No less than 20 people have been tipped to be in the cabinet of Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, after he alluded on Thursday that competence rather than politics will weigh heavily on his choice of ministers.
The job of Nigeria’s president easily passes as one of the toughest in the world and Tinubu has declared that he is not unmindful of the challenges he and his team face.
Thus, to effectively discharge his duties as provided by the constitution, he said he would hit the ground running by constituting a cabinet that will help him to run the machinery of the Nigerian state.
The people who are being speculated to make his cabinet include:
Among the names that have been mentioned to be part of Tinubu’s cabinet, Babatunde Fashola tops the list, as a likely candidate for the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, based on his vast experience, age and strength of character.
The senior advocate of Nigeria was the governor of Lagos State between 2007 and 2015. Before then, he had served as a commissioner and chief of staff to Tinubu who was the state governor from 1999 to 2007. After his tenure as governor, Fashola was appointed first as minister of power, works and housing during the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari and then as minister of works and housing in 2019.
Fashola was the director, election planning and monitoring of the presidential campaign council of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Having been a key part of Tinubu’s success story in Lagos as governor, governor for eight years and minister for almost eight years, his wealth of experience is expected to stand him in good stead.
A former director-general of the Bureau for Public Enterprises and minister of the Federal Capital Territory and about to serve out his second and final term as the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai is primed for appointment into the Tinubu cabinet as the president-elect himself told the Kaduna helmsman last year that he should not go out of the country after his tenure but stay to serve the country.
To some within the Tinubu circle, el-Rufai is itching to again mount his former seat at Area 11, Abuja, the FCT Administration Headquarters. Those in the know of things said the Kaduna governor intends to continue with and complete his dream of achieving the FCT master plan, which he started decades ago. While his actions came with pains, many believe it was good for the development of Abuja as the nation’s capital.
Keyamo is a senior advocate of Nigeria and current minister of state for labour and productivity. The Delta-born constitutional lawyer had served as the spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019, the same role he played in Tinubu’s campaign organisation.
There are strong indications that the lawyer would be a member of the Tinubu cabinet as a sort of reward for defending his principal against all odds. Also, Keyamo would be bringing his wealth of experience in the legal field and public speaking to promote and project government policies for the buy-in of the governed.
The former Lagos State commissioner for finance was nominated by Tinubu for ministerial appointment in the first tenure of President Buhari but that was scuttled by certain political intrigues. Now that his boss will be president himself, Edun is in a vantage position to be in the cabinet.
Edun’s background in economics, public finance, international finance, banking and corporate finance at both national and international levels make a compelling case for his choice as the finance minister.
Edun’s interview with the Africa Report last month provides an insight into some of the policies he may pursue as finance minister.
He showed his strong resistance to the continuation of the petrol subsidy, multiple exchange rates, revenue leakages in the oil and gas sector and inefficient tax waivers.
Edun said this would save the country N24 trillion, about the size of Nigeria’s federal budget for 2023.
Edun has served as an economist at the World Bank in the 1980s before taking on a series of senior posts with investment banks in Wall Street, such as Chase Manhattan and the ill-fated Lehman Brothers.
He would later be appointed commissioner of finance in 1999 on his return to Nigeria after Tinubu won the governorship of Lagos State as the ruling generals returned to the barracks.
Dele Alake was commissioner for information and strategy to the then governor of Lagos, Tinubu, between 1999 and 2007, and has remained with him as media aide. He is currently the director of media and communication of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
Having remained and worked with Tinubu despite leaving office almost 20 years ago, the ace journalist and public affairs analyst is likely to be a member of his boss’ cabinet.
Hanatu Musa, a lawyer and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, is the deputy spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, working hand in hand with Keyamo and others on the media team to portray the Tinubu candidacy in good light.
The columnist, women and children advocate is likely to be part of Tinubu’s cabinet.
Hadiza Bala Usman, a former managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, also served as the chief of staff to the governor of Kaduna State. She is presently the deputy director-general (administration) of the APC Presidential Campaign Council. The graduate of Business Administration and Development Studies is expected to be a member of the incoming cabinet.
The outgoing governor of Rivers State, though a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is primed to be a member of the next APC government’s cabinet. This is considering the role he played in the emergence of the ruling party’s candidate, who against all expectations won Rivers State.
APC won Rivers State with 231,591 votes to defeat the Labour Party, which secured 175, 071, and PDP, which got 88,468 through the support of the governor and he is likely to be rewarded with a major appointment in the Tinubu government. Wike had served as minister of state for education in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Amb Ginika Tor-Ijomah
Mrs Ginika is presently a federal commissioner, representing Enugu state in the federal character Commission Abuja. Mrs Ginika contested as the running mate to Enugu state APC gubernatorial candidate in 2019 general election.
She mobilized the Igbo across the 36 states of federation for Tinubu victory and she used her group of Omaluegwuoku progressive initiative ( IGBO KWENU FOR TINUBU/SHETTIMA ) to delivered votes for the APC both at states and federal elections. Due to cultural diversity she has been penciled for humanitarian ministry and special duties minister.
Gboyega Oyetola is the immediate past governor of Osun and a close ally of Tinubu and he is believed to have family ties with the president-elect.
Oyetola, who was chief of staff to his predecessor, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, is expected to be in Tinubu’s cabinet if his efforts to return to Osun as governor prove abortive.
A former governor of Ogun State and current senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Amosun stepped down for Tinubu at the presidential primary election of the APC. He went ahead and supported Tinubu to achieve his ambition.
Ben Akabueze is a chartered accountant and the current director-general of the Budget Office for the Federation. He was commissioner for economic planning and budget in the eight years of Tinubu‘s tenure as Lagos State governor.
He is likely to be appointed into the cabinet of the president-elect. If that be, the former CEO of NAL Bank Plc, is expected to harness his private and public sector experience to drive the administration’s vision.
Akume is a former governor of Benue State who served at the same time with Tinubu between 1999 and 2007; he is the current minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs. The University of Ibadan graduate was elected to the Senate for three terms, in one of which he served as minority leader. Akume has been a political ally of Tinubu since 2011 when he joined the defunct Action Congress, one of the legacies that formed the APC.
The retired permanent secretary is the only leader that delivered for Tinubu/APC in the Benue Plateau axis of the North-Central, comprising the present-day Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states.
The outgoing Jigawa State governor, who withdrew from the race for the APC presidential ticket for Tinubu, is also the vice chairman (North) of the APC Presidential Campaign Council. It was only Badaru and his Zamfara counterpart that delivered for Tinubu in their states.
Ganduje, an academic and Kano State‘s governor, whose tenure ends in May this year, is a strong supporter of Tinubu. In the face of stiff opposition, Ganduje managed to muster a fair number of votes for his ally in the presidential election. With their close political association, Ganduje is being touted as one of those to be in Tinubu’s cabinet.
The outgoing Kebbi State governor and chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum played a critical role in the emergence of Tinubu both as APC presidential candidate and now president-elect. He is undoubtedly the leader of the party in Kebbi and may be in the cabinet of the incoming president.
Bagudu, who had served as a senator in the past but lost in another attempt to return to the green chamber, has experience in both the legislative and executive arms of government.
Ibrahim Masari, a former national welfare secretary of the APC, stood as a placeholder before the nomination of Kashim Shettima as the substantive vice presidential candidate of the party. The confidence reposed in him by Tinubu and his willingness to play a placeholder role position him for appointment into the next government.
Al-malkura, a former governor of Nasarawa and senator representing the southern district of the North-Central state, is a close ally of the president-elect. Some analysts have said the lawmaker lost his bid to become APC national chairman majorly because of his affinity with the former Lagos governor, who was aspiring for the party’s presidential ticket.
Now that Al-malkura lost his second term bid to return to the Senate and his man is the president-elect, there are feelers that he would be engaged in the government at the federal level.
The outgoing governor of Cross River and former senator is the leader of APC in the South-South state. Ayade, who lost in a senatorial contest at the Federal 25 election, is poised to be compensated with cabinet responsibility. The professor of biology has had a stint as a lawmaker.
Ade Omole is a leader of APC in the diaspora and is currently the director of Diasporan Affairs in the APC Presidential Campaign Council. The London-based APC chieftain worked out modalities for Nigerians in the diaspora who have Permanent Voters Cards to return home to vote for Tinubu.
The outgoing Plateau State governor is the director-general of the APC Presidential Campaign Council. Lalong, whose tenure ends on May 29, failed in his bid for a senatorial seat. His efforts in steering the campaign that brought about the Tinubu victory could well help make a case for his appointment as minister