Kola Ologbondiyan

Opposition parties and some concerned groups have called on the National Assembly to enact a law that will compel the President to attach portfolios to ministerial nominees’ list sent to the Senate for confirmation.

They stated that it was proper and ideal for the President to attach portfolios to ministerial nominees to enable the Senate to properly screen the nominees and ascertain their competence and appropriateness.

Members of the opposition who spoke separately to our correspondent on Friday were the Peoples Democratic Party through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan; spokesperson for the African Democratic Congress, Mrs Yemi Kolapo; her counterpart in the Social Democratic Party, Alfa Mohammed; and the Coalition for United Political Parties’ spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere.

According to them, the resolution of the Senate asking the President to attach portfolios to ministerial list for confirmation can be seen as advisory since it is not in the constitution.

They stated that a law should be enacted to make it mandatory for the President to attach portfolios to the ministerial nomination list before the Senate could confirm the nominees.

Ologbondiyan said, “They do not have any law except if they provide for an Act of Parliament for that requirement for President to attach portfolios to his ministerial list, the executive can just take it (Senate resolution) as an advisory. If they sponsor a bill to that effect, and the President signs it into an act, it becomes a law that is binding since the constitution does not provide that.”

Kolapo also stressed the importance of knowing which ministries had been attached to certain nominees.

She said, “Are the Executive’s nominees supposed to just take a bow before the Legislature? How would there be proper scrutiny to determine the capabilities of the nominees vis-a-vis their prospective portfolios? I think we need to impress it on the Legislature that they can’t start on a wrong footing. They need to prove their independence and loyalty to the masses and not the Executive.”

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