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Needless fuzz and fury over Ayade’s ministries

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The hue and cry over Ayade’s choice of nomenclatures for his ministries and parastatals of government is unfounded and indeed neither here nor there. To start with a ministry is a governmental organisation, that is meant to manage specific sector of public administration. It is a political entity created to address specific public needs and interests of the people. Thus where there are dire needs based on exigencies and expediences, it’s of utmost necessity to create a ministry, a department or agency to formulate policies especially in the long term aimed at unburdening the challenges associated with such matters.

The nomenclatures are deliberately chosen in line with the specific needs and desires of the people and in order to address them. Thus in Britain, former UK Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Tracey Crouch as Minister of Loneliness to tackle the social isolation of the British people. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness was an organisation set up following the murder of the British Member of parliament Jo Cox which planned to find ways to reduce loneliness in the United Kingdom.

There’s a Ministry of Yoga in Portugal complete with a Yoga Studio in Lisbon, offering Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Ashtanga, Forrest, Yin and Kundalini styles of Yoga. India equally has a Ministry Of Yoga. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind; it helps manage stress and anxiety. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. The government of Portugal and India felt it was of necessity to address fitness issues in their Country.

A Ministry Of Happiness was first created in the United Arab Emirates. It was meant to oversee the UAE plans, programs and policies to achieve a happier society. The responsibility of this office is to “align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction.”

There’s also a Ministry for Tolerance in the UAE. On 15 December 2018, Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and the Supreme Commander of the Union Defence Force and the chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. The announcement aims to highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance and its approach, since its establishment, to be a bridge of communication between peoples of different cultures in a respectful environment that rejects extremism and emphasises on the acceptance of the other.

Perhaps the most telling of such creations may be the Ministry and Minister Of Toilets created in Japan. If one is to list the top three things Japan is famous for, toilets would definitely make the list. The country even has a $60 million museum devoted to toilets. In 2014, Japan’s Minister for Women’s Empowerment, Haruko Arimura, added a title to her name — Minister of Toilets. The title came about due to her belief that improving public toilets was pivotal towards women’s advancement. She stated that “Women are unable to bring themselves to enter filthy toilets in public parks. To enable women who work outside the home to thrive, it’s necessary to improve them.”

In the United States of America, a Board Of Tea Experts was created. For 99 years, the United States government employed a group of people to check the quality of incoming tea by tasting it. The Board was created as part of the Tea Importation Act of 1897. The act was aimed to protect consumers from imported tea. Tea tasters, working in FDA offices around the country, examined every lot of imported tea, using standard teas selected by the board for comparison.

Also in the US, the Office Of Planetary Protection was equally created. This is a part of the US’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. The mission of the department is to promote the responsible exploration of the solar system, avoiding the biological contamination of explored environments and to ensure prudent precautions are taken to protect Earth’s biosphere in case life does exist elsewhere.

So what’s the hue and cry about Robotic and Artificial Intelligence, Training and Doctrine, Climate Change, Aviation and all other ministries, parastatals, agencies, commissions and departments of governments created to meet the needs of the people? Why are we more interested in the titles and nomenclature rather than the deliverables? Really what’s in a name? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a popular reference to William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family’s rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague”.

Nomenclatures and titles must not deter the public from participation as public participation in governance serves to inspire confidence and trust for investors and their businesses.
The public must work at supporting the government at all times rather than dwell on frivolities that serve no purpose. The daily functions of government are performed by the public administrators under different circumstances who organize, implement and oversee the enforcing agencies that administer the laws and regulations that keep public life in motion.

Dr. Joe Edet
Law Teacher and Special Adviser Strategic Policy and Intelligence

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Jake Clifford

Jake Clifford is a Nigerian Born blogger and a fast growing Journalist, whose aim is to inform Nigerians with happening across Nigeria. Send story tips to him via [email protected] or


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