2nd July, 2011
President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday swore-in 14 nominees already screened and approved for appointment as ministers by the Senate in a ceremony that lasted about an hour.
Twelve of those sworn in are returnee ministers.
The President directed the returnee ministers to return to their old ministries to begin work immediately.
However, the two new ministers- Stella Ogiewonyi and Zainab Maina, according to the President, will be assigned to ministries on Monday by the SGF.
The ministers sworn-in are Emeka Worgu Labour ministry; Bala Mohammed, Federal Capital Territory; Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, Petroleum; Godsday Orubebe, Niger Delta; Prof. Chukwu Onyebuchi, Health; Caleb Olubolade, minister of state, FCT; Prof. Rukqayat Rufai, Education; Dr. Shamusideen Usman, National Planning Commission; Mohammed Sada, Solid Mineral Development; Suleiman Yusuf, Transport; Bello Adoke, Justice; and Labaran Maku, Information and Communications.
â€œThose of you who are returning are to go back to your ministries and start work. For the new ministers, the SGF will inform you of your posting Monday morning,” said the President.
The Presidentâ€™s directive to the ministers to return to their old ministries is in tune with his argument that constant change of appointees in the cabinet is detrimental to national development.
The President also did not make any extensive comment during the swearing in.
He said he will to do so after all the ministers had been sworn-in.
He also said the ministers will be sworn-in immediately after they are cleared by the Senate.
“Customarily I’m supposed to give a comprehensive speech, but because we are taking the ministers in batches, you know we have stayed for quiet some time and the Senate is still screening. Any group that is cleared even if it is one, that person will take the oath of office so that the ministers will go and hit the ground running and that is why we are doing it now.
“So I will wait till the day we will take the last oath before I will give the speech where I will comment on the cabinet and inform Nigerians the focus of our administration in the next six months or so to end this year and then till 2015.”
Labaran Maku, one of the returnee ministers, told journalists that the President gave them some documents which contained the government’s new policy direction.
By Oluokun Ayorinde/Abuja