellors and other top dogs in the university system hiring their kinsmen, girlfriends and family friends as lecturers even when such persons are not qualified.
To the two issues raised earlier, I think the Federal Government can deal with such by creating another platform that would serve the university system alone. A separate platform for such will check such excesses and still guarantee university autonomy. ASUU, it seems Is not against progressive ideas or ridding the system of corruption, nay, it simply is against lumping it with the civil service.
One must then implore the Buhari administration to see reason with ASUU and create a leeway that will essentially engage ASUU and still achieve the anti corruption objectives of this government. I am with ASUU on this one!
Igboeli Arinze is the Editor In Chief of thestandpointng.com
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I Am Ready To Die For Edo State- Obaseki

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Davidson Ogie, Benin City-  The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has vowed that if it required his demise in the service of Edo State, then so be it, even much as he prayed that such a sacrifice would not be required. 

He stated this in an interdenominational service called to mark his third year in office, under the theme Alaghodaro (Progress) 2019. 

Obaseki said,” People ask, is Edo worth dying for?  I say yes, Edo is worth dying for. And if I have to die for Edo State then so be it, though I hope God will not allow such. “

The governor thanked the members and leaders of the APC for their support so far and promised them that in his fourth year in office that his administration would deliver more democracy dividends to the people of Edo State. 

Readers will recall that Mr. Obaseki has for a year now being embroiled in a battle of wits with his predecessor and now National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole over a number of issues arising within the state’s politics. 

Oshiomole who singlehandedly imposes Obaseki on the people of Edo State has repeatedly accused Obaseki from deviating from the development agenda of his administration and neglecting those who brought him to power, Obaseki, in turn has accused his former boss of being high handed and intrusive in the governance of Edo State. 

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Tony Nwoye Defects To PDP

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  • To contest party’s 2021 guber ticket
  • Gives condition of free and fair primaries

 

Igboeli Arinze, FCT- News reaching the standpointng.com yesterday has it that two time guber candidate in the 2013 and 2017 Anambra Guber Elections , Honorable Tony Nwoye is set to defect to the People’s Democratic Party with his supporters. 

Nwoye, who was the anchorman for youths under the auspices of the Buhari/ Osinbajo Campaign Organization for the 2019 elections was alleged to have announced his defection yesterday to a number of his supporters in a closed door meeting in Nsugbe yesterday.

Giving reasons for his defection, Nwoye stated that the party(APC) had much been unfair to him given his dedication and commitment to the party. He accused a number of leaders of the party at the state and national levels of bad faith, describing them as people who wanted to pull him down at all times and remain as tin gods.

“ I came into the APC with my resources and my determination to turn the party around, I won the guber ticket and proceeded to make the party the number one state in Anambra but for certain leaders at the state and national levels who decided to sabotage our efforts in 2017, we would have won the elections.

Even after the betrayal, I stayed put, I participated in the congresses and the general elections and I was still not appreciated”

According to thestandpointng.com , it was gathered that Nwoye’s defection had begun three months ago after he narrowly missed the ministerial slot to Chris Ngige. 

There were alleged rumors of his numerous political trysts with renown PDP leaders such as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus. 

Nwoye, in these meetings had alleged that all he wanted from the party was a level playing field in the course of the primaries for the forthcoming guber elections.

With this development Nwoye will have to square it off with the likes of Uche Ekwunife, Chris Azubogu, Godwin Maduka, Godwin Ezeemo, Oseloka Obaze and a host of other top party faithfuls who are angling to fly the party’s flag. 

For the APC the coast is now clear for the troika of Engineer Johnbosco Onunkwo, George Moghalu and Senator Nnamdi Uba to vie for the ticket without worrying about Nwoye, at least for the primaries.

 

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Government of Nigeria Working To Curb Cyber Fraud- Garba Shehu

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Kunle  Ajobiewe, Lagos– Reeling  from the recent spate of arrest of Nigerians by the FBI for fraud related activities, the Presidency said on Sunday that it would work out a set of  executive orders as well as work with  the National Assembly to pass new laws  in order to curb online fraud involving Nigerians.

 

Recently, over 77 Nigerians living in the United States of America had been indicted by the Federal Bureau for Investigation, FBI of the United States of America. These arrests were preceded by the arrest of Obiwanne Okeke, aka Invictus Obi for allegedly stealing 11 million dollars via fraud.

 

This was made known to Nigerians by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu. Shehu disclosed this while appearing on Politics Today, a live television programme.

 

Shehu described the situation as a double damage on every citizen of Nigeria but however stated that this did not mean that every Nigerian was a fraudster.

 

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Zamfara State Adopts Ruga in 17 Councils

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The Zamfara State Government has mapped out 20,000 hectres of land in each of the 17 emirate councils for the immediate construction of 7000 housing units for Rural Grazing Areas in the state.

This was made in a statement signed by the Press Secretary to Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Idris Salisu, which stated that the 500 housing units will be made up of one and two-bedroomed flats.

The bedroom flats will also come along with a number of other facilities such as grazing reserves for cattle, a dam, schools for both western and Islamic education, nomadic education, mosque, cattle market as well as milk processing factory, all for the herdsmen-settlers.

The statement also stated that the implementation of the Ruga settlement in these councils will be done by a committee, led by the Special Adviser to Governor Matawalle on Security, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, it also stated that it had drawn surveyors, engineers, agric experts and other experts from its ministries.

 

 

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Of Cabinet Appointments and Disappointments

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I received the ministerial list with mixed feelings, I however refused to comment until one was sure of which portfolios would be assigned to which minister. Wednesday, the 21st of August however ended that wait as finally Nigerians all over the world got to know which minister designate was assigned to what ministry. Let us note that much as I was impressed with the ministerial list as against the cacophonous cries by a number of poor potty trained characters that the list did not parade technocrats, as if the likes of Fashola, Onyema, Clement Agba ( The man who did wonders in the urban renewal plan of Edo State) amongst other were roadside mechanics and akpuo-obi’s. Watching the ministerial screening exercise alone wowed me, particularly for the candidates that were not allowed to take a bow and go, sadly these minister designates were not asked specific questions but were asked a broad range of questions based on where they had initially worked or based on what hints the members of the Senate had at that point. This is rather unfortunate and I think it is about time that we fix the situation that allows the President to assign ministerial portfolios as soon as the appointments are announced.

If I was impressed with the ministerial list and the screening exercise that followed, I must say that I am not impressed with the assigning of ministerial portfolios. For example, I did not expect to see a Chris Ngige return to the Ministry of Labour, a ministry where he was at logger heads with the leadership of the NIgerian Labour Congress, NLC over his refusal to appoint Chief Frank Kokori as the Chairman of the NSITF. Nigerians followed the back and forth arguments that greeted the refusal of Ngige to inaugurate the NSITF board; the standoff was so unhealthy that Labour had to picket the minister in his home at Asokoro. One would have expected that with the reappointment of Ngige to the cabinet, he should have been handed another ministry and a new face assigned to the Labour ministry in order to allow for whatever tensions that raged then simmer down.

Again, I must fault what looks much like a mismatch of appointments. What is an Uche Ogah, a major player in the Oil and Gas sector doing in mines and steel, what is a Keyamo doing in the Niger Delta Ministry when he has enough experience as a lawyer to pursue reforms in the judiciary and bring the body to speed with present global standard practices when it comes to dispensing with justice. Ogah too would have fared well in the oil and gas sector.

What is Sunday Dare doing in Youths and Sports, he would have fared better in the Ministry for information or communication, or why is Ambassador Miriam Kategu not in the Education Ministry replacing the dour and underperforming Adamu Adamu and giving our educational sector an area in which she has served as a career civil servant the much required filip? Is President Buhari choosing politics above policy in these appointments?

The answer would surely be no as a number of other appointments suggest otherwise, for example, I am happy with the stripping of power from Babatunde Fashola from his Super Minister status of Power, Works and Steel, this is not because he Fashola failed to perform, far from it, I think he did quite well, however these ministries under him were quite critical to the nation’s wellbeing thus warranting a split. I am also thrilled by Dr. Pantami’s appointment as the Minister for Communications, same with the return of Rotimi Amaechi to the Ministry of transport, same for Hadi Sirika. A Clement Agba is also wonderful music to the the cabinet as. Minister for Budget and National planning!

One character that would be much missed from the cabinet would be Chief Audu Ogbeh, the former Minister for Agriculture. Truth be told, Nigeria’s agricultural sector rose to towering heights from the dismal state the sector had found itself in the past. Credit for the much improved progress in the sector should be given to Ogbeh who became the face of the agricultural revolution, was he dropped owing to age or was he a victim of the evils of the political horse tradings that sometimes claims even the good in our political firmament, one may never really know.

Can this cabinet meet the challenges of the Nigerian people? Can this cabinet deliver the goods? Despite the numerous wins of this administration, Nigerians still seem to be yearning for more and one cannot blame them, President Buhari and his cabinet must be prepared to do more, and write their names in posterity’s good books. Their time starts now!

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President Buhari Swears In SGF, 43 Cabinet Ministers , Assigns Ministries.

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Amaechi ,Onyema, Ngige,Adamu, Sirika, Bello, Ahmed , Malami , Mohammed and Onu retain Ministries.

Fashola retains Works and Housing, but loses Power Ministry.

Kemi Daisi, FCT – President Muhammadu Buhari today inaugurated his cabinet today, swearing in 43 ministers to oversee a couple of ministries in his second tenure as President. 

 

The inaguration saw ten ministers, Rotimi Amaechi, Geoffrey Onyema, Chris Ngige, Adamu Adamu, Hadi Sirika, Mohammed Bello, Zainab Ahmed , Abubakar Malami , Lai Mohammed and Ogbonnaya Onu retain their former ministries while Fashola lost his Super Minister status as former Minister for Power , Works and Housing to just being a Minister for Works and Housing. 

Key changes to the cabinet did include the appointment of Sunday Dare (Youths and Sports) Dr. Pantami (Communications) Sharon Ikeazor (Environment, State) Rauf Aregbeshola( Interior)and Timipriye Sylva (Petroleum, State)

Others include,  Sabo Nanono (Agriculture), Major Bashir Magashi(Defence) ,  Ramatu Tijani Aliyu , FCT (State),  Gbemisola Saraki (Transportation State) Mamora( Health) Godswill Akpabio(Niger Delta Affairs) and Festus Keyamo( Niger Delta, State).

 

The ministerial cabinet had earlier been announced in July with the ministers undergoing security checks and a screening excercise by the Senate. 

 

Below is a list of the Ministers and their assigned ministries.

1. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah (Abia) – Minister of state for mines and steel development

2. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa) – Minister of FCT

3. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) – Minister of Niger Delta

4. Dr Chris Ngige (Anambra ) – Minister of labour and productivity

5. Sharon Ikeazor ( Anambra) – Minister of State for Environment 

6. Adamu Adamu (Bauchi) – Minister of education

7. Ambassador Mariam Kategu (Bauchi) – Minister of state for industry, trade and investment

8. Timipre Sylvia (Bayelsa) – Minister of state for petroleum

9. George Akume (Benue) – Minister of special duties

10. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno) – Minister of state for agriculture

11. Godwin Jeddi Agba (Cross River) – Minister of state for power

12. Festus Keyamo – (Delta) – Minister of state for Niger Delta

13. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi) – Minister of science and technology

14. Osagie Ehanire (Edo) – Minister for health

15. Clement Agba (Edo) – Minister of state for budget and national planning

16. Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti) – Minister of industry, trade and investment

17. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu) – Minster of foreign affairs

18. Isa Ibrahim Pantami (Gombe) – Minister of communication

19. Emeka Nwajuba (Imo) – Minister of state for education

20. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna) – Minister of finance

21. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa) – Minister of water resources

22. Mohammad Mahmoud (Kaduna) – Minister of environment

23. Sabo Nanono (Kano) – Minister of agriculture

24. Major Bashir Magashi (Kano) – Minister of defence

25. Hadi Sirika (Katsina) – Minister of aviation

26. Abubakar Malami (Kebbi) – AGF and minister of justice

27. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu (Kogi) – Minister of state for FCT

28. Olorunimbe Mamora (Lagos) – Minister of state for health

29. Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara) – Minister of state for transportation

30. Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) – Minister of works and housing

31. Alhaji Lai Mohammed (Kwara) – Minister for Information and Culture

32. Mohammed Abdullahi (Nasarawa) – Minister of state for science & technology

33. Zubairu Dada (Niger) – Minister of state for foreign affairs

34. Olamilekun Adegbite (Ogun) – Minister of mines and steel development

35. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo) – Minister of state for labour

36. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) – Minister of interior

37. Sunday Dare (Oyo) – Minister of youth and sports

38. Paulen Tallen (Plateau) – Minister of women affairs

39. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) – Minister of transport

40. Mohammed Maigari Dangyadi (Sokoto) – Minister of police affairs

41. Saleh Mamman (Taraba) – Minister of power

42. Abubakar Aliyu (Yobe) – Minister of state for works and housing

43. Sadiya Umar Farouk (Zamfara) – Minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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