Nigerian president selects cabinet members

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Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has sent to the Senate for approval an initial list of 34 ministers for his new government since taking office last month, the senate chief said Tuesday.

Senate President David Mark read out the list to members of the upper house of parliament who resumed sitting on Tuesday after a three-week recess.

The nominees will have to appear in person before the Senate for interviews. It was not immediately clear when the vetting exercise would kick off.

Thirteen of the proposed ministers are from Jonathan’s last cabinet and include the ex-finance minister Olusegun Aganga, a financial expert who was formerly a managing director of European-based investment bank Goldman Sachs.

There are reports that Jonathan is also planning to bring into his government the current World Bank managing director, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She was a finance minister under former president Olusegun Obasanjo. But her name was not on the initial list submitted to the Senate.

The former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, made it back on the list Jonathan plans to appoint.

Jonathan will only assign ministerial portfolios after the Senate has approved the nominees.

This would be Jonathan’s first cabinet since he assumed office on May 29 for a full four-year term following April elections deemed as the fairest vote that Nigeria has organised since independence in 1960.

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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