By Ken Asinobi
As Nigerians eagerly await the submission of his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly for screening, a legal practitioner, Barrister Francis Alimnu has called for a significant change in the process of selecting ministers for key governmental positions.
Alimnu, a prominent advocate known for his expertise in constitutional law, is urging the government to attach specific portfolios to nominees during ministerial appointments.
Speaking to journalists at his law firm in Benin, Edo State on Monday, Alimnu emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in governance, stating that the current system, which allows for the appointment of Ministers without specific portfolio allocations, is detrimental to the effective functioning of the government.
According to the lawyer, attaching portfolios to ministerial nominees would provide clarity regarding their areas of responsibility and expertise. This, he believes, would enhance efficiency, promote effective decision-making, and hold ministers accountable for their performance.
“The absence of portfolio allocation to ministerial appointees creates a situation where individuals are appointed without a clear understanding of their responsibilities,” he stated, adding, “This lack of clarity often leads to confusion, inefficiency, and ultimately, the inability to address critical issues effectively.”
Barrister Alimnu highlighted several cases where the absence of portfolio allocation had resulted in overlapping jurisdictions and conflicting policy implementation. He argued that such situations not only impede progress but also hinder public trust in the government’s ability to govern effectively.
To support his argument, the legal practitioner cited various countries that have adopted the practice of attaching portfolios to ministerial appointments. He pointed out that these nations have witnessed improved governance and better coordination between government departments.
While acknowledging that the current system allows for flexibility and the reassignment of portfolios, Alimnu suggested that an initial attachment would still provide a foundation for effective governance. He proposed that ministers could be given the opportunity to shift portfolios, if necessary, but only after a reasonable period of time and with proper justification.