Hassan is to replace Amina Mohammed, who currently serves as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).
She resigned in February, while President Buhari was away in the United Kingdom (UK) for a routine medical checkup.
Professor Ocheni, until his appointment, was a lecturer in the Kogi State University.
The letter nominating them had read: “In accordance with section 147 (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward the underlisted ministerial nominees for confirmation of the Senate.Stephen Ikani Ocheni (professor), Kogi State and Suleiman Zana Hassan, Gombe State.
“It is my hope that this exercise will receive the usual kind of expeditious consideration of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”