Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nigerian leader to swear in first batch of ministers

2 July 2011

ABUJA, July 2 (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to swear in the first 14 members of his new cabinet and assign their portfolios on Saturday after their nominations were approved by the Senate, officials said.

Jonathan was sworn in for his first full term over a month ago and his ministerial choices are being closely watched by Nigerians and foreign investors keen for a team capable of driving badly needed reforms in Africa's most populous nation.

Twelve of the 14 approved by the Senate and set to be sworn in on Saturday were members of the outgoing administration, including former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, leading Jonathan's critics to question whether his new team will have the reformist credentials it needs.

Government sources have said Jonathan has spoken with World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister, about her returning to the government in overall charge of the economy.

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