Reps move to limit time for appointing ministers, commissioners

Members of the House of Representatives during a plenary

Members of the House of Representatives during a plenary

The House of Representatives is seeking to compel the president and governors to nominate their ministers and commissioners within 30 days of being sworn in.

The bill to accommodate the proposal was sponsored by Solomon Adaelu (PDP, Abia).

He said Sections 147 and 192 of the 1999 Constitution were not clear on the deadline for nominating cabinet members.

Adaelu said: “The amendment is necessary to impose a constitutional time limit for the president to present his nominated ministers and their portfolios to the Senate. Preferably, a 30-day time limit would be ideal for the president to settle down to make his nominations.”

He said the need to amend the constitution was also important to ensure that governance was not slowed by the absence of ministers or commissioners.

According to him, aspiring candidates in the developed climes had a clear idea of their cabinet before assumption of office.

“This practice should be constitutionally mandated in the country to improve the efficiency of governance after an election.

“The experience in 2015 where it took the president four months to forward nominated ministers to the legislature resulted in a serious setback in governance,” he said.

Adaelu expressed worry that if the constitution was not amended, it could adversely affect the handling of pressing national issues.

He also canvassed the portfolios of nominated ministers and commissioners to be attached when they are sent to the legislature for screening.

This, he said, would reduce the incidents of putting round pegs in square holes which had been the bane of governance in the country.

“The discretion of the president to assign people to whatever departments he deemed fit after they had been screened was unhealthy for the nation, ”he said

Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to a special ad-hoc committee on constitution review.

In this article:
Solomon Adaelu
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