By Daniel Edu
In response to President Bola Tinubu’s decision to personally oversee the Petroleum Ministry portfolio, oil workers are urging swift and effective outcomes.
Similar to his predecessor’s approach, President Tinubu has taken on the role of heading the petroleum ministry, with former Senator Heineken Lokpobiri assuming the position of Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
President Tinubu revealed the assignments of 45 ministers on Wednesday, following their Senate confirmation after a week-long screening process.
The official swearing-in ceremony for the ministers is scheduled to take place on Monday at the Aso Villa State House Conference in Abuja. Each minister is allowed to bring two guests to the ceremony, as per a statement by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Lumumba Okugbawa, the General Secretary of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, voiced support for President Tinubu’s dual role as petroleum minister. Okugbawa emphasized that the key concern should be the President’s performance in the position, as all ministers ultimately report to him.
Bala Zaka, a petroleum expert, emphasized the importance of addressing crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. Zaka also called for policies that would attract investments and revitalize the industry in line with global standards.
Emeka Akabogu, a maritime lawyer and Convener of OTL Africa Downstream, stated that President Tinubu’s competence as president implies competence in the role of petroleum minister. Akabogu stressed the importance of effective execution and hoped that the appointed ministers of state would contribute positively to Nigerian interests.
The list of appointments also included the creation of new ministries and renaming of some existing ones. Notably absent from the list were the names of Nasir El-Rufai, Stella Okotete, and Danladi Abubakar due to objections and petitions. El-Rufai reportedly withdrew his nomination, suggesting a replacement to the President.
Former Ebonyi State governor Dave Umahi and ex-Jigawa State governor Muhammed Badaru have been selected to head the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Defence, respectively. Despite local requests for an indigenous appointment, former Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike was named Federal Capital Territory Minister, with Mariga Mahmoud as Minister of State for FCT.
Tahir Mamman, a former law school director-general, has been entrusted with the leadership of the education ministry.