BY ANDREW ESSIEN
A LEADERSHIP poll has shown that Nigerians are divided on whom to blame for the nation’s woes, though many said ministers have not lived up to expectations.
According to respondents, the economy is reeling because the ministers have continued to exhibit incompetence in their various departments. A case in point is a certain minister who is key to the fortunes of the economy. Ninety per cent of respondents believe the president needs a better team on the economy, comprising competent hands.
James Audu, an Abuja-based economist, told LEADERSHIP that fixing the economy is not rocket science, but that experience is very valuable.
“Global economy has gone beyond just having someone who is experimenting with theories. We need a practical person who has the basic know-how to revamp an economy. Right now, apart from the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, no one is overseeing the economy. That sector needs an overhaul if truth must be told,” Audu stated.
Another commentator, Abdul Yunusa, a political scientist, said the problem is not with the ministers per se but with the type of selection process that produced them.
“We can continue to debate this, but many of the ministers were accomplished men and women before taking the jobs. So what happened? I think it is the selection process. The government took too long to recruit them. Then after that, it was not even clear if there was any serious attempt to scrutinise their backgrounds vis-à-vis the portfolio they were assigned. So you have the wrong people at the right postings or the other way round,” he said.
But as pundits continue to deliberate on the issue, some have opined that the problem might be with the political situation surrounding their appointments.
Idris Wakili, a public affair commentator, holds this view.
He said, “I look at the challenge differently. Many of the ministers represent all sorts of political interests in government. It appears to me that many of them are out of touch with the president.
“Normally, ministers are supposed to be surrogates of the leader, people he’s known for years. Clearly, these are not people he knew. The president needs a team that he can work with and not a collection of strange bed fellows.”
Meanwhile, the debate continues to dominate discussion groups, and one of the talking points is why the president has not changed the cabinet despite all the complaints against his team.
Last month, the president’s media team explained that the president was satisfied with his team. Speculations are, however, rife that the president may soon, indeed, tinker with the cabinet. He recently ordered his ministers to sit up, an indication that he may be responding to some of the agitations.
For now, many are eagerly waiting to see the new injection that could change the fortunes of the administration.