Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nigerian oil minister returns, doubters circle

7 July 2011

* Stalled oil reforms hold key to unlocking investment

* Refining, gas, Niger Delta are major challenges

* Nigeria has vast latent petroleum potential

By Joe Brock

ABUJA, July 7 (Reuters) - Nigeria's returning oil minister may have the support of the president but with Africa's largest energy industry stalling she will need to show swift progress to prove her critics wrong and attract much-needed investment.

President Goodluck Jonathan showed his faith in Deziani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria's first female oil minister by re-appointing her on Saturday after she spent less than a year in his cabinet prior to April's elections.

She has had a mixed reception elsewhere.

Nigeria's vocal press criticised her before her return to cabinet about a lack of transparency on oil deals and an action group is seeking an injunction against her re-appointment because it says she didn't complete national service.

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