By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe representing Abia South and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the methodology employed by the 9th Assembly in evaluating the ministers sent to it for screening.
The minority leader in an interview with Vanguard said; “we could have done a better job.”
Senator Abaribe was responding to a question asked by Vanguard correspondent, Levinus Nwabughiogu.
Question: “As the Minority Leader of the Senate, how has 9th National Assembly fared since inauguration in June?”
Abaribe responded; “I do not think Nigerians will say that the National Assembly between June 2019 and now has done so badly. Yes, we had some missteps, I acknowledge that but I can also acknowledge that we have also corrected certain things.
“For example, budget-making was very tardy and the law was not being followed. The law says the budget is supposed to be from January to December but we didn’t take it serious.
“We corrected that. I think where we made what I will call a not-very-impressive statement is in the way we screened ministers and went through the process of approving the heads of ministries in Nigeria.
“I think we could have done a better job. But be that as it may, what we want to do is to look at the future and not at the past.
Question: A better job, how?
Abaribe response; “I am talking about the way we screened the ministers.”
Question: How was it supposed to be?
“There should have been a far more rigorous examination of their programmes, qualifications and all that even though I also stated at that time that part of the problem is the fact that we have continually gone on with the wrong way of nominating people, meaning that you bring somebody without a portfolio and so, if the person doesn’t have a portfolio, what you do, at best, is to guess using whatever credentials he has and ask him questions along that line but not knowing whether he will be there.
“For example, we had about four SANs, we didn’t know who was going to be Attorney-General among them.
“So, what were you gonna ask them? What I would like to see is whether it’s possible to change the law to make it mandatory that whenever the President is nominating ministers, he will do that with portfolios.”