June 11, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Ex-VP Osinbajo’s aide raises questions over Tinubu’s cabinet

Former presidential aide, Laolu Akande, has raised observations possible duplication of functions of the recently-inaugurated cabinet of President Bola Tinubu.

He spoke on the matter on television programme Friday morning, and raised concerns on the need to avoid duplication of roles in ministries.

Mr. Akande was Senior Special Assistant (Media) to Prof. Osinbajo for the eight years he was vice-president to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He is now urging President Tinubu to clarify where “innovation” as a portfolio would be based and to further make public articulation of “social welfare” that has been added to the health ministry.

According to him, there has to be clarity in the area of who takes charge of the “innovation” portfolio which has been duplicated in two ministries.

“An important thing we may have to look at is, if you look at the list of the ministries, there are two important questions the Federal Government has to answer,” he said in a statement.

“I think the president has to answer this: number one, where is innovation? We have the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation and we also have the Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, which has to be sorted out.

“Are we going to have a situation where you have innovation here and you have innovation there?”

Akande said this was important because in the previous administration two ministries assumed that innovation portfolio was under their purview.

The former spokesperson  said that both the Science and Technology Ministry, and the people in Communication and Digital Economy made such assumption.

“So you find out that there were meetings where both of them were contending tough battles so I think it is important for the president to clarify where is innovation?”

“Secondly, people have even noticed that the president now has two co-ordinating ministers: Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Social Welfare.

Some of the Ministers in Tinubu’s Cabinet

“So what is ‘social welfare’? Is social welfare what we used to have under Social Development which was in humanitarian affairs but no longer there?

“That has been changed from Humanitarian Affairs, Social Welfare and Disaster Management, to Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, but social welfare is now taken to health. Now, is social welfare the same thing as social development?

“It is important for us to clarify is, is socio-welfare the same thing as social development?”

Akande also spoke of the likelihood of conflicts of interest and possible tension among ministers in the course of performing their duties, especially the minister of finance and co-ordinating minister of the economy, a former commissioner, who has to supervise other ministries some of them former governors.

The former presidential aide also spoke on a recent controversy over the appointment of Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa.

Akande expressed his support for the minister, describing her as a “very bright and innovative person” capable of bringing innovative ideas that would take the ministry to greater heights.

“If we are able to overlook some of these issues, she is clearly a very bright and innovative person… there are clearly a lot of expectations that somebody like her might bring new thinking to the government.

His comments are coming on the heels of accusations by Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), faulting Musawa, for undertaking up the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme while she is in the federal cabinet.