Senate confirms Ocheni, Hassan as ministers

The Senate during a plenary

The Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of Prof. Stephen Ikani Ocheni and Suleiman Zarma Hassan as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The confirmation followed their screening sequel to a motion moved by Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’ Allah and seconded by Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio.

Ocheni, a lecturer at Kogi State University would replace James Ocholi who died in a motor accident along Kaduna- Abuja road on March 6, 2016 with his wife and son.

Suleiman Hassan from Gombe State would also replace former Minister for Environment, Amina Mohammed, who left the Federal cabinet in February, 2017 to serve in the United Nations as a Deputy Secretary General.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last week forwarded the names of the two ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation in accordance with section 147 (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Ocheni, while being screened told the Upper Legislative Chamber that the former accounting system of fragmentation gave credence to theft and all forms of leakage in the past.

He said the inherent advantages of Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) gave the government opportunity to know the inflow of revenue at a go.

He added that the application of TSA as it were was the best approach in safeguarding national resources. In the past some agencies might have funds in a particular account, which may not be known to the management.

Ocheni said President Buhari’s recently launched economic recovery and growth plan would recover the economy from recession, noting that the component of the plan which focused on production was highly a valid approach.

He was emphatic that the economic plan, which seeks to address development, was also an advantage for Nigerians at the lower level of the economy.

“If we can produce goods and services locally, we can attain self sufficiency.”, he said.

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