ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the head of the country’s biggest private equity firm to join his cabinet, Senate President Bukola Saraki said on Tuesday, as lawmakers started screening candidates for a long-awaited government.
Saraki did not specify a portfolio for Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, head of African Capital Alliance (ACA), as he read out a second batch of Buhari’s cabinet nominees that need to be approved by the upper house.
Enelamah, a former Goldman Sachs banker, is a founder and chief executive of ACA, which has raised over $750 million in managed funds since its inception in 1997.
Buhari was elected in March on a campaign to “fix” Africa’s top oil exporter, which is gripped by corruption and mismanagement, but has come under fire for being slow to name a cabinet while the economy is hammered by a plunge in oil prices.
Buhari will disclose the cabinet portfolios only once the upper house approves his list. He had submitted a first batch with 21 names to the Senate earlier this month and has added an extra 15 to fulfil the constitutional need for a minister from each of Nigeria’s 36 states.
Among other technocrats nominated by Buhari is Aisha Abubakar, a banker who until recently headed the Abuja Enterprise Agency, a government body to help smaller firms, Saraki said.
Buhari, a former military ruler, had already asked Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, head of state oil firm NNPC, to join his cabinet. The former Exxon-Mobil manager is expected to become junior oil minister as Buhari wants to keep the oil minister portfolio for himself.
He has also nominated former state governors such as Babatunde Fashola, the former governor of the commercial capital Lagos, and Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers State.
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