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Buhari submits cabinet list warning Nigerians of 'impatience'

Four months after taking office, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has finally submitted a cabinet list to the upper house for approval. So far the name of only one minister has been revealed.

Foreign investors and Nigerian businessmen have criticized President Muhammadu Buhari, a 72-year old former military ruler, for taking so long to nominate cabinet members.

They said Africa's largest economy was currently taking a hammering from plummeting oil prices.

"Impatience is not a virtue," Buhari told Nigerians in his Independence Day speech.

He said the first set of names for ministerial nominees had been sent to the Senate. Subsequent lists would follow.

Senator Bala Na'allah, deputy majority leader in the Nigerian Senate, told DW's Hausa language service the most important thing when screening the nominees was "the integrity of the people who are being appointed and then the possibility of working harmoniously with the president and assisting greatly for achieving all the campaign promises."

The Independence Day holiday means that senators will not reach a decision to approve the candidates before next Tuesday (06.10.2015).

Buhari, who has been running the country with permament secretaries at government ministries, gave no names or time frame.

But a spokesman said on Wednesday that he planned to take over the portfolio for the oil sector himself.

Buhari has prior experience of the oil industry. In 1977, he was oil minister under General Olusegun Obasanjo and helped established the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). He was later in charge of the Petroleum Trust Fund when General Sani Abacha was in power in the 1990s.

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Elected on a pledge to tackle corruption in Nigeria, Buhari has vowed to overhaul the NNPC which last year was accused of failing to remit $20 billion (18 billion euros) in revenue to the central bank.

"He has decided to take the bull by the horns once more," said DW's correspondent in Abuja, Ben Shemang.

He added that some Nigerians had expressed surprise believing that "as a president he ought to be facing presidential issues."

Nigerian economic analyst Nazifi Andullahi Darma told DW's Hausa service "there is no sector in this country in which such massive corruption and destruction and looting of the public treasury have occurred as in the oil industry."

He said Buhari "knows where the problems are and can provide adequate supervision to bring the oil industry back to its former glory."

But Malte Liewerscheidt, senior Africa analyst at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, told the news agency AFP Buhari's self-appointment was a high risk strategy as it linked his fate as president with the successful reform of the oil and gas sector.

"If he fails to deliver tangible successes soon, there will be no minister to shift the blame to," he said.