Nigeria’s newly-reappointed Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, received quite the triumphant entry into her office complex, yesterday, courtesy of some civil servants at the Ministry she is set to oversee.
According to eyewitnesses, the civil servants came out in their large numbers, singing and jubilating with bells ringing, as they welcomed their madam back to base.
All of these happened not long after President Muhammadu Buhari assigned portfolios to all the 43 Ministers he recently appointed/reappointed into his cabinet.
Nigerians React: Meanwhile, the enthusiastic welcome given to Mrs Ahmed elicited rather polarising reactions from Nigerians on Twitter. While some people thought the warm welcome that was given to the Minister was “amazing”, others thought otherwise.
Arrival of @ZShamsuna the newly sworn-in Hon. Minister Finance, Budget & National Planning Nigeria. She was the immediate past minister of Finance & former Minister of State, Budget & National Planning. The welcome was amazing to see. #girlpower #bosslady #MinisterialInauguration pic.twitter.com/A61xf9EjEU
— Aisha Augie-Kuta (@AishaAK49) August 21, 2019
Social Commentator, Chidi Odinkalu, specifically wondered how those civil servants could be relied upon to give the Minister candid and independent advice after such “sycophantic” display of loyalty.
These are #Nigerian Civil Servants welcoming a reappointed Minister (Finance) to her beat in Abuja today. How can these ppl possibly be relied upon to give this poor Minister independent advice & objective? She's in real trouble! pic.twitter.com/eyKjCgxgMe
— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) August 21, 2019
Someone even alleged that the only plausible reason those civil servants were hailing Mrs Ahmed as they did is because she supposedly makes it easy for them to have unfettered access to the national treasury.
When you see Nigerian civil servants applauding their superiors like that,it is because they're being allowed unfettered access to the public till.
These same officials were up in arms against Kemi Adeosun a couple of years back over some dodgy allowances.https://t.co/2VMpQDXzM3
— Ifalade Oloruntoba (@IfaladeO) August 21, 2019
Just for the records, this is a controversial allegation. However, when you listen closely to the song being sung to welcome madam Minister, you begin to hear something like “national cake, oyoyo!” What can we make of that?
Regardless, the Minister has her job cut out for her as she resumes work in earnest. An earlier analysis by Nairametrics enumerated five things the new Minister must do within her first one hundred days in office. One of these has to do with coming up with a workable way to improve the country’s revenue inflow.
Recall that Mrs Zainab Ahmed took over from Mrs Kemi Adeosun after she was ousted from office following an NYSE certificate falsification scandal.