The Senate led by David Mark on Wednesday confirmed President Goodluck
Jonathan’s nomination of former Kano State governor,
Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Mr. Adedayo Adeyeye (Ekiti), Dr.
Stephen Oru (Delta) and Dr. Abdul Bulama (Yobe) as
The chamber grilled the ministers-designate on various
topics on the state of the nation, defections, Nigeria’s
educational policies as well as the revitalisation of the power
sector. Shekarau and the new ministers agreed that an
urgent review of the country’s education curriculum
remained the best way to tackle unemployment, poverty and
Shekarau, a two-term governor of Kano State, lamented the
high level of unemployment in the country which he linked to
the disruption of the Universal Primary Education policy by
the successive military administrations in the country.
He maintained that the issue of skills acquisition for Nigerian
students at the first three years of secondary education as
envisioned in the 6-3-3-4 curriculum should be revisited by
government and effectively implemented.
Asked by Senator Adamu Gumba on his views about
politicians defecting from one political party to another,
Shekarau justified the development as a normal practice, say
ing there had been some inconsistencies in the polity. “The
issue of changing political parties, if you read the history of
the Americans too, they did worse than what we are doing at
the stage at which we are. Ideologies are not imposed, it is
an ongoing process.
“Education is the progressive discovery of ignorance.
Gradually, we are learning, we are trying to develop. Ideolo
gies will become institutionalised by themselves. These
movements (defections), I don’t totally agree that all the time
they are for personal interests. They are dictated by
circumstances of the political development around the
environment you are in. I am sure with time, ideologies will
be institutionalised,” he said.
He also identified the immediate fixing of the power sector by
the government as a critical factor that could assist in
solving the problem of unemployment.
On his part, Adeyeye urged the Federal Government to retain
the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and called for the
scheme to be further strengthened as a veritable vehicle that
would catapult Nigerian graduates from their localities to
other parts of the country.
Bulama suggested the use of electronic voting system but
that it should be test-run with bye-elections.
After their confirmation, Senate President David Mark urged
the ministers-designate to see the country as their
constituency and not their states or political parties. “We
hope that whenever they are given portfolios, they will see
Nigeria as their constituency and not their states or political
parties,” he said.