Nigeria’s Buhari submits 43 names for approval
* Some nominees return from previous cabinet
* Confirmation screening to start on Weds. (Adds details)
ABUJA, July 23 – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari submitted his list of cabinet nominees to the upper house of parliament, the Senate, on Tuesday, giving lawmakers a chance to vote on them just days before they leave for a two-month break.
The submission comes almost two months after Buhari began his second term, and some five months after he was re-elected, a delay that caused jitters amongst investors and threatened growth prospects for Africa’s largest economy.
Parliament’s break is due to begin at the end of the week, although it could delay this to confirm the nominees.
The list contains 43 names, though it did not specify which positions they would hold in cabinet.
A number of senior figures from Buhari’s first term will return, including Zainab Ahmed, Babatunde Fashola, Geoffrey Onyeama, Rotimi Amaechi and Lai Mohammed, who held the finance, works and power, foreign, transport and information portfolios.
They will not necessarily hold the same positions if confirmed by the senate. Screening will start on Wednesday, and then lawmakers will vote to approve each candidate.
Buhari, a 76-year-old former military leader, faces a long list of challenges including tepid economic growth, high unemployment and widespread insecurity.
Buhari took six months to swear in a cabinet after the 2015 election – a delay critics contend contributed to the slow response to low oil prices that pushed Nigeria into a recession in 2016.