Nearly six months After he was inaugurated as the new president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has finally sworn in 36 ministers into his cabinet, six members fewer that his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan’s.
The long delay in putting in place a cabinet has been blamed for the county’s financial woes that have worried investors and made the country favorability of doing business fall.
Buhari, who is the first ever opposition candidate to win an election in Nigeria, said he wanted to take time to vet the candidates as part of his election promise to tackle institutional corruption and mismanagement, Reuters reported.
Buhari named former investment banker, Kemi Adeosun, as his finance minister at a time the Nigerian economy has been hammered by falling oil prices and has left the west African nation struggling to meet some of its recurrent obligations.
Adeosun, A UK-trained accountant who served as a commissioner of finance in the south western state of Ogun where she helped to raise taxes and improve the state finances, was an unexpected choice for the finance ministry.
According to the Financial Times, many local business pundits were speculating that Buhari will settle on Okey Enelemah, a former Goldman Sachs banker who’s now the founder and chief executive of a Lagos-based private equity firm — African Capital Alliance, as the next finance minister.
“Adeosun’s seeming endorsement of current FX policy choices during her senate testimony will disappoint investors who had been hoping for more rapid liberalisation of Nigeria’s FX market,” Razia Khan, chief Africa economist at Standard Chartered Bank, told Financial Times.
Other in the Buhari cabinet, that is full of political bigwigs crucial to his historic win, include former Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola as the minister of power, works and housing, Solomon Dalung as minister for youth and sports, Haidi Sirika as minister of state aviation, Lai Mohammed as minister of information and Audu Ogbeh as minister of agriculture and natural resources.
Enelamah was named minister for industry, trade and investment.