A bill that would force every president and governors in Nigeria to nominate their ministers and commissioners within 30 days of being sworn in has been proposed before the House of Representatives. You would recall President Buhari picked his cabinet after over 6-months in office.
The bill was sponsored by Solomon Adaelu (PDP, Abia), who 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.”
According to him, the need to amend the constitution was pertinent 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 further noted that if the constitution was not amended to accommodate this new bill, it could adversely affect the handling of pressing national issues.
Also, he explained to his colleagues the importance of the portfolios of nominated ministers and commissioners to be attached when they are sent to the legislature for screening.
“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.