Senate screens seven ministerial nominees Friday, to continue Monday

Senate plenary

The Senate on Friday screened seven more ministerial nominees forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari.

They are former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; former Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehinare and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen.

Others are Muhammadu Dingyadi; Festus Keyamo and Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Ali Isa Pantami.

This brings the total number of nominees screened to 31 of the 43 sent by the president.

Of the seven nominees screened on Friday, two were given the traditional ‘take a bow’ treatment. They are Mr Sirika who was asked to take a bow on grounds of legislative background and Mrs Tallen, on grounds of gender.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the number of nominees screened as at Thursday, as well as nominees who were told to take a bow and those who were grilled by the lawmakers.

The final nominees screened by the lawmakers were Mr Ehinare, Mrs Tallen, Mr Dingyadi and Mr Pantami.

Apart from Ms Tallen, the final nominees answered questions from the lawmakers ranging from health to technology as well as communications.

During his screening, Mr Pantami was asked if the Nigerian Communications Satellite should be privatised or commercialised.

According to him, he “will go for commercialisation.”

He said NigComSat has played a significant role in the country’s security architecture and “sadly, when you want investors to come, there should be tax holiday, when that is achieved, we can come up with some agreement how we can start benefitting.

While stressing the need for laws that will encourage investment, he said more funds should be voted for education.

After the screening process, the lawmakers reverted to plenary to report progress.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced that the screening will continue next Monday and extend to Tuesday.

Nominees to be screened on Monday are Gbemisola Saraki, Goddy Jedy-Agba, Sulaiman Adamu, Maryam Katagum and Clement Agba.

Others are Geoffrey Onyeama, Muhammad Mahmoud, Babatunde Fashola and Rauf Aregbesola.

Also to be screened on Tuesday are Sabo Nanono, Lai Mohammed and Saleh Mamman.

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