The Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to unbundle some ministries and appoint separate ministers for them as he prepares to constitute his second-term cabinet.
The group’s National President, Igbini Emmanuel, made the call in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday.
Emmanuel listed some of the ministries that should he unbundled for maximum efficiency as the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing; Ministry of Youths and Sports; Ministry of Information and Culture; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Ministry of Education, among others.
He also advised the President to allow the Nigerian Bar Association to nominate the next attorney-general and minister of justice.
This, he said, would engender the confidence of lawyers in the minister.
He said, “Mistakes were made by President Buhari in the merger of some critical ministries which led to the failure of the ministries to deliver services to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
“The merger of power, works and housing ministries was a fatal mistake that should be corrected in the next Federal Executive Council.
“The three ministries should be independent and headed by three substantive ministers not ministers of state.”
He added, “Also, the Ministry of Youths and Sports should be made independent and headed by two substantive ministers in view of the critical roles youths and sports independently play in the development of Nigeria.”
He added, “The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism should be unbundled into ministry of information and ministry of culture and tourism. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should also be separated and made independent. Ministry of orientation should be established to be headed by a minister.
“There should also be established separate ministries for tertiary and secondary/primary education.
“Ministers should be appointed into ministries where they have adequate educational training, professional competence and experience. Doing so will obviously help such ministers to hit the ground running immediately after their inauguration rather than spend almost four years learning about their ministries.”
The group advised that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, being a very critical ministry in the dispensation of justice and enthronement of rule of law in a democracy, should be nominated by the Nigerian Bar Association.
“This will engender the confidence of legal practitioners in the attorney-general and minister of justice,” the group said.
Emmanuel also advised that each state of the federation should produce a substantive minister and not minister of state.
He claimed that the President had been acting in breach of the Constitution by denying some states their rights to produce ministers.
He argued that there was no constitutional recognition for the position of ministers of state, describing such appointments as “illegal, null and void.”
“There must be at least 36 ministries with each ministry headed by a minister from each of the 36 states of Nigeria in conformity with the provision of Section 147 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended,” he said.
Emmanuel also urged the President to name his ministers in time in order to give the Senate adequate time to screen them for confirmation.