New Telegraph

Caution to new ministers in nation building

A level playing ground, with detest for camarilla or kitchen cabinet in a democracy, has been recommended to the presidency as Nigeria recently inaugurated a new Executive Council.
Making the recommendation, Dr Thomas Olaleye Ogungbangbe, remarked that the new ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria possess managerial ingenuity and commitment to effectively harness rational and orderly decisions on national issues, with grim determination to stimulate effective service delivery and convince the governed about the sincerity of the Federal Government to transform Nigeria into a prosperous nation.

He, however, noted with serious concern that any tendencies towards giving some cabinet ministers more power, more authority, more influence, more prominent role and more significant decision-making space than the rest of the members of cabinet put together, in the garb of shadow cabinet could give vitality to in-house misunderstanding and conspiracy clamped down from within to set the stage prepared for campaign of calumny. The development, he said, could register a telling effect on system capacity enhancement for nation building, with misplacement of enthusiasm in the governed.

He saluted the youth and women demography of Nigeria’s new Executive Council, describing the evolution as popular, and not one to underplay; rather, it portends a rewardingly pivotal effect on the next round of general elections. For practical purposes, that good number of youths and women in the new cabinet is a great source of political power with their skills and abundant potential for maximum use.

And really, the young ministers are a rare breed, desirable to double tick and tick blue their vibrant interest in politics to stir the electoral firmament of Nigeria like the currents of gentle winds and waves revitalise nutrient supplies. Meaning, Nigerian youths are no longer confused fellows with the picture of hopelessness, figuratively staring them in the face.
Ogungbangbe, a patriotic Nigerian, urged the ministerial seekers who never had it eventually, to accept the finality of the screening exercise. He charged them to see the screening in the hallowed chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) as the key to arriving at the best among equals, and asked the unconfirmed ministerial nominees to ignore any tension induced rhetoric, capable of igniting voiceless dissonance and deep personal animosities. He extolled NASS for the job done with integrity and transparency.

He had earlier extended his goodwill to the newly sworn members of the Federal Cabinet and enjoined them to discharge their duties creditably. He noted the new ministers’ contrasting backgrounds and experiences, and cautioned them to always agree mutually to put their relations on even kneels based on reciprocal respect, cooperation, understanding and participation, enthusing that “the government of President Bola Tinubu has a totally serious commitment to bringing about purposeful development of a regenerative orientation that would guarantee virile and productive economy.”

On probable procedural conflicts or political impasse between the Parliament and new ministers who, the nation’s President told to see themselves as “ministers of Nigeria, not region or states,” at their inauguration.

Ogungbangbe, a constitutional politician, enriched in capacity and amplitude in contents and dimensions, commended constant references to the relevant constitutional provisions to have any such cul-de-sac, standoff or gridlock resolved in favour of the governed. And on that strength, both the executive and legislative organs of the government could have moral delivery injected into the public.

Speaking on the former Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, who was newly inducted as the nation’s first Minister of Marine & Blue Economy, Ogungbangbe, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ijesa North federal constituency of the state, expressed high confidence in the ability of Oyetola to actualise Tinubu’s policy direction on Nigeria’s maritime trade in petroleum products including crude oil, refined petroleum and liquefied natural gas (LNG) via maritime routes, together with ocean based assets, goods and services, other economic activities or resources provided by maritime ecosystem for Nigeria’s socio-economic developmental needs.

According to Ogungbangbe, the Ministry of Marine & Blue Economy will soon realise that Oyetola is exceptionally hardworking, and prudent, with focus on quality service delivery; and he works well with others for developmental productivity. And generally, his exceptionally rich work experience across sectors of the nation’s economy will profoundly assist him in his daunting task to make him achieve significant progress at the Marine & Blue Economy under his watch, presently at the Ministry of Transportation Bukar Dipcharima House, Central Business District FCT, Abuja, the domicile origin of his newly created portfolio.

“I have no doubts that Alhaji Oyetola is an epitome of benevolent effect to deliver in the ministry as an Oak Tree. I wish him a successful tenure of office,” he added.
Truly, Oyetola (CON) has a knack for ministerial responsibilities that lie in wait, including, tackling such natural challenges to marine and blue economy as ocean acidification, extreme water temperature, extreme weather events, and extreme rise in sea level from climate change crisis, threatening to the health of oceans. Tedious, laborious, one is wont to say; but the immediate past Osun governor will make remarkably positive impact at his money spinning Ministry of Marine & Blue Economy that is envisaged to increase the nation’s revenue, provide jobs, food security, livelihoods, and create biodiversity.
Globally, Oyetola’s blue economy is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 trillion, Africa’s estimate is put at $300 billion, and Nigeria’s, at about $88 billion. Indeed, Oyetola’s gestures and strides, reflecting selflessness, sincerity, honesty, integrity, acumen and manifest prowess have earned him the appointment with implications for history in the new Ministry of Marine & Blue Economy where pioneering opportunities abound to further set records for posterity.

Recall, Osun, celebrated 32 years of its creation, August 27, famously showed empirical, verifiable attributes of development when Oyetola was at the helm as governor, a monumental legacy of steady and upward growth that pointed up Osun in national development.

Much more sustainable national development will soon come with the recent oil subsidy removal that has begun to free up resources for other sectors of the Nigerian economy. “The motivating force for our development as a nation must not continually depend on subsidised petroleum motor spirit (PMS) commonly called petrol,” Ogungbangbe stated, adding that the industry accounted for 5.8 per cent of Nigeria’s real GDP and was responsible for 95 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and 8 per cent of its budget revenue.
He called on relevant Federal Government agencies, including National Orientation Agency (NOA), to enlighten the governed and generate tremendous awareness continually on Tinubu’s good intention behind the removal of oil subsidies. And the governing APC across strata, to the ward level could turn a strategy house to re-awaken sufficient fervour, keenness in Nigerians and sensitise them to the benefits of the removal of oil subsidies.

NOA and its ilk must tell Nigerians that the threats of social unrest and protests today upon the heat of fuel subsidy removal will be gone as the removal of subsidies anon, in good time, get the nation’s economic growth stimulated, market distortions or failures addressed, fiscal strains and potential dependency reduced, and social welfare in terms of the quality of life of the public, enhanced.

Ogungbangbe gave kudos to the Federal Government’s reported N5 billion and five trucks of rice to each of the federated states to alleviate the grinding actualities of the high cost of living occasioned by the removal of subsidies on petrol. He described Tinubu’s curtsy or gesture as masses centric, best started, best communicated, and best coordinated, asking that it should be monitored down the line.

And amidst the ongoing palliatives to the masses of this nation, with improved economy, productive infrastructure, job creation and security for all to follow, the military has no business to come in except constitutionally invited by Tinubu, the 16th and current President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He, not soldiers, has the political mandate of the people of Nigeria to govern.

It’s not the duty of the army to seek political mandate to rule; the military only operates under the mandate of the democratically elected government.

“Democracy in Nigeria has fully come of age,” says Ogungbangbe, asking Nigerians to shun all speculation from the most unlikely quarters that the military could snatch political power. He appealed for the re – invigorated involvement of the governed in the unfolding political process, asking them to trust their leaders and eschew all negative acts.

Olusesi writes via isaacolusesi@gmail.com (08061685186 SMS only)

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