Nigeria president forms gov't, keeps oil portfolio

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua named his cabinet, two months after he took office, but kept the vital energy portfolio under his direct control.

Nigeria president forms gov't, keeps oil portfolio

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua named his cabinet, two months after he took office, but kept the vital energy portfolio under his direct control.

The formation of the cabinet had been eagerly awaited because ministries had been in limbo since May 29, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo and all his ministers stepped down.

Shamsuddeen Usman, a deputy governor of the central bank, was appointed finance minister. He has spoken in favour of pursuing a programme of free-market reforms launched in 2003, in line with Yar'Adua's campaign pledge.

"The comprehensive reform process is on course and we shall stay the course," Yar'Adua told the ministers at a swearing-in ceremony.

He also warned them against corruption -- a major problem in Nigeria, which is consistently ranked among the most tainted nations in the world by watchdog Transparency International.

He named a junior minister for petroleum, Odein Ajumogobia, and another for gas, Odusina Emmanuel, but the president's spokesman said he was the overall energy minister.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is also the continent's top exporter of crude oil and the commodity is the nation's economic lifeline, accounting for more than 90 percent of foreign exchange revenues.

Ojo Maduekwe, national secretary of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), took the foreign affairs job while John Odey, the PDP spokesman, became information minister.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2007, 19:59
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