By Kate Obande
President Muhammadu Buhari in one fell swoop on Friday night appointed 209 board chairmen and 1,258 members of government owned agencies and parastatals, redeeming a part of the pledge he made 31 October at the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of his All Progressives Congress, APC.
More appointments are on the way, said Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, who announced the latest massive batch of appointees.
At the APC NEC meeting, President Buhari also hinted he would expand his cabinet by appointing more ministers.
The latest appointments, the largest President Buhari ever made since 2015, saw Mallam Wada Maida, a former editor-in-chief and managing director of The News Agency of Nigeria, returning as its chairman. Appointed as one of the board members is Mr. Isa Abba Adamu.
Maida, a former press secretary to Buhari when he was Nigeria’s military ruler between 1984 and 1985, is at present the Chairman board of directors of Peoples Media Limited. He retired from the agency in 2003. He was the agency’s managing director from 1994, after a long spell as editor-in-chief, from 1985. He joined NAN as a pioneer editorial staff in 1978 and was at various times, the political editor and London Bureau Chief.
In other appointments, rolled out by Boss Mustapha, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, Chairman of Heyden Petroleum, who contested for the senatorial seat of Ogun East in the 2015 election was named as the new chairman of Corporate Affairs Commission.
Many big wigs of the APC were similarly appointed.
The party’s legal adviser, Muiz Banire is now the chairman of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON). Senator Olorunimbe Mamora is the chairman of Abuja Investment and Infrastructure Centre.
The party’s secretary, Mai Mala Buni, is the chairman of the Shippers Council. Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the publicity secretary of the party is in charge of the National Sugar Development Council(NSDC).
Demola Seriki, a former minister of state for defence is the chairman of the National Maritime Academy of Nigeria in Oron. Former Speaker House of Representatives, Patricia Olubunmi Etteh is the new chairman of the National Hospital, Abuja. A former deputy speaker, Chibudom Nwuche is in charge of Federal Medical Centre Lokoja.
Dr. Leke Pitan, a former commissioner for health in Lagos, under Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was appointed chairman of National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services in Zaria. Teju Philips, also a former Lagos commissioner is the chairman of Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan. Pastor Yomi Kasali will head the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission.
Chief George Moghalu is the chairman of the Nigerian Communications Satellite(NIGCOMSAT). General John Shagaya is the chairman of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru Jos.
Former governors of Ekiti state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Engineer Segun Oni were also named as chairmen. Adebayo is in charge of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN). Oni who is a vice-chairman of the APC has been posted to Nigerian Export Processing Zone, while Senator Ayo Arise, a recent kidnap victim will chair Sheda Science and Technology Complex.
Former deputy governor of Plateau state, Pauline Tallen is the new chairman of National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS(NACA).
Former deputy governor of Ondo state, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, will chair the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, while a former deputy governor of Lagos, Femi Pedro is the chairman of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria.
Timi Alaibe, former Managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is heading to Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority as chairman.
According to Boss Mustapha, all the appointments take immediate effect.
The ministers under whom the agencies fall, have been asked to constitute the boards immediately.
Said Mustapha: “Mr. President considered the approval for the constitution of the Boards as well as the appointments, very necessary, so as to provide a proper Governance and oversight structure for Government Agencies and Parastatals.
“The constitution of the boards with the appointments, is a demonstration of this Government’s efforts aimed at building strong institutions of Governance, and by extension, improving the quality of Policy formulation and supervision”, he added.