A former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, on Tuesday called for enactment of a law to compel attachment of portfolios to ministerial nominees presented to the Senate for screening.
Ogunlewe, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
He said that the law, if enacted, would ensure that nominees were subjected to better screening by the senate, based on attached portfolios.
Ogunlewe commended the Senate for the way it was handling the screening, but said that senators would have done better if portfolios were attached to nominees.
He said: “The Senate has done well so far, the only problem is that there were no portfolios attached to the nominees.
“There is no opportunity for thorough screening based on portfolios that will be assigned to the nominees eventually.
“As far as I am concerned, the Senate has done what it is supposed to do. We saw improvements on the Day Four and Day Five.
“They (senators) listened to complaints of the people and decided to ask questions, but the questions were of general applications; they were not about specific portfolios.
“There is the need for the country to have a law that will compel any administration to attach portfolios to ministerial nominees.”
The former minister told NAN that with the law, nominees might not need to be screened at the plenary, as they might need to go to the different senate committees for thorough screening.
He said: “Probably, after they have been screened and asked relevant questions at the committee level, they are presented to plenary. That is what we should have.”
On the decision of the Senate to give soft landing to some nominees by asking them take a bow, Ogunlewe said there was nothing wrong with it.
He said that it was the tradition of the senate to give privileges to nominees who were former lawmakers by not asking them many questions.
According to him, criticisms trailing the decision are not necessary.
Ogunlewe congratulated the immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on his successful screening by the Senate.
He urged those advocating splitting of portfolio held by Fashola into three, to leave the decision to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ogunlewe said that it was in the powers of the president to assign portfolios, adding that he believed that the president would put the right people in the right places.
The former minister who recently defected to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party, said he was integrating well in his new party.
He said: “I am doing well in my new party. You know I am a grassroots man; I am doing a lot for the party at Igbogbo Baiyeku, where I have my ward.
“It has been good so far. I am happy in APC, the party of the progressives.”
Also, a former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, faulted screening of ministerial nominees without portfolios.
Duke told NAN on telephone that the screening would have been better with portfolios attached.
He added: “How can you screen nominees without portfolios? It is not just right. It shows we are not ready to get things right.”