Following the deferment of last week's meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) due to the centenary celebrations, there are indications that President Goodluck Jonathan might swear in 11 new ministers during the FEC meeting today.
Last month, the Senate had confirmed 11 of the 12 ministerial nominees whose names were submitted by the president. THISDAY learnt that in the course of swearing in the new ministers, Jonathan would reshuffle his cabinet to reinvigorate it and deliver on the transformation agenda of his administration.
The ministers to be sworn in are Senator Musiliu Obanikoro (Lagos); Aminu Wali (Kano); Mrs. Lawrencia Laraba Mallam (Kaduna); Mrs. Akon Etim Eyakenyi (Akwa Ibom); Hon. Mohammed Wakil (Borno); and Oyewale Adesiyan (Osun). Others are Dr. Khaliru Alhassan (Sokoto); Tamuno Danagogo (Rivers); Mrs. Asabe Asmau Ahmed (Niger); rtd. General Aliyu Gusau (Zamfara); and Mr. Boni Haruna (Adamawa).
The 12th nominee from Kano, Hajia Jamila Salik, was dropped before the confirmation process began in the Senate. In the meantime, barely a month after the president sacked the former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, yesterday he effected more changes in other key agencies in the aviation sector with the sack of the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Fola C. Akinkuotu and the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriesi. Others who were removed included the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, and the Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Mrs. Chinyere Kalu.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Sam Nwaobasi, the federal government approved Mr. Saleh Dumona (Director Projects, FAAN) to replace Uriesi as Managing Director of FAAN, while Mr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam (General Manager, Procurements, NAMA) will replace Udoh as Managing Director of NAMA.
In the same vein, Capt. Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick (Government Safety Inspector & ICAO Focal Point for Nigeria on line Aircraft Safety Information Systems, OASIS) will replace Kalu as Rector of NCAT, while Capt. Muhktar Usman (Commissioner, Accident Investigation & Prevention Bureau, AIPB) will take over from Akinkuotu as Director-General of NCAA, subject to confirmation by the Senate. In the interim, Mr. Benedict Adeyileka will act as DG, NCAA.
Also affected are Dr. Felix A. Abali (Director Licensing, NCAA), who will replace Usman as Commissioner, AIPB, while Dr. Tony Anuforo retained his position as Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
The president's directive may not be unconnected to the fact that two of the aviation sector parastatals - NCAA and FAAN - were indicted for procuring bullet proof cars at inflated prices for Oduah while she was in office. An industry source also traced their sack to the president's decision to bring sanity to the operation of the sector and improve safety standards.