Ministerial screening: Why Amaechi, Akpabio, 7 others were told to “take a bow
The Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday, told nine ministerial nominees to “take a bow” as screening began.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, explained that the decision was in line with the long-standing tradition of the legislature, that all former lawmakers nominated for appointments are given an automatic endorsement.
The minister-nominees who enjoyed the privilege include: Godswill Akpabio, Gbemisola Saraki, Hadi Sirika, Olorunnimbe Mamora, George Akume, Chris Ngige, Tayo Alasoadura, Emeka Nwajuiba, a serving Reps member and surprisingly, Rotimi Amaechi, a former Minister of Transportation.
Unlike other nominees who were former federal lawmakers, Amaechi was only a former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The National Assembly’s Point of Order makes room for Senators returning based on the number of times elected, Senators who have been members of House of Reps, Senators elected for the first time.
It, however, does not recognize State House of Assembly.
But Lawan noted that the benefit given to Amaechi was an extension to lawmakers from the State House of Assembly.
“We have agreed on a policy on how we go about the screening of nominees, we agreed that any nominee with the legislative background will enjoy the privilege that we normally extend to such nominees.
“I can see this nominee is so clever that he emphasized that he’s been a Speaker,” the Senate President said.