Nigerian president sacks nine ministers in reshuffle

Reuters
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Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan inspects a military parade in his honour on arrival for bilateral …

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has sacked nine ministers in his first major cabinet reshuffle since winning an election more than two years ago, a presidency spokesman said on Wednesday.

The dismissals come less than two weeks after ruling party governors and a former presidential candidate formed a splinter group opposed to Jonathan.

Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party has increasingly been riven by internal squabbles, centred around Jonathan's alleged intention to run again in 2015.

The positions most closely watched by foreign investors were not affected, including the ministers of finance and petroleum - the person in charge of managing Africa's biggest oil business.

The ministers of foreign affairs, education, science and technology, housing and urban development, national planning, and environment have been removed. The ministers of state - the junior minister for each office - for power, agriculture and defence have also been sacked.

"They will be replaced but not immediately," a spokesman told reporters at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting.

There was no immediate reason given for the cabinet changes.

Nigeria, Africa's second largest economy, is in the middle of key reform programmes in the power and agriculture sectors and is fighting an Islamist insurgency in the north and widespread oil theft in the south.

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