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Nigeria’s leader to swear in new cabinet on Tuesday

By on April 3, 2010

Nigeria’s acting president will swear in 38 ministers to his new cabinet and assign them portfolios on Tuesday, a presidency spokesman said, a move that would help ease political uncertainty for the OPEC member.

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the ministers proposed by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, which included the country’s former junior oil minister and a senior Goldman Sachs executive.

Jonathan sacked all government ministers in Africa’s top energy producer two weeks ago in a bid to assert his authority a month after assuming executive powers in the absence of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, who remains too sick to govern.

“The acting president will on Tuesday, April 6 swear in the newly appointed ministers at the state house,” said spokesman Ima Niboro, adding that Jonathan would assign them portfolios immediately afterwards.

The nominees confirmed so far include 13 returnees from the outgoing cabinet and, while political analysts hope progress on key reforms may accelerate, few expect Nigeria’s broad policy direction to change.

Former Minister of State for Petroleum Odein Ajumogobia is tipped as a possible oil minister, and Olusegun Aganga, a London-based executive at Goldman Sachs is seen as a contender for finance minister.

Nigeria’s cabinet is made up of more than 40 ministers, ministers of state and ministers in the presidency. Jonathan is expected to submit soon a second list of nominees for Senate approval to complete his new team.


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