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Nigerian President Finally Unveils Cabinet

  • VOA News

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari swears in ministers into his cabinet in Abuja, Nov. 11, 2015. Buhari swore 36 ministers into his cabinet, five months after his inauguration.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari swears in ministers into his cabinet in Abuja, Nov. 11, 2015. Buhari swore 36 ministers into his cabinet, five months after his inauguration.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in a 36-member Cabinet that includes himself as the country's minister of petroleum.

The ceremony Wednesday in Abuja came more than five months after Buhari was inaugurated on May 29. The president said he wanted to avoid "mistakes of the past" and find the right person for each job.

Buhari said he would maintain overall control of the key oil sector, but named state oil company chief Ibe Kachikwu as his deputy, responsible for day-to-day decisions.

FILE - The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC) building in Abuja, Nigeria.

FILE - The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC) building in Abuja, Nigeria.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer, pumping more than two million barrels per day, and exports provide the bulk of the federal government's revenue.

Former investment banker Kemi Adeosun was named finance minister. She faces a tough task of reviving Nigeria's slumping economy, which has been hit hard by the worldwide drop in oil prices.

The president chose retired Brigadier-General Mohammed Mansur Dan-Ali as defense minister. His main priority will be to subdue militant group Boko Haram, which killed thousands and displaced more than two million people in the northeast.

The delay in naming ministers caused uncertainty about the economy and the fight against Boko Haram. Critics said the president was taking on too much responsibility and power.

The new Cabinet is made up of political veterans and technocrats representing each of Nigeria's 36 states.

President Buhari was elected in March, defeating former president Goodluck Jonathan. His swearing-in marked the first peaceful transfer of power between parties in Nigeria's history.

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