By Alexis Akwagyiram ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has chosen a cabinet dominated by political veterans, opting to strengthen his power base rather than surround himself with technocrats who could overhaul Africa's biggest economy. Buhari won March's election on promises to usher in a new era in the West African nation where a rich elite has controlled key state jobs for half a century. Most Nigerians live in poverty despite the enormous oil wealth of Africa's top producer. The former military ruler had asked Nigerians to be patient and get ready for "change" as he took four months to pick his cabinet while a plunge in oil prices triggered the worst economic crisis for decades. But in the end the 72-year-old has selected many familiar faces - those who helped him win the election and some who had hoped for jobs at a national level since he first ran for office in 2003. Out of 36 nominated ministers, about 20 are veterans from Buhari's party, former state governors, ministers or associates from his military career. A dozen could be classified as 'technocrats'. "It is a cabinet that seems to have been drawn from different interests that brought Buhari to power," said Clement Nwankwo, director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, a think-tank in Abuja. Buhari will unveil portfolios only after the Senate has approved his list. But his nominations show a desire to close ranks in his All Progressives Congress (APC), an alliance of powerful Nigerians united by a desire to remove the People's Democratic Party of his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan rather than a shared vision. While he promised during the election campaign to take on the establishment in order to root out corruption, Buhari's priority was to overcome APC divisions and reward allies such as party spokesman Lai Mohammed with cabinet jobs, analysts say. To reinforce his power base, Buhari has even taken on the controversial figure of his campaign manager, former Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi, who has been accused of corruption. Amaechi has denied the accusations. "It was the political trade-offs which definitely cost a lot of time. There was internal wrangling within Buhari's party," said Bismarck Rewane, CEO of Lagos consultancy Financial Derivatives. As a result, most ministers have had careers that span decades making Kemi Adeosun, a 48-year-old former investment banker and one of the technocrats, his youngest nominee. Other prominent veterans include Babatunde Fashola, former governor of the commercial capital Lagos, who won praise for getting infrastructure projects off the ground but also criticism for clearing slums. TECHNOCRATS Buhari's cohort must stave off a recession next year due to a collapse in oil revenues that has weakened the naira and driven up inflation. The government also needs to win back investors upset by hefty foreign currency restrictions imposed by central bank governor Godwin Emefiele, who filled a vacuum in the absence of a finance minister. Buhari's selection process was complicated by the fact that he was constitutionally bound to select a minister from each of Nigeria's 36 states to reflect the character of a nation of 170 million people from 250 ethnic groups. Despite this, he picked some fresh faces from outside the establishment with backgrounds in accounting, law, medicine and finance. "Those expecting a list formed wholly of technocrats were being unrealistic," said Kayode Akindele, a political consultant and partner at private equity firm TIA capital. "He has a good mixture. You could have key portfolios with technocrats, which would help to drive reforms." Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, head of state oil firm NNPC and a former ExxonMobil manager, is expected to become junior oil minister as Buhari wants to head the oil ministry himself. Reform-minded observers are likely to have been cheered by Kachikwu's Senate hearing appearance in which he vowed to take action regarding poorly performing refineries, which force Nigeria to import most of its fuel. Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, a former Goldman Sachs banker who heads Nigeria's biggest private equity firm, African Capital Alliance, is a candidate for the finance minister. Adeosun, a UK-trained accountant and finance commissioner of southwestern Ogun state, is also a candidate for the finance portfolio. At her hearing, Adesoun sought to assure investors that central bank controls aimed at preventing a collapse of the naira would be accompanied by measures to stimulate growth. "So what the CBN governor has done just brought in some breathing space ... (but the) exchange rate is not the silver bullet," she said. "It would have to be accompanied with fiscal policies, monetary policies and industrial policies." But with no sign of any increase in oil prices, the reliance on crude sales for 70 percent of government revenues will make it difficult for Buhari to keep his promise to diversify the economy. "Public finances are so fragile that there are a relatively limited number of policy options," said Antony Goldman of Nigeria-focused PM Consulting. (Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; additional reporting by Camillus Eboh and Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Giles Elgood)
A masterclass in lingerie dressing.
- Associated Press
For National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Arnold, it was a moment he'd been dreading. Bare-legged in sandals, he was pulling in a net in a shallow backwater of the lower Colorado River last week, when he spotted three young fish that didn't belong there. Minutes later, the park service confirmed their worst fear: smallmouth bass had in fact been found and were likely reproducing in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.
The Georgia Republican spoke just days after seven people were killed in a mass shooting at a parade in Illinois.
Dad of Highland Park suspect said he sponsored his son's gun permit application because he thought he wanted to go to the shooting range
A gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. Seven people were killed. A 21-year-old suspect has appeared in court.
- WSB Cox articles
Attorneys for Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and former state Sen. William Ligon tried to say that legislative privilege protected them from having to testify.
This Woman Is Calling Out Those Who Think She And Her Husband's Relationship "Doesn't Make Sense" Just Because Their Bodies Are Different
"People's values don't lie in how well their bodies fit into society's trash beauty standards."View Entire Post ›
- In The Know by Yahoo
The bed wasn't the only thing they left their mark on.
Kate Middleton and Prince William pulled a very rare move today, being very, very affectionate at the Royal Charity Polo Cup 2022.
Kourtney Kardashian just posed almost topless in a semi-nude mirror selfie as part of her latest Instagram photo dump.
- The Daily Beast
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesRussian officials have begun to issue a series of threats to the United States in an attempt to fend off a war crimes tribunal, with top officials suggesting that Russia could be interested in going after Alaska next, which the United States purchased from Russian in 1867.Russia’s lower house speaker, Vyacheslav Volodin, warned the United States ought to hesitate when seizing or freezing Russian assets abroad, and instead ought to remember that Alaska previously belon
The mother of the suspect in Monday’s deadly mass shooting in Highland Park has been at the center of some police contact for hours on Tuesday, as well as with a SWAT team in the hours after the shooting.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Otto Porter Jr. depicted why he chose to sign with the Toronto Raptors over reuniting with the reigning NBA champion Warriors.
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
Justin Leonard dishes on the night Phil Mickelson threw BP at a Double-A game (and bet players they couldn’t homer off him)
"I said, ‘Do you guys want to go watch?’ And Fred (Couples) said, 'I wouldn't miss this for the world.'"
- Browns Wire
The timing of the Mayfield trade is curious, what changed? The delay in the trade will benefit the Browns in Week 1 of 2022:
- In The Know by Yahoo
Bridesmaid contemplates dropping out of wedding over bride’s ‘gaslighting’ behavior: ‘Do not go to the wedding’
All she wanted was the answer to a simple question.
Former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Denise Richards staged her own beachside photo shoot in some patriotic swimwear
Source Says Lilibet Leak Is Sign of "Royal Panic" Over Potential Second Meghan and Harry Interview with Oprah
The royals are apparently panicking over the possibility that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are doing a second interview with Oprah Winfrey.
- Cowboys Wire
The Texas native would've given Dallas a hometown discount, but what they offered didn't come close to that threshold. | From @KDDrummondNFL
- Fox News
Hollywood producer David Pearce, accused of murdering two women, may have more victims, prosecutors say
A Beverly Hills man has been charged with murder for the deaths of two women and there may be more victims, Los Angeles DA George Gascón said Tuesday at a press conference.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The man had been shooting off fireworks with a friend when one exploded the wrong direction.