Nigeria's President Buhari Will Keep Oil Minister Post Vacant

Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari

Photographer: Karl Maier/Bloomberg
  • Senate to begin vetting cabinet nominations on Tuesday
  • Buhari won't submit more nominees until first set screened

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will leave the post of petroleum minister in Africa’s biggest oil producer vacant after signaling that he would take the position, according to his spokesman.

“He can’t be president and oil minister at the same time,” Femi Adesina said by phone on Monday from Abuja, the capital. “He will supervise the ministry, so there will be no petroleum minister. Maybe he will appoint a minister of state, which is a junior minister.”

Nigeria’s Senate will begin vetting Buhari’s cabinet nominees on Tuesday. The 72-year-old former military ruler sent a list of 21 names to lawmakers last week, without saying which portfolios the candidates would get.

The list included four former governors, the head of the state oil company, Emmanuel Kachikwu, and Kemi Adeosun, tipped by several analysts to be the finance minister.

Under the constitution Buhari must select a minister from each of Nigeria’s 36 states. Buhari sent a second list of cabinet nominees to the upper house, Senate President Bukola Saraki said in a post on his Twitter account on Monday, contradicting Adesina who earlier said the next batch of ministerial picks wouldn’t be handed over until the first had been screened.

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