I served as assembly member, Commissioner, Minister Without NYSC certificate – Buhari Cabinet member
Former Minister of Communication and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has said that he served as a state Assembly member, commissioner and minister without NYSC certificate.
The former Minister made this known in a recent interview with Trust TV.
He said: “Currently, I am not engaged in any income yielding engagement, so as somebody who has spent so much time in politics, I remain a politician and I have no regret about it.
“But I see the continuous provision of subsidy over the years as merely postponing the evil day because how many of us, or which person among us will be producing a product at N100 and be selling it at N40? It simply didn’t make sense.
“The only regret I have is that our government, that is the Buhari government, in 2015 when we were taking over, promised to revive the refineries and we said we’re going to do that in four years. Unfortunately, in eight years we couldn’t do that and that is one regret I have.”
Speaking on the recent appointments made by President Bola Tinubu, Shittu said: “This brings me to the issue of the ministers he has appointed, over 40, the highest number since 1999. Did you expect him to have this large cabinet or you have some reservations?
“A lot of people will see it as large but you see, when you know the quantum of work available to be done, you don’t behave in a manner of penny wise, pound foolish.
“For instance, he has brought in a number of innovations to governance. In the past, we never had anything like ministry of marine and blue economy. That is certainly an opportunity for Nigeria to rake in billions of dollars by ensuring that rather than lumping all aspects of transportation together in the minister of transportation where the minister hardly knows what is going in the marine sector, now there will be a minister who would need to concentrate and think outside the box to ensure that Nigeria is able to maximize all the potentials in the marine environment.
“But we had the ministry of mines and steels right from Shehu Shagari days and nothing tangible came from there Mines and steels are about exploring mineral resources, which is different from marine.
“During Shagari’s administration, we were told that the ministry of mines and steel will revitalize Nigeria’s industrial sector because every state had one mineral or the other, but there is nothing on ground yet. Now, we have two ministries there.
“The whole thing was done together then, but President Tinubu has taught it wise to now separate mines and steel because each is very huge and requires a lot of expertise and innovativeness.
When asked about his NYSC credentials, the minister said: “The 1999 Constitution did not make it mandatory that for anybody to hold public office, he/she must have NYSC discharge certificate.
“I don’t understand. We called the NYSC here in Daily Trust before we reported her case; and they said she breached their Act.
“Was she the one who appointed herself? The president appointed her and the president has not broken any law because the constitution and several court judgments have said that to become a politician or a public office holder, having NYSC discharge certificate is not a requirement.
“In 1979, I contested election into the Oyo State House of Assembly; I was coming directly from law school when I contested,” he explained.