11 July 2011
Twelve additional federal ministries are about to be created by President Goodluck Jonathan in order to accommodate all the members of the new cabinet billed to be fully formed this week, Daily Trust learnt at the weekend.
Daily Trust gathered that the decision was based on the recommendations of a committee set up by the Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi at the President’s request.
Sources said about three weeks ago, the President directed Afolabi to study and select ministries that would be affected by the restructuring exercise as part of his transformation agenda.
The source hinted that the new ministries are going to be carved out of the existing ones as part of the restructuring of ministries and if implemented, the total number of ministries will come to 40.
The source, who asked not to be named, said the rationale behind the creation of the new ministries was to enable every minister manage a portfolio and also reduce the friction that often occurs between ministers and ministers of state, who are often regarded as junior ministers. It is also intended to hold ministers accountable, the source said.
The source hinted that the ministries that will be affected are key ministries were the transformation agenda of the administration will be centred.
However, the source was able to name only six of the 12 proposed ministries that are to be created. They are: Budget to be created out Finance, Information Technology (IT) out of Science and Technology, Communications out of Information and Communications, Area Council Affairs out of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Tertiary and Basic Education out of Education Ministry. The Works and Housing Ministry is to be split into two, the source also said.
The president has so far sworn in 31 ministers while eight nominees are now waiting to be screened by the Senate tomorrow. Only World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is yet to be sworn in of the cleared ministers. Of the 14 ministers who were the first to be sworn in, 12 of them who were members of the old cabinet were told to return to their old portfolios, while the remaining two were later assigned to Women Affairs and Aviation. The remaining ministers are expected to be assigned their portfolios today.