November 11, 2015
Nigeria’s President Buhari sworn in his new cabinet ministers Wednesday, ending a five-month quest for the right candidates that will assist him in getting Africa’s largest economy back on track.
The inauguration of 36 new ministers, which took place at the country’s capital in Abuja, formally culminated his administration formation and signaled the President’s intention to have a diverse and inclusive administration that represents the country’s diverse background.
The ministers were selected from each of the country’s 36 states and the list includes a mix of prominent and news names.
Among those named to President Buhari’s administration were Babatunde Fasola, the former governor of Lagos State, who will serve as Minister of Power, Public Works and Housing, Audu Ogbeh was named Minister of Agriculture, Rotimi Amaechi is tasked with manning the country’s aging roads and infrastructures as Minister of Transportation, Okechukwu Enelamah will head the Industry Trade and Investment Ministry. Monsur Dan Ali was appointed Minister of Defense, and Geoffrey Onyeama will serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
President Buhari named Kemi Adeosun to be his Minister of Finance. Ms. Adeosun, a former investment banker and accountant who recently served as Finance Commissioner for Ogun State has the daunting task of assisting the President in reviving the country’s economy from a free fall after the sharp drop in crude oil prices put a huge dent in country’s revenues.
Nigeria gets majority of its revenues from crude oil and is the biggest oil producer and exporter in the region. However, the new administration is looking to diversify the economy into other sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, in order to spur economic growth and development to meet the needs of the people.
Investors and analysts welcomed the news with enthusiasm and say it’s a positive step in the right direction. But they also cautioned that the real tests lay ahead for these ministers to work together as a team to execute the President’s agenda and help deliver his campaign promises to crackdown on corruption, improve transparency in the government and eliminate terrorist insurgency in the country as well as improve socioeconomic conditions for people living in the country.
Analysts say the newly inaugurated ministers will have to come up quickly with innovative solutions to some of the country’s pending issues such as how to diversify the economy, maximize revenue from the country’s crude oil, which has seen failing prices due to declines in oil prices, create jobs for unemployed youth and improve the education system in the country as well as implement policies that will safeguard democratic institutions and improve socioeconomic conditions for citizens so the country can be on the road to a prosperous future.
Since President Buhari took oath of office on May 29, his focused has been on ending Boko Haram terrorist group insurgency hold in the Northern cities of Nigeria, which has permeated to neighboring countries and left a trail of thousands of deaths and kidnappings, including the 200 plus school girls who were kidnapped from their dormitories at night.
While progress has been made on the fight against Boko Haram, President Buhari’s critics have said he took too long to elect members of his administration, which they said has left the country and investors in limbo.
However, many political experts are glad the newly appointed ministers were chosen from the country’s diverse ethnic groups and political backgrounds to reflect an inclusive government.
The first full day of hardwork for the ministers begins tomorrow.
While the jury is still out on what the future holds for Africa’s largest economy, many in the international community and Africans in the Diaspora said they are very optimistic for the country’s future and the efforts shown so far by President Buhari is an indication that his administration will get the job done of returning Nigeria’s image to a respectful and prosperous country in the developed world.
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