Key figures in Buhari’s new cabinet and profiles - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Wednesday 11 November 2015

Key figures in Buhari’s new cabinet and profiles

Key figures in Buhari’s new cabinet and profiles

Here are some of the key figures in Nigeria’s new cabinet, which was announced on Wednesday, more than five months after President Muhammadu Buhari took office:

The 48-year-old was born and raised in London, where she studied economics and public financial management, going on to become a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A trained accountant, she was until recently finance commissioner in the southwest Nigerian state of Ogun, where she was credited with turning around public finances.

Before that she was managing director at Nigerian investment bank Chapel Hill Denham, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She lacks the high profile of her predecessor, former World Bank executive Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, but is said to be a reformist and high on integrity — a key quality Buhari is trying to push.

– Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu (petroleum resources) –

Kachikwu, 58, was appointed in August as the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and immediately tasked with overhauling the notoriously opaque firm.

The lawyer and former ExxonMobil executive was seen as a shoe-in for the junior oil minister’s post after Buhari announced he would take personal charge of the oil portfolio.

He has already brought dramatic changes to the corruption-ridden NNPC, ordering a forensic audit of its accounts and the publication of oil receipts for the first time.

He has pledged to bring transparency and accountability to the state-run NNPC’s operations and trimmed senior management positions.

“Things have been done wrongly and things need to be done differently,” he said recently.

– Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (defence) –

Retired Brigadier-General Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali, from Zamfara state in northwest Nigeria, is a career soldier who rose through the ranks to hold several posts, including artillery commander.

The 56-year-old also commanded a Nigerian battalion as part of a UN mission in Sudan as well as being an instructor at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Abuja.

Dan-Ali, who retired from military service in 2013, takes over the defence portfolio as troops seek to rout Boko Haram by year end.

Six years of Islamist violence has left at least 17,000 dead in Nigeria’s northeast and made more than 2.5 million people homeless, while under the previous administration military morale was dented.

– Abdulrahman Dambazau (interior) –

Retired Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, 61, was chief of army staff under former president Umaru Yar’Adua from 2008 to 2010 and had been tipped for the defence portfolio.

But the US-trained former soldier, who holds degrees in criminal justice, international relations and criminology can bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the role.

He was a part-time criminology lecturer at the law faculty of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna, and has authored several books both on the military and criminal law.

Dambazau was on active service when Buhari was military ruler in the 1980s and headed the security committee of the now-defunct Congress for Progressive Change when Buhari was its presidential candidate in 2011.

He was also head of intelligence and security for the All Progressives Congress (APC), which now governs Nigeria at federal level.

– Geoffrey Onyeama (foreign affairs) –

The 59-year-old graduated in political science from Columbia University in New York in 1977, and also has degrees in law from the London School of Economics and from Cambridge.

Between 1986 and 1996, Onyeama, a qualified barrister in Britain and Nigeria, was an intellectual property specialist who has worked extensively with the United Nations on development in Africa.

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