News / Africa

Jonathan Chooses Continuity With New Nigerian Cabinet

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (R) is accompanied by local guards as he leaves the 17th African Union Summit, at Sipopo Conference Center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, July 1, 2011 (file photo)
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (R) is accompanied by local guards as he leaves the 17th African Union Summit, at Sipopo Conference Center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, July 1, 2011 (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's new government began work this week with many of the same ministers as his previous Cabinet.

Jonathan said Nigerian Cabinet ministers come and go too quickly before some of them even learn how to do their job. So he is returning much of the Cabinet from his previous government.

"For you, I have to congratulate you because there is always a big battle to come back and so for you to have gone through, and have passed through the senate and skirted screening, I congratulate you and we hope you will continue to do the work the way Nigerians expect you to do,” he said.

Powerful ministers return

Those returning include the powerful planning, petroleum and justice ministers.

Kole Shettima, who heads the MacArthur Foundation's Africa office, said Jonathan is looking for continuity.

"It may be there is some wisdom in trying to have some sense of continuity in the program rather than abruptly changing ministers all over again all the time, which sometimes accounts for some of the problems we have, for example in the National Assembly," said Shettima. "Perhaps the abrupt changes that would be brought about as the result of new people might not take us to where we really want to go."

Advocates and detractors

There are still more ministers to be named, but Shettima said the list so far falls short of the ambitious reforms President Jonathan has outlined.

"Those people who have been appointed so far certainly do not give a lot of confidence that we are going to have the people who are going to take this country to the next level of our national development,” said Shettima.

Local chief Mike Ofere says Nigerians have learned to trust Jonathan's decisions, even if they feel that some of the returning ministers did not perform so well the last time.

"Not all of them performed for this return. But because the president considers that they should be returned and he knows why they should be returned, we have no option but to go with our president because he is our president and what he says is final,” he said.

Newspaper editor Onos Oyede said the president has missed an opportunity to bring more professionalism to Nigeria's Cabinet.

"I was expecting that Nigeria would bring technocrats and people who have delivered in the past on board. People who can bring change. People who can disagree with him and tell him: 'President, this is how it should be,'" said Oyede.

Changes and restructuring

President Jonathan is making a change at the Finance Ministry, where he is recruiting the World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She helped negotiate Nigerian debt relief as finance minister in 2005, and is expected to have broader powers over economic management.

Jonathan also is trying to restructure Nigeria's state-run petroleum firm and has promised to create more jobs by investing in infrastructure.

His biggest security concern appears to be a wave of attacks by Islamic militants across northern states, who say they are fighting to establish an independent country under Islamic law.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid