President Bola Tinubu should submit the list of ministerial nominees for screening with their portfolios, a two-term member of the House of Representatives, Dr Alex Egbona, has said.
According to Egbona, the decision would help ensure that the right questions are asked of the ministerial nominees during screening.
He also defended the ‘bow and go’ screening policy of the Senate which shields ministerial nominees from rigorous questioning.
He said that the culture of ‘bow and go’ was to show comradeship to nominees with legislative experience.
Egbona representing the Abi/Yakurr federal constituency of Cross River State made the suggestions in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Friday at the graduation ceremony of Cohorts 12 of the advanced leadership programme of the GOTNI National Leadership Centre.
The programme, a five-day training on leadership, had 21 students graduating from the GOTNI LC.
During the event, the CEO of GOTNI LC, Dr Linus Okorie, appealed to the president to appoint only people who are action-oriented and filled with pursuit of service beyond self as ministers.
He said Tinubu must also “find individuals who are passionate in specific areas to take charge, those who have competence, knowledge, and have the leadership capital and have the capacity to think differently.
“There should be competence in the person’s specific field of study that is in line with the ministry that the individual is absolutely going to take care of.
“So what it means is that you will want to find individuals who are passionate in specific areas to take charge, who have competence, knowledge, and leadership capital, which means they must have honour written in their names and have the capacity to think differently. They would bring innovation to the table and are individuals who make things happen. They are action-oriented, filled with the pursuit of service, beyond self.”
Speaking further, Egbona said it is wrong to send names of ministers without portfolios.
“To some extent, it is wrong to send ministers’ names without portfolio. Though it is the senate arm of the national assembly that screens ministers we believe very soon, the president, in the next two to three weeks, will send the names of ministers and may even attach their portfolios.
“Most times, what the senate does is to ask general questions but if it comes with portfolio and they say for instance, Mr AYZ, you are the minister of agriculture, all the questions will be towards agric. So if the president attaches ministry to the names, it will be very good,” Egbona stated.
Egbona, who was also part of the graduating cohorts further defended the Senate’s ‘bow and go’ screening policy, which shields ministerial nominees from rigorous questioning.
While stating that the culture was to show comradeship to nominees with legislative experience, he stressed the need for his colleagues to strengthen the oversight function of the National Assembly.
The lawmaker said, “The bow and go culture is to promote comradeship. They are simply encouraging those that have been part of the system. Though there is no legal procedure for that, it is out of friendship.
“On oversight, in the 9th National Assembly, I have had the opportunity to attend some oversight but was not too encouraged with what we did. If you go to a ministry or parastatal, scrutinize what they are doing and if they are not doing well, bring a report saying they are not doing well. There should not be hide-and-seek business in oversight. That is what the 10th agenda is saying.”