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Live Updates: Nigerian Senate begins screening of ministerial nominees (WATCH)

Nigerian Senate begins screening of ministerial nominees – The Senate begins screening exercise and possible confirmation of the ministerial nominees today, October 13. It is believed that at least two out of the three senators from each state must endorse the nomination of ministerial nominee before confirmation can be carried out.


However, the endorsement by two senators of a ministerial nominee would not be the only yardstick for confirmation as the Senate will consider other criteria.

But, with 21 nominees from Batch A and 16 nominees from Batch B, the screening exercise is billed to take three days.

10 ministerial nominees are to be screened today, October 13, but shortly after the resumption of the plenary, the Senate moved into close-door session.

Speaking to newsmen, Dino Melaye, the spokesman of the upper chamber and the chairman of the Senate adhoc committee on publicity said: “The decision to move into close sessions is because Senators want to meet first. We want to agree that those who have been members before, will be prioritized. We also want to look at the additional nomination, and adopt a modality for the screening process.

He continued: ”I want to assure Nigerians that the closed door session will be very short, and in the next one hour, the senate will proceed with the screening exercise.”

Cross section of senators

The ten nominees to be screened are Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, Audu Ogbe, Christopher Ogbonnaya Onu and Osagie Ehanire.

Others are Abdurahman Dambazau, Lai Mohammed, Amina J. Mohammed, Suleiman Adamu and Ibrahim Jibril.

Depute Senate President Ike Ekweremadu

With the Senate back to session, Senator Phillip Aduda raised a Point of Order on the need for the FCT to be represented in the Federal Executive Council. The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu supported the idea, adding that all the names of the ministerial nominees should be released with their respective states.

Meanwhile, Senate President Saraki has read the names of the new batch of ministerial nominees.



14:46: More questions for Dambazau

14:42: Dambazau says: “Allowances of soldiers need to be reviewed.”

14:35: Dambazau proposes review of defence policy

14:30: Senator Ali Wakili and Senator Na’Allah opens the floor of questions towards Lt. General Dambazau.

14:27: After introducing himself, Nigeria’s former chief of staff, Dambazau is quizzed.


14:25: Saraki asks Dambazau to introduce himself.

14:22: Enahire finally takes a bow after answering series of questions from the floor. Most questions for Ehanire were centered on health issues because of his background as a medical doctor. Next to be screened is Abdulrahman Dambazau (Kano state)

14:15: Enahire says: “It is important to use money allocated to health efficiently.”

14:10: Enahire list problems of health care as: “Availability of equipment, trained staff affordability of the service.”

14:05: More questions are rolled out to Osagie Enahire.

14:02: Enahire says: “Issues of remuneration and health facilities should be addressed. There should be a proper communication system between the Government and young doctors.”

14:00: Enahire says: “The respect patients get from Private Hospitals should also be gotten in Public Hospitals. A doctor shouldn’t take decisions alone in complicated cases.”

13:55: Enahire says: “We lack a system of proper management in our hospitals. We need to ensure that orientation is given so patients can be treated with respect and dignity.”

13:51: Enahire says: “Attitudes of actors in the health sector should be addressed.”

13:47: Enahire says: “There is a crisis of confidence in the health sector.”

13:42: Senate extends time allotted for ministerial screening exercise. Session was to end 2pm but has now been extended.

13:37: After introducing himself, Ehanire is quizzed by Senators.


13:35: Saraki asks Ehanire to introduce himself.

13:30: Having answered several questions, Onu is told to take a bow. Next is Osagie Ehanire (Edo state)

13:25: On employment, Onu says: “There is no way we can solve the problem of unemployment until we increase our production.”

13:22: Onu advocates diversification of power generation, he says: “We need to diversify power generation in Nigeria.”

13:18: After briefly introducing himself, Onu is quizzed by Senators Samuel Anyanwu, Kabiru Gaya and Danjuma Goje also ask Dr. Ogbonnaya

Ogbonnaya Onu (Abia state) undergoing screening.

13:16: Saraki asks Onu to introduce himself.

13:14: Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio cut short the session and pleaded for Audu Ogbeh to take a bow and go. Akpabio described Ogbeh as a donation from the PDP to the APC. Ogbeh is a former chairman of the PDP. Next is Chief Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi state)

13:12: Ogbeh says: “Every Local Government in Nigeria must have an extension office to teach people how to farm.”

13:10: Ogbeh says: “Since I left Government in 1983 I have been in School; the School of life learning about Agriculture.”

13:05: Senators Aliyu Wammako, Abdullahi Adamu and Emmanuel Bwacha ask Chief Audu Ogbeh questions on his prior public involvements & agriculture.

13:00: Ogbeh says: “I’m here not because of anything new but because my President has deemed it fit for me to be part of his cabinet.”

Audu Ogbeh (Benue state) undergoing screening

12:57: Saraki asks Audu Ogbeh to introduce himself.

12:53: Having answered several questions, Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti state) has been screened successfully and finally takes a bow. It’s now the turn of Chief Audu Ogbeh (Benue state)

12:52: Fayemi on Internal Security: “Our prisons have been saturated with people who do not have access to justice.”

12:50: Fayemi says: “Our security needs to address our Criminal Justice System, people don’t get punished for crime.”

12:48: Fayemi says: “Majority of our graduates have education but do not have work place skills and they need that.”

12:45: Fayemi on unemployment: “We had a youth empowerment scheme that paid graduates 10,000Naira every month ‘

12:43: Fayemi says: “Poverty is the problem between the mindlessly rich and hopelessly poor.”

12:38: Fayemi says: “Poverty is not the problem of Nigeria but inequality.”

12:35: More questions are being rolled out to Fayemi. Questions on poverty and security.

12:30: Fayemi says: “We have not been able to do well in the Technical and Vocational part of our Educational Sector. We have a problem of enrolment. We need to do something about our Curriculum and Teacher Quality. We need to do something about our educational quality and quality of our teachers. We need to make our Public Schools attractive and all this boils down to enrolment. President Buhari is doing a lot on Foreign Policy, recognising that our neighbours are our first call of interest.”

12:27: Fayemi says: “The Govt House in Ekiti is probably the cheapest Govt House in Nigeria. I did it for Ekiti state & not for myself.”

12:23: Fayemi says: “I did not borrow to pay Salaries, I borrowed for Capital Projects.”

12:20: Fayemi says: “Road network in Ekiti and other infrastructures significantly improved while I was Governor.”


12:17: Kayode Fayemi says: “About the debt in Ekiti, i’ll like to say governance is a continuum, I met obligations in excess of 30BN.”

12:14: Kayode Fayemi is being asked three questions. First from Professor Olusola Adeyeye who asks him to speak of his tenure as Ekiti state Governor in referral to several newspaper reports that he left the state in so much debt burden. Senator  Shehu Sani also asked him on his involvements in Radio Freedom and Radio Kudirat and how he escaped the hammer of the military junta. While Senator Andy Uba asked his question.

12:11: Saraki asks Kayode Fayemi to make introductions of himself. He speaks of his years as a governor saying, “I am delighted to be in front of this Senate”

12:10: Next nominee, former governor Kayode Fayemi is invited for screening.

12:06: Having answered just one question, Distinguished Senators asks its former Chief Whip, Senator Udoma to take the bow which he does.

12:00: Udoma concludes his speech but is been quizzed by Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Senator Udoma

11:55: Saraki asks Senator Udoma Udo Udoma to make introductions of himself. He speaks of his 8 year tenure as a Senator. He says he’s ready to “hit the ground running.”

11:53: The first nominee to go through the exercise is Senator Udo Udoma (Cross River state). Udo Udoma is the former chairman of the UAC and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

11;52: The senate has admitted former members of the senate and the chairman of the All Progressives Congress signaling the commencement of the screening exercise. The screening will go in this order: Udo Udoma, Kayode Fayemi , Audu Ogbeh, Ogbonnaya Onu, Osagie Ehanire, Abdulrahman Dambazau, Lai Mohammed, Amina J Mohammed, Suleiman Adamu, Ibrahim Jibril

11;50: The Senate moves into a Committee of the Whole as the mace is lowered.

11:48: The Senate is to begin the ministerial screening as Senate Leader Ali Ndume moves the motion and Minority Leader Senator Akpabio  seconds.

11;45: The Senate accepts the two recommendations of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges & Public Petitions on ministerial nominee Amina J Mohammed.

11:43: The C’ttee recommends that since the Nominee Amina Mohammed is from Gombe State and not Kaduna State, she should be cleared for Nomination.

11:42: Senator Samuel Anyanwu who chairs the C’ttee reads the findings and recommendations of the C’ttee on Petitions against Amina Mohammed.

11:40: The Senate moves on to receive the Report of the C’ttee on Ethics, Privileges & Public Petitions on the Ministerial nominee Amina J. Mohammed.

11: 36: Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu also raises a issue on the floor as the Senate moves on for the Presentation of 4 Bills.

11: 35: Senator Phillip Aduda raises a Point of Order on the need for the FCT to be represented in the Federal Executive Council.

11: 30: Senate President reads names of the Second batch of Ministerial Nominees. They include Professor Adewole, Mrs. Abba Bukar et al…

11: 20: Saraki ake announcements and starts reading the Letter from the President of the second list.

11:10: Senate is now back in session

10:20: Senate president Saraki says that the Senate is to move into a closed session.

10:17: Senator Rose Okoji seconds the motion and the Votes and Proceedings are approved.

10: 15: Senator Abdulrahman Abubakar moves the motion that the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday 8th October, 2015 be approved.

10:00: Senate President Bukola Saraki moves into the Chambers, greets fellow Senators and says the prayers.

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