President Goodluck Jonathan
Jaiyeola Andrews in Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday swore in eight ministers that were recently cleared by the Senate.
The president equally effected a minor cabinet reshuffle as Dr. Alhassan Khaliru has been named Minister of Health while Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo, (Ebonyi State) is now the new Minister of State, Health.
The new ministers were sworn in two batches (four per batch) in the presence of Council members, friends and family members.
Senator Patricia Akwashiki (Nasarawa) is now Minister of Information, Prof. Nicholas Ada (Benue) is now – Minister of State Foreign Affairs 1, and Col. Augustine Akobundu (rtd) (Abia State) is now Minister of State, Defence
Others were Mrs. Hauwa’u Lawan Bappa, now Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Kenneth Kobani (Rivers) is now Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Sen. Joel Danlami Ikenya (Taraba), now Minister of Labour and Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro. (Lagos) – Foreign Affairs II
Jonathan also swore in two commissioners for Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr. Jonah Madugo. He is to represent Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states and National Population Commission, Mrs. Abimbola Ogundeyi.
In his brief remarks, the president congratulated them and expressed hope that they will join to serve the nation.
“For the ministers this is an injury time, is like bringing a player when you have just five minutes to go in a football match. So everyone wants to know what that player will do, the magic the player will perform within that short period. The player himself will be struggling to at least kick the ball beforre the end of the game.
“So you are coming in at a quite challenging period and I believe that a number of people will not envy you because government is coming to a close. But sometimes is even good to come at this time because you are now well exposed to Nigerians.
“Your dancing steps will be watching by everybody and we believe you will dance well.
“For the member of the Federal Civil Service Commission, civil service is key is the engine room of government.
“The greatest problem that people complain about is the issues of discipline etc in the service. I believe that with you coming to join others you will continue to modernize the federal civil service.
“Of course population is key for the National Population Commission, we are thinking of how to go for another head count.
“And every country wants to know the exact population for the purpose of planning and all that. I believe in a good team and listening to your citations all of you are eminently qualified to hold any office in this country. And we believe that you will join us to serve our nation” Jonathan remarked.