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)

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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs