Keemo calls ‘minister of state’ portfolio unusual

… urges FG to appoint various ministers for primary, tertiary education

Minister of State for Labor and Employment, Festus Keimo, has called on the federal government to consider appointing different ministers to handle different departments, saying that the designation of ‘minister of state’ was a constitutional aberration.

Keyamo’s recommendation was contained in a concluding speech delivered on Wednesday in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

His suggestion comes at a time when elder statesmen and political analysts have called on the federal government to cut governance in line with the recommendation of Stephen Oronsay’s White Paper on public sector reform.

The Oronsey Committee submitted an 800-page report on 16 April 2012, recommending the abolition and merger of 102 government agencies and parastatals, while listing some as self-financing.

The report states that 263 of the statutory agencies should be reduced to 161,38 agencies should be abolished while 52 agencies should be merged.

It further recommended that 14 agencies should revert to departments within ministries.

But Keemo made an argument that the portfolio “Minister of State” practically does not work for many of those appointed to this position.

He noted that many people appointed to such positions by successive governments have consistently refused to speak out for fear of seeming ungrateful to the presidents who appointed them.

Stating that he did not want to be seen as ungrateful, a spokesman for the disbanded Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council pointed out that the schedule of duties left so many gaping holes that it often pitted ministers against ministers of state. Let’s give

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The Schedules of Duties of Ministers and Ministers of State, which are intended to correct some of these anomalies, hardly help the issues. First, the Schedules of Duties are seen more in breach by permanent secretaries and directors, who cannot really be expected to serve two masters. And in any case, many of the roles of the two ministers are so vague that bureaucrats who always see them as “senior ministers” or “chief ministers” will interpret them to their satisfaction for fear of being persecuted by them.

According to him, the practice first appeared in the First Republic, where it was used as a contraption to give the appearance of a “government of national unity” when, in fact, gave no “real power” to opposition members. Went. in governance.

He argued that the ultimate goal of nominating such opposition members as ministers of state was to keep them under control under the leadership of ruling party ministers.

Continuing, he said that over time this practice has persisted and has become established as a rule, even in respect of ministers from the same ruling party.

“Indeed, it has led to a political absurdity that some ministers of state won more votes from their states for the party in power than the “chief minister”. and just to pass the time. Files are passed on to them for treatment at the discretion of the other minister and the permanent secretary. Still, ministers of state will get praise or censure for the successes or failures of such ministries.

“Furthermore, the provision that the “Minister of State” cannot submit the memo to the Council without the minister’s permission is another anomaly. This means that the discretion of the Minister of State is contained in the discretion of the Minister, yet both of these are in the cabinet. represent different states. This also suggests that it would be difficult to assess the individual performance of ministers of state as their discretion is subject to the discretion of the ministers. The original idea developed by the minister of state is subject to approval by another colleague in the cabinet. before they can proceed for consideration by the Council. This was evidently not the intention of the framers of our Constitution.

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“In my case, while my colleague’s program had more to do with labor and productivity, mine had to do more with employment. The directorates in my ministry that were under my office owe dual loyalty to the minister of labor and productivity. would be completely under the Minister of Employment without the C. We can also have a Minister of Trade and another Minister of Investment. We can have a Minister of Education (Tertiary) and another Minister of Education (Primary and Secondary); We can have a Mines Minister and another can be steel minister; we can have one construction minister and another housing minister and so on.

“Obviously, the argument that the two Ministers have been locked down in some Ministries so as not to proliferate the Ministries unnecessarily and hence to save the money of the Government. This is because the present Ministers and the Ministers of State have their own separate offices, There are cars, security guards and personal assistants.So what’s the point then?

“Finally, I would like to put it on record again that Mr. Present extended maximum support to me to work better as my minister. This treatise is not a personal grudge. This is for record purposes and for posterity. It is just a respectable recommendation, it also aims at correcting the discrepancy which has been going on since ages.

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