Vanguard (Lagos)

4 February 2013

Nigeria: New Power, Defence Ministers Sworn in

Abuja — Two new ministers were, Monday, sworn into the Federal Executive council by President Goodluck Jonathan in what he said was an injection of new members to the council that is expected to up the ante in governance.

The new ministers, Chinedu Osita Nebo (Enugu) and Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (Kebbi), replaced the former Ministers of Power and Defence, Barth Nnaji and Haliru Bello Mohammed respectively who had earlier exited the cabinet last year.

President Jonathan who likened their introduction midway into his government to changes made by a football coach in a game charged them to justify their introduction by bringing about changes in their various ministries. A formal inauguration of the new ministers would be done Wednesday at the federal Executive Council meeting.

President Goodluck Jonathan told the new ministers that Nigerians would judge his coaching abilities by the new innovations they would bring into the federal cabinet.

"We are admitting two new ministers into our fold. From the profile we have heard about them they are eminently qualified to serve this country at all levels. If it is in politics they are eminently qualified to serve as councilors up to the president of the Federal Republic by their antecedents.

"But then background qualification is one thing but serving as a minister is another, because the challenges are different.

"One thing I believe is that you will succeed but to me it is a big challenge to me and you because if a coach of a football team sends his 11 players and decide to make changes getting close to half time then he knows that there may be weaknesses in some areas and he is bringing people to strengthen the team to make sure they score goals.

"So Nigerians are expecting that if I am bringing ministers in at this time, I must be bringing people that will strengthen the team and make sure I bring people that will score more goals than we are already scoring. And If Nigerians don't realise that they will feel that I am not a good coach....

"Just like when the coach introduces a new player, sometimes 10 minutes to the end of the game and you are introduced to the field they expect you to score the next goal.

"So you are welcome on board you will be formerly inaugurated again on Wednesday when we will have the FEC meeting. You will get your letter from the SGF and I assigned you to where we think you will serve this great country. Congratulations".

The swearing in was attended by the Deputy Senate President, Senate Majority Leader, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives , ministers and families members of the newly sworn in ministers.

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