Following the release of 21 names of ministerial nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to Senate President Bukola Saraki last week, Nigerians would still have to wait for at least another two weeks for the Senate to conclude its screening and for Buhari to announce the portfolios they will be assigned.
On the list read by Saraki during plenary on Tuesday were Abubakar Malami (SAN) (Kebbi), Lt.-Gen. Abdurahman Bello Dambazzau (rtd) (Kano), Senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan (Taraba), Alhaji Lai Mohammed (Kwara), Babatunde Raji Fashola (Lagos), Adebayo Shittu (Oyo), Solomon Dalong (Plateau), Senator Chris Ngige (Anambra), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Chief Audu Ogbeh (Benue).
Others were Mrs. Amina Mohammed (Kaduna), Dr. Osagie Ehaneri (Edo), Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu (Delta), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Mr. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa), Mrs. Kemi Adeosun (Ogun), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (Abia), Hon. Ahmed Isa Ibeto (Niger), Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Senator Hadi Sirika (Katsina) and Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma (Akwa Ibom).
Saraki said the Senate would start screening of the first batch of 21 nominees next Tuesday and advised them to submit their credentials ahead of time.
Should the Senate conclude its screening next week, their portfolios will not be made public until their swearing in at the inaugural Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of this administration penultimate Wednesday.
A review of the background and track records of some of the nominees, however, may provide some insight into the ministries they will head: Fashola is most likely to be assigned an infrastructure-related portfolio such as the Ministry of Works or the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
If he gets the FCT ministry, he will be the first person from the South to serve as its senior minister.
Amaechi is likely to head the education ministry, Kachikwu may get the petroleum resources ministry while Malami may get the nod as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
Senator Sirika, a trained pilot, is likely to head the aviation ministry; Mrs. Adeosun, a banker, may be assigned the finance portfolio; Ogbeh, a big time farmer, could put his experience to good use in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Senator Ngige, a medical doctor, may head the health ministry; while Dambazzau with his military background is likely to get the defence ministry.
Fayemi, with a post-graduate degree in international relations may oversee the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed may head the information ministry, while Udo-Udoma whose vast experience as a commercial lawyer and senator during which he chaired the Committee of Appropriation, is also a top contender for either the justice or power ministries.