100 Days in Office: Hon Zaphaniah Bitrus Jisalo as Nigeria’s Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs

The Present administration of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) was sworn into office on May 29th, 2023. After much hysteria and waiting to see who among the plethora of politicians waiting to be nominated as Ministers of the new administration, the President in his wisdom, made no mistake by appointing very credible Nigerians as new Ministers to help him run the affairs of State by providing leadership in the various Ministries so that the renewed hope agenda of the present administration would become a reality.

After much wait to see who will represent the good people of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the cabinet, the President being a renowned recruiter of leaders in his leadership recruitment process found Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo as a capable hand to help him administer the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental affairs when he announced him as the representative of the territory in his cabinet.  Make no mistake about it, Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo, who was formerly a two-term chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), a two-term member of the Federal House of Representatives and the Abuja Co-ordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council in FCT was nominated, screened and successfully passed the screening paving the way for him to be worthy of his present position as a Minister under the new Tinubu administration. After he was sworn in by the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a substantive Minister of the Ministry of Special Duties, he assumed office about 100 days ago.

Today, the Minister is now 100 days in office and many are of the view that he has started credibly well after taking stock of his activities in office since his assumption of office. The Minister who is a known administrator par excellence did the first thing right when he decided to embark on a get-to-know the situation of things tour of the various departments, agencies and parastatals under his ministry. This became necessary because he has to abreast himself of the situation of things presently on ground and to know what changes he needs to embark upon to change the narrative of the Ministry for the better. This tour has taken him to the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, the National Lottery Trust Fund,  and the National Merit Award, all other agencies under his Ministry. The visit availed the staffs and management of these agencies and the various departments under the agencies the opportunity to meet with him face to face and talk to him on various progresses, constraints and advise him on what is needed to make the bureaucracy under the Ministry work better for him to deliver on the new mandates given to him by the President.     

The Minister, Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo being the Minister of Special Duties is charged with the responsibility of representing the President when he is not personally available to embark on visits to areas he is called upon to visit and this is what the Minister has been doing credibly in the past 100 days by representing the President on many occasions. In the past 100 days, the Minister has also represented the President in the 39th Convocation/Matriculation Ceremony of the University of Abuja and the Federal University, Lokoja where he delivered a resounding speech articulating the policy direction of the present administration on education especially the policies on the Tertiary Education and this policy enunciation was applauded by all. Indeed it was a successful outing for the Minister that everyone was indeed grateful to the President for picking a man like Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo as his Special Duties minister.

In his visit to the National Lottery Trust Fund, the Minister prioritized the government’s expectations from the Lottery Trust Fund and gave a vivid direction and new mandate of expectation to the management of the Fund that will impact positively the interventionist mantra for which the Lottery Trust Fund was set up for. The Minister in the visit made it clear that the present administration of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu abhors corruption and the Fund must think out of the box on new ways to make sure that funds available to it must be used judiciously to intervene in the various areas its enabling laws permits and the government would always support the Fund to make it work better. The message from the Minister was heard loud and clear because of his capable representation of his boss, the President.

The Minister also went to Lagos to open the International Gaming Conference 2023 organized and hosted by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission with the Theme “Innovation and Disruption: Core Strategies for Success” which was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites on the 31st of October to 1st November, 2023. This Conference which was auspicious has a carefully chosen team which was slated for deliberation was indeed germane to the present situation in the Nigerian Gaming Industry. The logic behind the event was very laudable and was commended by all worthy Stakeholders who praised the Minister for this new beginning in the Gaming Industry. The Minister attended personally because of his deliberate efforts in making sure that his Ministry is seen as looking forward to a fruitful outcome because this esteem gathering was expected to churn out a value added communiqué. 

The National Lottery Regulatory Commission as we shall recall was created by the National Lottery Act. 2005(As amended) by an act of the National Assembly to enable the Federal Government of Nigeria to properly organize and coordinate the operations of the Lottery business that was hitherto an all comers affair. The Minister, by his personal appearance and attendance at most of these visits to agencies under his Ministry has shown so far the commitment of the federal government under the leadership of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his renewed hope agenda in ensuring that all Stakeholders under the Ministry of Special Duties understands the importance attached to those parastatals under the Ministry and its commitments to make it remain on the steady part of sustainable growth and developments. 

Going forward, it is important to note that 100 days in office is too short a term to make assessment of the impact of any administration or a Minister but as the African adage says “a day that would be good is always known from its mornings”, it is noteworthy therefore to state that from his excellent beginning so far, the Minister is making himself proud and setting up the needed foundational steps to make him succeed in office. Hon  Zaphaniah Jisalo is a man of impeccable character who has shown in all the areas he has served in the past that he is born to serve and it is with this mindset that he is showing leadership in his new assignment as Nigeria’s Minister for Special Duties and Inter-governmental affairs. 

The expectations on his shoulders are high because the President is a man who expect more from whom much is given and it is pertinent to note that the Minister is a man who always peer review himself with other of his counterparts in the cabinet because he has a high standard of benchmark he uses to rate himself and he will never disappoint going forward.

Musa Wada, Media aide to the Hon Minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs sent this piece from Abuja.

Note: This article is (without any alteration to its original form) completely an opinion of the writer and does not convey or represent the thoughts of, or a shared belief with NIGERIAN TRIBUNE.



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