Nigeria president completes cabinet reshuffle
Nigeria's president on Tuesday appointed Mansur Muhtar of the African Development Bank to the finance portfolio.
Nigeria's president on Tuesday appointed Mansur Muhtar of the African Development Bank to the finance portfolio and swore in three other ministers, filling the few remaining jobs left in his cabinet.
With his handpicked cabinet now in place, President Umaru Yar'Adua completes a sweeping reshuffle of Nigeria's power structure that began in late August with the replacement of his military chiefs.
Analysts welcomed Yar'Adua's choice for finance minister, saying Muhtar was a well respected director general in the Debt Management Office under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
"I think he's an excellent choice. He's got the technical knowledge and experience that's necessary for the job," said Obadiah Mailafia, head of Nigeria's Centre for Policy and Economic Research.
Yar'Adua also appointed Ufot Ekaette, former Secretary to the Federal Government during Obasanjo's administration, as head of the newly created Niger Delta ministry.
Ekaette, who is from southern Nigeria's Akwa Ibom state in the delta, will be responsible for helping improve security and development in the oil-rich region.
Attacks on oil industry facilities and kidnappings for ransom are frequent in the creeks of the Niger Delta, home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry.
Violence has cut Nigeria's oil output by a fifth over the past three years to around 2 million barrels per day.
Reuters Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2008, 14:42