Monday, 11 July 2011

Selection of President Jonathan's new government is ongoing

The process of nominating, screening and confirming the men and women who will make up President Goodluck Jonathan's new government and team of advisers is ongoing.

The president has sent six more names of ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening, bringing the tally of ministerial nominees – including those already confirmed and sworn in as ministers – to 40. He has also communicated to the House of Representatives that he will be appointing around 30 presidential advisers.

There is talk that a couple more names will be communicated to the Senate for screening as potential ministers.

Prominent among the names sent is that of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Managing Director of the World Bank, who arrived in Nigeria a few days ago to hammer out the terms of her return to government and to undergo the mandatory screening by the State Security Services (SSS).

On 6th July, the former finance minister appeared before the Senate for the final phase of the process. She sailed through, was confirmed by the Senate and is expected to be sworn in as a minister in the coming days.

All the indications are that Okonjo-Iweala will resume her previous role. She served as Minister of Finance under the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

In a surprise move, the president has withdrawn the nomination of Tonye Cole, one of the founding members of the Sahara Energy Group, as the ministerial nominee for Rivers State. Cole, an architect by training whose father Ambassador Patrick Dele Cole was an adviser to Obasanjo, was tipped to be appointed to the Ministry of Works, either as the Minister or Minister of State (junior minister).

No explanation was given for the withdrawal of Cole's name but his nomination as the Rivers State nominee has been replaced with that of Ama Pepple, the former Head of Service at the Federal Civil Service.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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