Suleiman Hassan Is Nigeria’s New Minister of Environment: By Competence, Nepotism or Politics?
Barely 24 hours after Ibrahim Usman Jubril tendered his resignation as the Minister of (State for) Environment, the presidency wasted no time in announcing the appointment of Suleiman Hassan as Nigeria’s new Minister of Environment.
Ibrahim Jubril’s decision to resign from his office at the Ministry of Environment is connected to his emergence as the 13th Emir of Nasarawa Town, in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on Thursday, December 6, 2018.
Before Suleiman Hassan’s appointment, Nigeria’s last Minister of Environment was Amina Mohammed between 11 November 2015 and 15 December 2016, the latter left for New York to serve as the United Nations’ Deputy Secretary-General while Ibrahim Usman Jubril, the Minister of State for Environment continued to call the shots till his resignation.
Serious concerns have sandwiched the congratulatory messages presented to the newly appointed Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan; while most of the concerns are tied to competence, others are variegated with nepotism and politics.
When Mohammadu Buhari, contested for the office of the President on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, Suleiman Hassan was the Gombe State Chairman of the party. Later in 2015, under the current administration, Suleiman Hassan was appointed to serve as the Registrar of the Quantity Surveyors Council of Nigeria.
One definite fact is that Suleiman Hassan is not a stranger to President Muhammadu Buhari; in October 2016, the president had included Suleiman Hassan as one of the 46 non-career Ambassadorial designates that were presented to the Senate and in March 28, 2017, President Buhari made two nominations to the Senate for consideration as ministers, the names were Stephen Ocheni from Kogi State and Suleiman Hassan from Gombe State.
Not so much can be said about the newly-appointed minister’s capacity in the environmental sector, considering his academic background in Land surveying from the Kaduna Polytechnic and his professional background at the Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing where he served as the Minister of State. Perhaps, Suleiman Hassan is the best man for the job at this time and we all are just about to witness this.