Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday officially transmitted a list of ministerial nominees to the Senate for vetting and further confirmation.
The move is part of efforts aimed at forming a new cabinet for the second term of the Buhari – Osinbajo administration. In all 43 names were forwarded to the Senate.
The Senate President Ahmad Lawan confirmed receipt of the list and announced that lawmakers had postponed their annual recess for a week to enable them screen the nominees.
Out of the over 40 names submitted, seven were women. Amongst them, the immediate past Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad (Kaduna) and sister of the immediate past Senate president, Gbami Saraki (Kwara).
The remaining five profiled by local media portal Cable Nigeria were: Pauline Tallen,a one-time Minister under Olusegun Obasanjo and the first female deputy-governor in the northern region.
Mariam Katagum, a former Nigerian ambassador and permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Sadiya Farouq,a former national treasurer for Buhari’s party, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. Completing the list are Sharon Ikeazor and Ramatu Tijjani, ex-civil servants and big shots in the ruling All Peoples Congress, APC.
The practice under Nigeria’s federal arrangement is for the president to nominate ministers from across the thirty-six states.
Former Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) George Akume (Benue) Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti) made the list. Some of the retained ministers from the first term included: Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Adamu Adamu (Bauchi), Senator Chris Ngige (Anambra).
Some of the newcomers are Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Sunday Dare (Oyo), Festus Keyamo (Delta), Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra), Senator Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo) and Olorunnibe Mamora (Lagos), Sadiya Farouk (Zamfara).
Buhari was re-elected four months ago, but Nigeria has been without a cabinet since the ministers serving during his first term stepped down in May.
The gap has led to a slowdown in investment and a near-halt in decision making, according to investors, contractors and diplomats. Buhari took about six months to form a cabinet at the start of his first term in 2015.