Nigeria Senate names 20 nominees for president's new Cabinet

AP News
Posted: Oct 06, 2015 9:40 AM
Nigeria Senate names 20 nominees for president's new Cabinet

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's Senate announced 20 nominees for the Cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, representing all regions of this West African nation but including only three women in a team expected to fight endemic corruption.

Buhari has said he will hold the most powerful portfolio of petroleum in Africa's biggest oil producer.

Among the candidates is the recently appointed head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Harvard-educated Ibe Kachikwu. Kachikwu has 30 years' experience in Nigeria's private oil sector and is touted to be minister of state running the petroleum ministry with Buhari's oversight.

One of Buhari's first acts was to fire the top echelon of the state oil industry, from which $20 billion allegedly has been looted.

There were no surprises on Tuesday's list, which senators will start vetting next week, said Senate President Bukola Saraki.

"He's using those who have track record and experience in governance. I think that's the best thing for us to do," said Sen. Robert Boroffice, a member of Buhari's party.

The list includes former Lagos State Gov. Babatunde Fashola, known for rehabilitating Lagos, Nigeria's largest city of 20 million, and making Lagos state financially independent through local tax collection; humanitarian activist Kayode Fayemi; and former Rivers State Gov. Rotimi Amaechi, the first rebel to defect from ousted President Goodluck Jonathan's party to lead a group that helped bring Buhari, a northern Muslim, much-needed votes in the mainly Christian south.

Women nominees include U.N. special adviser Amina Ibrahim and Kemi Adeosun, a corruption-fighting former state finance commissioner. Buhari did not specify what positions nominees will hold. His nominations come six months after his election brought Nigeria's first democratic change of government.

Buhari, who was a military dictator 30 years ago, says he is now a committed democrat determined rid Nigeria of endemic corruption.