The Senate has confirmed the seven new ministers nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The confirmed nominees are Henry Ikechukwu – Abia State; Umana Umana – Akwa Ibom State; Ekumankama Nkama- Ebonyi State and Goodluck Opiah – Imo State.
Others are Umar El-Yakub – Kano State; Ademola Adegoroye – Ondo State; and Odum Udi – Rivers State.
The ministers were confirmed immediately after their screening exercise on Wednesday. The screening lasted about five hours.
They were screened individually during plenary.
While some ministers were asked to take a bow and go, others were asked random questions on the economy, education, insecurity, among others.
Many lawmakers spoke highly of the ministers, particularly the senators who represent the senatorial districts where the nominees hail from.
At the end of the screening exercise, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the exercise, put the question of their confirmation, to a voice vote and the lawmakers unanimously approved their appointments.
President Muhammadu Buhari had written the Senate last Tuesday, nominating the seven ministers and seeking the lawmakers’ confirmation.
The President who did not state their portfolios, had said the confirmation request was made in accordance with Section 147(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
However, the President is expected to swear in the ministers in the coming days and announce the ministries they will head.
The newly-appointed ministers are to replace some cabinet members who had resigned their appointments to contest political offices in the 2023 general elections.
They had resigned in accordance with the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act which states that “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Some of the ministers who resigned are Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Ogbonnaya Onu and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba who contested for the presidential primary.
Others are Uche Ogar who contested and won the fractional Abia State governorship primary and Tayo Alasoadura who contested and lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primary.