President Muhammadu Buhari released the list of his ministerial nominees yesterday. Would you say it is worth delaying for two months?
Of course not. Given the fact that there is precedence in Africa where presidents assumed office and declared those who would work with them under one week and we have urgent task on hand here, we have no reason to delay.
Do the past records of some ex-governors in the list give Nigerians hope that they are the competent hands to manage the country’s affair as ministers?
No. It is Buhari’s prerogative to choose whoever he wants. Let nobody think somebody is saying this because he hopes to be there.
There are 12 people coming back again from the mediocre government of the last four years. Also we have some remarkable politicians with terrible baggage coming on board, former governors who have cases with the EFCC.
One of them has a case of N100bn; that’s Goodwill Akpabio. Buhari said his next cabinet would be him. If this is Buhari, then Buhari himself is a fraud.
Uche Ogah of Masters Energy was one of those who had serious case with oil subsidy.
He was in and out with EFCC. In fact, I think they said he paid back N1.2bn.
If that is Buhari then he should hide his head in shame.
Go and check Masters Energy those are the real subsidy thieves. If Buhari says this is him, then we have a big problem.
Because he has also shown himself as some who does not value integrity.
There is nothing that has more eloquently told everybody that to be in public service in Nigeria, you need a meritorious career in fraud and crime.
You have to have looted and be a fraudster to be qualified for public service. That’s what they are saying. Of course we do not know all of them…
Nigeria is under the rule of the mob; when I say the mob I mean mafias. So you have to be like these people before you can aspire to governance in Nigeria.
Any of our children who want to serve in public service should first consider a good career in 419 or Yahoo Yahoo.
But if you are trying to do the right thing, it is not for you. What we are saying is that the public service is a place for the criminal minded.
There is nothing that has more eloquently told everybody that to be in public service in Nigeria, you need a meritorious career in fraud and crime. You have to have looted and be a fraudster to be qualified for public service
There are just seven women and no young person on the list of 43 ministerial nominees. Would you say the list is fair to women and young Nigerians?
Certainly not. When Cyril Ramaphosa, South African president, was reelected, he came out with his list under a week. And that list was almost 49. 5 per cent women and 50.5 per cent men. It was amazing.
These were technically sound people who know their work.
We have a lot to learn from them rather than just bragging around that we have the biggest economy in Africa which I do not believe.
We should learn from them; the openness, transparency and even the discussions on their Parliament floor is remarkable. It’s pro people. But here we are. Women and youth haven’t got a good deal here at all. For those who voted for Buhari, it is theirs to wonder because some of us also contested and they never voted for us.
Looking at the list, what do you think Nigerians should expect from this administration?
They should expect mediocrity, simple and perhaps more stealing. With these guys he has appointed they can only play politics for another four years and that will be it. Four years is so short.
You have shown much interest in budgeting and economy of the country. Do you see any of the nominees as a competent and trusted hand to spearhead any radical change in our budgeting system?
Not yet. There are some of them I don’t know.
But you see when Buhari wants to appoint people from the north who are technical, he brings one professor from BUK or ABU.
But going through that list, in my view, I cannot see anyone that I could say I have read his articles.
At least before you make policy; let’s see what your thoughts are. What substance have you written?
But I have not seen any of such. Even Madam Zainab Ahmed in the finance ministry is just an administrator as far as I am concerned.
So when some of them make policy you can see that they have little knowledge of the economy situation we are faced with in the country.
But I wish there are one or two people who are not so popular who may shine. That happens sometimes.
At least before you make policy; let’s see what your thoughts are. What substance have you written? But I have not seen any of such. Even Madam Zainab Ahmed in the finance ministry is just an administrator as far as I am concerned. So when some of them make policy you can see that they have little knowledge of the economy situation we are faced with in the country
What do you think those who will be appointed to man the economy – budget and planning – should prioritise as soon as they assume duty?
First, if they could, they should throw away the current template and find a new template.
The system needs a total overhaul.
For example, on this new idea of double digit growth, I am of the opinion that we should not be targeting inflation; we should be targeting growth.
I am in Port Harcourt as we speak.
I have moved around and seen Nyesom Wike doing many good things but you will still see that poverty among the people.
So, our population is growing by three per cent, your education, health sector, and everything we do should grow more than three per cent for the people.
Otherwise we will have a scenario where the population is outgrowing the development on ground. But right now, there is a report that says that many states have not employed teachers since 2007.
That means we are booking trouble for ourselves.
So I will also suggest that they should look at the debt crisis.
Dr. Abraham Nwankwo who was the Director General of Debt Management Office, said Nigeria’s debt was problematic and unsustainable.
That’s why government work at times is dangerous, because you are paid to lie.
But when you leave, the scale falls off and you begin to tell us the truth about the situation.