The Senate, on Wednesday, screened and confirmed the seven ministerial nominees whose names were sent last week by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for confirmation.
The screening, which started around noon, lasted till 4.37pm.
Those screened and confirmed include Henry Ikoh (Abia), Umana Umana (Akwa-Ibom) and Ekumankama Nkama (Ebonyi).
Others are Goodluck Opiah (Imo), Umar El-Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adegoroye (Ondo) and Udi Odum (Rivers).
While answering questions from lawmakers, Ikoh said operational licences should be granted operators of modular refineries in the country as part of job creation efforts.
Umana, on his part, underscored the need for Nigeria to step up its production capacity so as to boost foreign exchange earnings and reduce the country’s reliance on importation.
Nkama admonished young Nigerians to tap into new areas of investment, so as to foster self-reliance and productivity, particularly in the country’s trade sector.
On the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Nkama said if appointed into the Ministry of Labour and Employment, he would ensure that the Federal Government and ASUU reach a compromise, while also urging the National Assembly to provide additional funding for the educational sector, so as to meet some of the needs of the union.
He said, “There will be the need for compromise. For a very long time, ASUU has been sticking to its guns that all the agreements reached earlier must be implemented. And we know that from the same source – the same national purse – there are several contending interests seeking attention.
“My advice will be that the Federal Government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise, and through this, we would be able to solve the issue of the ASUU strike once and for all. I know the importance of budgetary provision. I want to appeal to the Senate that when the budget is being made for the coming year, there will be adequate provision for the education sector so that some of these needs that the ASUU members are asking for as a union will be met.”
Lending his voice to the need for an end to the ASUU strike, Adegoroye described the union’s action as against the interest of Nigerian students.
Opiah was asked to take a bow, in accordance with the Senate’s tradition of extending such privilege to past members of the National Assembly.