Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

By Jimmy Fatunbi

President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, transmitted a list of 28 ministerial nominees to the national assembly for screening, in time before the 60-day deadline set by a recent constitutional amendment.

It was earlier reported that the nominees were selected from 25 states of the federation — excluding 11 states.

An analysis by TheCable Index showed that the minimum qualification of the nominees is a bachelor’s degree and the highest qualification is a doctorate degree. Two of those with doctorate degrees have practiced enough and become professors.

While 16 nominees hold a master’s degree as their highest educational qualification, nine have bachelor’s degrees as theirs and three of the appointees have a doctorate degree.

According to section 147(5) of the constitution, no person shall be appointed as a minister “unless he is qualified for election as a member of the house of representatives”.

Section 65 (1) (a) of the constitution states that a person shall be qualified for house of representatives election if he has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.

Even though all of the nominees were qualified, according to the constitution, lawmakers had previously voiced reservations about the bare minimum.

In January 2022, Femi Gbajabiamila, former speaker of the house of representatives, said there is a need to amend the constitution to increase the educational qualification for election into the office of the national assembly.

The house of representatives, in February 2022, began the process of increasing the minimum educational qualification for election as a governor, state and federal lawmaker, to at least a “university degree level or its equivalent”.

The oldest ministerial nominee on record is Wale Edun, aged 67. The youngest nominee is Betta Edu, 31 years younger than Edun, which supporters have said suggests a generational mix but critics disagree, claiming that there would be a huge disparity in ideas.

TheCable’s analysis is based on available data on the ages of the ministerial nominees.

The youngest minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet was 44 in 2019, while the oldest was Buhari himself, who was 76 and held the portfolio as minister of petroleum.

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