This Day (Lagos)

8 April 2010

Nigeria: Ministers - the Profiles (ii)

Lagos — Suleiman Bello

Minister of State for Health

Alhaji Suleiman Bello comes from Zamfara State. Until his appointment, he was the Commissioner representing Katsina at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He is waiting for the new minister of health with whom he will work in the ministry.

Fidelia Akuabata Njeze

Minister of Aviation

Mrs. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze is returning for the fourth time as a minister. She had been Minister of State for Water Resources, Defence, Agriculture and now Aviation. Born on June 8, 1964 in Enugu State, She holds a B. Sc (Pharmacy) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She worked as a member of the Enugu State Health Services Board and was also formerly Managing Director, Gredel Pharmacy Limited.

Humphery Abbah

Minister of State for Aviation

Mr. Humphery Abbah comes from Kogi State. He was Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in the last cabinet. He has pledged to work assiduously to realise the objectives of the ministry, which entails ensuring security of the nation's airspace.

Ruqayyah Ahmed Rufai

Minister of Education

Prof. Ruqayyah Ahmed Rufai was former Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Jigawa State. A Professor of Education (Curriculum Studies), Rufai bagged a B. Ed in History as a Teaching Subject at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK) in 1981, MA History from the same university in 1987 and PhD in Education from the West Virginia University, USA in 1991.

Rufai hails from Ringim in Jigawa State and had lectured at BUK from where she was picked to serve as Commissioner for Health under the military between 1993 and 1996. She was promoted professor in 2003, making her the first female professor produced by BUK and also the first from North Western Nigeria.

Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed

Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation

Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed until his recent appointment was the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Bayero Nafada. Mohammed bagged his B. Sc (Physics) in 1985 from University of Maiduguri and M.Sc in the same discipline form the University of Ibadan. He caused a stir recently during his confirmation screening when the Senators battled to come to terms with his statement of results, which indicated that as a graduate with First Class Honours in Physics, he was only able to muster a pass grade (P7) in Physics and Mathematics at the O' Level.

Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN)

Minister of Defence

Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) is a 1981 University of Lagos graduate of Law. He comes from Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State. He was a staunch member of the Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). In 2007, he was first appointed Minister of Culture & Tourism and then Labour and Productivity. After Chief Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) was demoted from Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation early this year to Special Duties Minister, Kayode was appointed AGF. Kayode is a prominent senior legal practitioner who had been counsel to the Federal Government, PDP, INEC, etc. He is one of the earliest legal practitioners in Abuja.

Murtala Yar'Adua

Minister of Defence (State)

Alhaji Murtala Yar'Adua whose ministerial nomination generated controversy in his family is the eldest son of late Gen. Shehu Yar'Adua, elder brother to President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

After his secondary education, Murtala attended South-eastern University, London, England and graduated with a B. Sc Degree in Business Management and an MBA in Financial Management. Following in his father's tracks, in politics, business and now defence, he served as Director of Intel Services Ltd, Port Harcourt; Nation House Press, Kaduna, Hamada Holdings Nigeria Ltd, Kaduna. He also served as a member of the Board Directors of Platinum Habib Nigeria Bank Plc. He was turbaned Tafidan Katsina in 2002, a traditional title he inherited from his late father.

Bala Mohammed

Minister of FCT

Senator Bala Mohammed was born in 1958 and attended Duguri primary school, Government secondary school, Bauchi and University of Maiduguri where he read English. He was elected a Senator in 2007, representing Bauchi South. He is a vocal voice among the members of the red floor of the Senate. This, he displayed during the early days of Yar'Adua's ill-health controversy, when he was the first to ask for the invocation of Section 144 of the 1999 constitution and declare President Yar'Adua incapacitated. He was then the arrowhead of the pro-Jonathan Senators in the Senate.

Olusegun Aganga

Minister of Finance

Mr. Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga was born in Lagos in 1955. Before he was called to serve, Aganga held sway as Managing Director of the reputable investment company in the United Kingdom, Goldman Sachs International.

Aderemi Babalola

Minister of Finance (State)

Mr. Aderemi Babalola was the Minister of State for Finance who had in the immediate past worked with two Finance Ministers consecutively, that is, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman and Dr. Mansur Muhtar. Before he was appointed the Minister of State for Finance in 2007, he was an Executive Director in charge of Operations at First Bank of Nigeria Plc. The young Babalola is not your run-of-the-mill politician but he is said to be learning the robes gradually.

Shamsuddeen Usman

Minister of National Planning

Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman was the first Finance Minister to serve in the President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua administration. He was later moved to the Ministry of National Planning following a cabinet shake-up. Until the recent cabinet dissolution, he was the Minister of National Planning.

Suleiman Yusuf

Minister of Transport

Alhaji Suleiman Yusuf was born in 1963 in Sokoto State. He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with B.Sc Business Administration in 1986 and got his Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) in 1989.

John Ogar Odey

Minister of Environment

Mr. John Ogar Odey has retained his position of Minister of Environment in the dissolved cabinet of President Yar'Adua. He was former Minister of Information and Communications in the first cabinet of President Yar'Adua in 2007. Odey who hails from Cross River North Senatorial was born in 1959. He holds a B.Sc in Banking and Finance from the University of Calabar.

Before his federal appointments, he was a Commissioner for Agriculture in Cross River State from 2003 to 2005 under the administration of Governor Donald Duke. From 2005-2007, he was the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, a position he held before he was appointed a minister by President Yar'Adua.

Ibrahim Bio

Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission

Alhaji Ibrahim Bio was born in 1957. He is an indigene of Kwara State. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained B.Sc in Pharmacy and an MBA from Ogun State University. In 1999, he was elected on the platform of the All Peoples Party (APP) to the House of Representatives. Following the leadership tussle between the leader of Kwara politics, Dr Olusola Sarki and late former Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Muhammed Lawal, Bio pitched his tent with Oluwo as Saraki is popularly known. He stepped down to contest for the State House of Assembly based on the promise by Saraki to hand over the Speakership of the State House of Assembly to him. He became the Speaker of the house and in 2007, he was appointed Minister of Transport.

Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed

Minister of Culture and Tourism

The new Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed was born on October 14, 1961. He hails from Nafada LGA of Gombe State. Mohammed holds a Bachelor and Masters degrees in physics. He went on to become a lecturer at the Federal University of Technology Yola between 1986 and 1996. He was MD/CEO of various companies between 1996 and 2002. Muhammed also worked at the National Teachers Institute (NTI) Kaduna between 2002 and 2008 before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is regarded as an unassuming personality.

Awodele Najeem Alao

Minister of State for Agriculture

Mr. Awodele Najeem Alao was born on August 22, 1955 at Abeokuta, Ogun State. He bagged his first and second degrees in Philosophy from the University of Lagos. He is also a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM). Awodele had a brief stint as a secondary school teacher after his graduation before joining the private sector as General Manager, Namson Management Services between 1990 and 1998. He became a Managing Consultant, Namson Consulting Ltd from 1999 up to the time of his ministerial appointment.

Diezani Alison-Madueke

Minister of Petroleum Resources

Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke came to limelight when she was appointed Minister of Transport in 2007. Her stay in the Transport Ministry lasted a little over a year before she was reassigned to the Ministry of Mines and Steel in December, 2008. Before the dissolution of the last cabinet, Alison-Madueke was working hard to surmount the challenges she faced at her second job at the federal level. Her appointment as the Minister of Petroleum comes with some surprise, though she was before her ministerial appointment in 2007 a top management staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and as such may be said to be in a familiar terrain.

Musa Mohammed Sada

Mines and Steel Development

New Minister of Mines and Steel Development Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada. Sada hails from Katsina State. The ministry is regarded as strategic given the untapped resources under the control of the minister. In terms of revenue generation, the ministry could rival petroleum resources if fully developed.

Like most other ministries in the country, it has suffered from a huge turn-around of ministers. It is not certain if Sada would be able to make any meaningful impact within a short period. But much is expected of him.

Nuhu Somo Wya

Ministry of State for Power

Alhaji Nuhu Wya is returning to the same portfolio he held before the cabinet dissolution. He hails from Kaduna. The sorry state of power supply in the country may have compelled Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to refrain from appointing a substantive minister for power. Instead, he is expected to oversee the ministry along with Wya.

Nuhu is known to be humble and less controversial.

Godsday Orubebe

Minister of Niger Delta affairs

Niger Delta Minister Godsday Orubebe was formerly Minister of State in the same ministry. He is returning to a familiar ground. Orubebe has carried out several assignments in the region dating back to the President Olusegun Obasanjo regime.

Orubebe is seen as one of the pillars in the government's efforts to move the Federal Government amnesty programme forward.

Sam Odey

Minister of State, Niger Delta

Mr. Sam Odey hails from Benue State and is said to be a hard-working technocrat who is eager to make his mark in governrnent.

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