November 2017 marked two years that most of the ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet assumed office.
Mr. Buhari inaugurated 36 ministers on November 11, 2015 to man 24 federal ministries. However, two of them are no longer in the cabinet. While the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi, SAN, died last year, Amina Mohammed left the cabinet to take up appointment at the UN as Deputy Secretary General.
In August 2017, Mr. Ocholi was replaced with Stephen Ocheni while Suleiman Hassan was sworn in as Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.
PREMIUM TIMES presents the midterm scorecard of the ministers based on their promises on assumption of office and others they made thereafter.
Minister: Isaac Adewole
State Minister: Osagie Ehanire
-Revitalisation of 10,000 primary health facilities in 774 local government area across the country for effective service delivery to people towards decongesting the nation’s tertiary health institutions.
-Providing free antenatal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and the aged.
-Free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV.
-Providing incentives for Nigerian doctors and health practitioners working abroad to return home to strengthen the health care industry in Nigeria and provide quality care to those who need it.
-Quelling the inter and intra professional discontentment in the health sector.
– Reducing maternal and mortality rate in the country in the next three years 2015 -2018.
– Reducing mother to child HIV transmission by placing more people on anti-retroviral drugs.
-Rehabilitation of cancer machines across the country.
-Promise to start vaccine production in Nigeria
-Launch of Tobacco Act and Campaign.
-Completion of radiotherapy machine in National hospital which can cater for 100 people per day.
-Revitalisation of 109 primary health care facilities across the country.
-Successful implementation of routine immunisation across the country.
-Relaunch of family planning programmes across the country.
-Outbreak of vaccine preventable diseases in the country. Diseases such as meningitis, cholera, measles, yellow fever etc can be prevented but due to lack of vaccine in the country, many people have died.
-Though steps toward commencing vaccine production in the country started with the signing of an MoU with May and Baker, much is yet to be done at the factory site and therefore the nation still depends on international donors for vaccine supplies.
-Activities in the health sector were marred by strike action from the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) and the Joint health sector union Unions and Assembly of Healthcare professionals, JOHESU.
-Most primary healthcare facilities across the country are still in dilapidated states and people still trek many miles to get basic health services.
-Universal Health Care has not been achievable as many Nigerians still pay out of their pockets to access health services.
-Cancer machines across the country are not yet fully functional and most Nigerians have been dying from cancer related diseases due to lack of radiotherapy machines.
-Nigeria still loses over N175 billion to high medical tourism to other countries.
-Intra and Inter professional battle worsen as JOHESU passes vote of no confidence on minster.
– Dilapidated state of secondary and tertiary health facilities/ lack of equipment.
-Mass migration of doctors from the country. According to Nigeria Medical Association, NMA President, 300 doctors left Nigeria in 2016.
Unconfirmed reports say 500 doctors sat for qualifying foreign medical examination preparing to move. Earlier in August, an official of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Abimbola Olajide, said no fewer than 2,500 doctors would leave the country in 2017.
2. Science and Technology
Minister: Ogbonnaya Onu
-Partnership with European Union, EU, on climate change, science and technology.
-N180 billion investment in National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap (NSTIR) 2030.
-Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020 to be driven by Science and Technology Innovation.
-Moving Nigeria from ‘assemblage to manufacturing.’
-Local production of pencils by 2018.
-400,000 jobs to be created through same pencil production.
-Closing all technology gaps to advance national development.
-Commercialisation of science and technology ideas.
-Monetary incentive of N1 billion, N500 million and N200 million for research purposes to the three top Agencies.
-The use of nuclear technology for power generation.
-To become “best minister Nigeria ever had.”
-Signed Memorandum of Undertaking MoU with three international companies to export indigenous technologies and foods.
-Signed MoU with NASCO to kick off commercial production of High Nutrient Density biscuits.
-Staged a successful National Science and Technology Week.
-Initiated the “The Roadmap for Science, Technology and Innovation”, “The National Strategy for Promoting Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development in Nigeria” and “The Policy Guidelines for the Planning and Execution of Programmes, Projects and Contracts with Science, Engineering and Technology Components”.
-Promotion of the use of Made-in-Nigeria goods by directing all 17 agencies under the ministry to patronise Innoson vehicles as well as other local manufacturing companies.
-Promotion of technological ideas in all agencies under the ministry.
-Low patronage and encouragement from government for inventors.
-Nigeria’s automotive industry yet to compete favourably with foreign companies though the minister blames it on the absence of research and development.
-Nothing meaningful has commenced on the pencil production.
-Nothing significant has started in the Nigeria-Russia agreement to build four nuclear power plants.
-Nigeria’s yam produce was rejected by United States of America over poor quality.
-He is far from being the best minister. Many have described the minister as one of the ‘sleeping’ ones.
3. Transportation & Aviation
Minister: Rotimi Amaechi
State Minister (Aviation): Hadi Sirika
-Lagos-Kano rail line as well as the Lagos-Port Harcourt standard gauge will start running before the end of 2017.
-Central rail project from Itakpe to Warri before the end of 2017.
-Narrow gauge line from Ilorin–Minna.
-To connect Abuja to other parts of the country through the central line at Warri, while the Jos Inland Port would be completed in June.
-Construction of Lagos-Ijebu-Ode-Ore-Benin-Asaba-Agbor-Onisha-Sapele-Yenagoa-Port Harcourt-Uyo and Calabar coastal rail line.
-To commence Eastern rail flank linking Aba to Port Harcourt, Makurdi, Enugu and Jos in June
-Linking of Ekiti rail through Osogbo to Ilorin, Minna and Kano.
-Dredging and construction of the Calabar Port as well as River Benue water ways.
-Projects at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology and the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority.
-Establishment of Aviation University.
-Commencement of work on the Itakpe-Warri rail line.
-Ongoing reforms in the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
-Commencement of construction work on the Lagos-Ibadan Rail line contract.
-Construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
-Near completion of the Lagos, Port Harcourt and Enugu airport terminals’ facelifts
-Flag-off of Transport short code *735# and Transport Social Media (TSM) mobile Application as a policy tool for the enhancement of passengers and motor parks safety.
-Contracting the security of the nation’s waterways to an Israeli security firm at $186 million.
-Most of the railway projects billed to be completed during the year under review are yet to be completed.
For instance, the Lagos-Kano line for which $7.5 billion loan was said to have been obtained from a Chinese bank in February is yet to be completed. While $1. 4 billion of the loan was for the construction of the rail gauge from Lagos to Ibadan, $6. 1 billion would be used on Ibadan–Ilorin–Minna-Kaduna– Kano line.
-Domestic flight operations declined by 33 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.
-Increasing cases of delayed flights. Domestic airlines operating in Nigeria delayed an average 89 flights daily between July and September 2017, according to official figures from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
The airlines also recorded 8,173 cases of delayed flights between July and September this year.
-Inadequate facilities at most of the airports which affects low passenger traffic. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total number of passengers that passed through Nigerian airports in first quarter of 2017 was 2.5 milllion, representing 31.3 per cent when compared to the previous quarter.
-The average annual growth rate of the transport sector still remains a meagre 1.40 per cent of the Gross National Product.
-Rehabilitation of runways.
4. Niger Delta Affairs
Minister: Usani Usani
-To address problems created by lack of even development in the oil-rich region.
-Complete all on-going projects in the region.
-Complete the dualisation of the East-West road which commenced in 2006 but was taken over by the ministry in 2010.
-The region has experienced relative peace, when compared with the past.
-An investigative panel set up by the ministry revealed that it uncovered massive fraud in the past operations of the ministry.
The Minister, Usani Usani, recent!y said there was very little or nothing to show for the N423 billion invested in projects in the region between 2009 and 2015.
-As acknowledged during the 2nd National Council on Niger Delta in September, the development pace in the region still remained very slow despite huge investments by various tiers of government, development partners, international oil companies and civil society organisations.
-The ministry’s skill acquisition projects and other projects have been abandoned in the different states of the region.
-Stakeholders in the region appear to be in the dark about the ministry’s operations, programmes, and achievements because of poor information dissemination.
-The East-West road, 338 Km dual carriageway traversing towns in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta is still far from completion. Some failed sections of the road in Rivers and Bayelsa states have reportedly led to avoidable accidents and loss of lives.
-The NDDC, which is supervised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, is enmeshed in an embarrassing controversy over its inability to pay tuition fees for Nigerian students studying abroad under the commission’s sponsorship.
Score: Below Average.
Minister: Adamu Adamu
State Minister: Anthony Onwuka
-Address the out-of-school children phenomenon.
-Strengthen basic and secondary school education, capacity building and professional development for teachers.
-Increase quality and access to higher education and pay more attention to basic education.
-Ensure 30 million Nigerians become literate within three years.
-Re-negotiate the 2009 Agreement with unions in tertiary sector.
-Academic stability at all levels.
-Attracting best brains to the teaching profession.
-Reducing the percentage counterpart fund paid by states to ease their accessing of funds.
-Providing e-learning, technical and vocational education and
training, education data and planning and adult literacy including special needs
-Presented a roadmap for radical change in the education sector between
2016 and 2019.
-Separation of CRK/IRK in the basic education curriculum which eased the controversy.
-Implementation of open distance and flexible learning for 25 polytechnics.
-Approval of N1.9 billion intervention fund for each university.
-Technical university to commence academic activities in January.
-Conducted efficiency test for 60,480 pupils and 3,888 teachers.
-Modification of the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for
candidates seeking admission into the higher institutions of learning by introducing Central Admission Processing System.
-Approval of 15 university online learning centres.
-Revamping data collection system in the education sector.
-Introduction of Teachers’ professional examination.
-Conducting assessment of its basic schools which held last in 2011 under the previous administration.
-Approval of six new private universities and two state universities.
-Nigeria’s literacy level has not reduced. The nation currently has over 65
million illiterates, according to UNESCO.
-Funding of education: Only seven per cent was allocated to the education
sector in 2017 against the stipulated 15 to 20 per cent proposed by the UNESCO.
-About 11.5 million school age Nigerian children are out of school, making
the country the highest in the world.
-There is still proliferation of unregulated private schools.
–Decline in teaching profession. Over 40 per cent of Nigerian teachers are
not qualified as they do not possess the prescribed minimum qualifications
-Inadequate housing in public universities.
– About 207,818 teachers are unqualified in primary schools across the country.
– 50 per cent of Nigerians with post -secondary school qualification are underemployed or unemployed, according to findings by the National Bureau of Statistics.
-Only 450,000 of the normadic school-aged children are accessing any form of schooling out of the estimated 3.5 million.
-Unabated decline in quality of education.
-Labour disputes still thrive in the system. ASUU, ASUP & JAC (Comprising NASU, SSANU & NAAT) embarked on strikes at different times during the year crippling the sector.
6. Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
Minister: Mohammed Bello
-To secure the city and the entire territory.
-Make it (city) environmentally friendly and responsive in terms of service delivery by all agencies of the FCTA.
-The minister identified a number of roads to be rehabilitated and took up those projects.
The ongoing projects include the dualisation of Jikwoyi-Karishi road, 2.5 km Bwari road project, mass housing project scheme, pedestrian bridge construction, Apo resettlement scheme, newly completed AYA overhead bridge, Airport Road flyover and Umar Musa Yar’Adua Express Way.
-Re-energised the health sector by revamping primary health care in the FCT. The minister said N360 million was provided for the construction of 220-bed spaces at the new Gwarimpa Hospital.
-Improvement in the sanitary situation of the city.
– Despite these promises, security in the FCT worsened in 2017 as crime rate went up. There were rising cases of kidnapping, robbery, killings etc.
-A lot of public utilities like street lights broke down. Traffic lights at major points in the city are either not functioning or malfunctioning leaving streets dark and dangerous to FCT residents.
-Poor sanitary condition and environmental degradation in the capital city
-Persistent traffic congestion on Nyanya-Maraba,-Keffi Road despite the minister’s promise to address the situation.
-The administration is silent on progress (if any) made in some of the promised road projects which are aimed at easing movement for residents.
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