Life Lessons From Nigeria’s Ministerial Screening

When the list of nominees for ministerial positions in Nigeria was released, I assumed in my mind, based on my knowledge of these people (I only knew some of them) that Buhari had picked intellectually smart people for this screening. But I had not watched a ministerial screening before so it was hard to predict what to expect and this birthed questions, one of which was: How exactly do you survive the barrage that would be coming from the senators, both the ones that support you and those against you? After the first 2 screenings (I didn’t watch the third), some of my questions have been answered in the form of lessons learnt fron the screening process.

– You Need To Believe in Yourself, Show it Off!
“Believing in yourself is an endless destination. Believing you have failed is the end of your journey.” – Sarah Meredith
While the nominees were being screened, I came to this conclusion: You need to believe in yourself. The way the ministers-to-be composed themselves and answered (or smartly dodged) every question that was thrown at them is a clear evidence of believe in their abilities to be a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They couldn’t made it through the screening if they didn’t believe that they could make it through. They also could not have made it through without confidence, experience and knowledge. Has your belief in yourself, in your abilities dipped lately? Take a cue and start rebuilding that belief. Go out there and believe that the best of you is yet to come!

– Know a Little Bit of Everything.
“Know a bit of everything.” – Robert Kiyosaki
While the ministerial nominees were taking the ‘senatorial questions’ related to almost every aspect of Nigeria, replying them with answers, I noticed the versatility that comes with knowing. The saying “You can’t give what you don’t have” reverbated with every question answered. “These nominees know their stuff”, I said to myself. What you know determines where you end up (well, at least most times). Imagine if one of them, maybe a legal practitioner, did not keep abreast of the economic happenings in the country, he would have been unable to field questions from that aspect which would have hurt his chances of becoming a minister. So you’re already a pro in one profession or the other. Good for you! But, how about you spread your wings, widen your horizon and chart your course into untravelled waters? How about you learn something new about something else today?

– Act Confidently
“Act like the person you want to be.”  – Unknown
Each ministerial nominee, having believed in himself or herself and with a bucket-load of experience to go along with, they exuded confidence naturally. They answered questions confidently (Fashola, Kemi Adeosun, Fayemi). They even listened to the senators ask their questions confidently! Funny right? Maybe. But come to think of it: How confident will you be when someone asks you a question from your area of expertise, an area you know so well? Very confident right? Well, that’s how confidence works and you need imbibe the spirit of confidence (well that’s if there’s anything like that) and carry your head high. Remember, the same applies to lack of confidence. The less you think of what you know, the less confident you become. Beware!

– Experience Is STILL as Important as…
“Continued study reveals further order…” – William Condon
Well, as important as whatever is important to you! The kind of experience the ministerial nominees had was what prompted the President to nominate them for the screening process, furthermore stressing the fact that the kind of experience you have determines, by a huge margin, what you get. There are different ways to gather experience (failure is one of them). Look for them and make the best of them. You never know, you might be the next ministerial nominee.


Did you learn any other lessons from the first part of the screening process? Kindly share with me and the rest of the world by commenting in the comments section.mentor

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