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July 01, 2011

Nigeria Swears in 14 Ministers

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has sworn in 14 members of his Cabinet, asking them to get straight to work.

Twelve of the appointees who took the oath of office Saturday served in Jonathan's previous Cabinet in the same ministries.  Two are new appointees; Jonathan says they will receive their assignments on Monday.

The president's Cabinet choices are being closely watched in Nigeria and internationally, by creditors and others who hope Jonathan's team can bring needed reforms to Africa's most populous nation.

Among those returning are Jonathan's ministers of national planning, mines, information and justice, and the minister in charge of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta state.

Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke was reappointed Saturday despite being criticized for delays in passing long-promised reforms in the energy industry, which has been plagued by corruption.

Jonathan has so far nominated 34 people to his Cabinet.  Most are awaiting approval by the country's Senate, which is due to resume screening candidates during the coming week.