Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari delayed selecting a cabinet for two months until September as he takes time to seek credible ministers to lead his government.
Buhari wants to drive out past corruption before appointed ministers arrive in their posts, Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said in a text message on Wednesday.
Investors won’t be happy with the delay, said Alan Cameron, an economist at Exotix Partners Ltd. They are expecting tighter fiscal policy, a devaluation of the local currency and a greater focus on tax collection after a drop in oil prices in the past year has hammered Nigeria’s finances, he said.
Buhari, who defeated Goodluck Jonathan in March elections and became head of state on May 29, pledged during his campaign to clamp down on graft and defeat the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast of Africa’s largest oil producer.
At the same time, Nigeria is under severe financial strain. The Treasury has been left nearly empty and the last government left billions of dollars in debt, according to Buhari. Many state workers are also going unpaid, he said.
Economic growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund says the economy will move slow to 4.8 percent this year from 6.3 percent in 2014. The naira has fallen 7.7 percent against the dollar this year.
There is “no minimum time” for the president to appoint ministers, Femi Adesina, another spokesman for Buhari, said by phone.
The time being taken is “nothing out of the ordinary” in the historical context of ministerial appointments and it is better to take considered action than to rush, he said.
Last week, Buhari disbanded the board of the state oil company and on Monday a four-member panel was set up by the National Economic Council to probe the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
Buhari’s party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, has recommended the government review audits and corruption allegations against the NNPC in the first 100 days in office, according to a policy document obtained by Bloomberg.
The APC also advised Buhari to discard a long-delayed oil-industry bill and replace it with a new reform bill, review fuel subsidies and sell off the NNPC’s refinery and fuel retailing business.
Source: Bloomberg Business