• April 1, 2023

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President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, sacked ministers of Agriculture, Mohammed Sabo Nanono and his power counterpart, Saleh Mamman, in a move aimed at weeding out weak link in the chain of development.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced this, yesterday, to State House Correspondents, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abubakar, has been redeployed to the Ministry of Agriculture while  Minister of State for Works,  Abubakar Aliyu, takes over in the power ministry.

He said the exercise would continue to fill vacancies as prescribed in the constitution.

The presidential spokesman quoted Buhari as saying the changes were sequel to the “tradition of subjecting our projects and programmes implementation to independent and critical self-review” through sector reporting during Cabinet meetings and at retreats.

He added that “these significant review steps have helped to identify and strengthen weak areas, close gaps, build cohesion and synergy in governance, manage the economy and improve the delivery of public good to Nigerians.”

The statement read in part: “On Wednesday 21st August, 2019 the current Federal Executive Council was sworn-in after a rigorous retreat to bring returning and new members up to speed on the accomplishments, challenges and lessons drawn from my first term in office and to emphasise the priority areas of government for the second term.

“Two years and some months into the second term, the tradition of subjecting our projects and programmes implementation to independent and critical self-review has taken firm roots through sector reporting during cabinet meetings and at Retreats.

“These significant review steps have helped to identify and strengthen weak areas, close gaps, build cohesion and synergy in governance, manage the economy and improve the delivery of public good to Nigerians.

“I must commend this cabinet for demonstrating unparalleled resilience that helped the government to navigate the disruption to global systems and governance occasioned by the emergence of COVID-19 shortly after inauguration. The weekly Federal Executive Council meetings was not spared because the traditional mode was altered.

“As we are all aware, change is the only factor that is constant in every human endeavour and as this administration approaches its critical phase in the second term, I have found it essential to reinvigorate this cabinet in a manner that will deepen its capacity to consolidate legacy achievements.”

On Monday the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) had faulted the sacked Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for neglecting key stakeholders at the just-concluded Feed Nigeria Summit (FNS) in Abuja.

Assistant Publicity Secretary of AFAN, Salisu Mukhtar, in a statement had also criticised the ministry for organising such an important event in the height of a rainy season without a National Agricultural Policy to replace the defunct Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) launched in 2015.

According to him, the Ministry excluded many key stakeholders in the food system value chains such as AFAN, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its good work in the agriculture space at the event.

Nanono had come under criticism when a leaked memo dated December 10, 2020, with Ref. No. FMA/PROC/AHS/SIP/2020/7742/1, signed by Musa Musa, deputy director of procurement in ministry on behalf of the minister, approved N30 million for the construction of a mosque awarded to El-Shukhur Multi-Buz Nig. Ltd.

The mosque, he said, was for livestock farmers displaced by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the sack cannot cover failures of the administration.

The opposition party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC) should know that Nigerians were not swayed by the sack of the two ministers.

It noted that Nigerians “are eagerly awaiting the exit of the Buhari Presidency and the APC come May 29, 2023, as there is no hope in sight under their purview.”

Besides, the PDP added that it “is also investigating the real reason behind their sack given Mr. President’s public approach to fighting corruption by ‘easing out’ the culprits.

“The party however asserts that the manifest inefficiency of the Buhari administration is a product of President Buhari’s myopic and divisive approach to governance as well as the impunity and corruption deeply embedded in his administration and party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The PDP posits that even if the best hands are recruited, they will be contaminated by incompetence, impunity, disregard to rules, divisiveness and corruption that have become the hallmark of the APC and its administration.

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