Nigeria’s Senate okays president’s Cabinet nominees

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Senate on Monday approved 45 of President Bola Tinubu’s nominees to Cabinet positions after individually vetting them in the past week, paving the way for their swearing-in as government ministers.

Among those approved is Olawale Edun, a longtime Tinubu adviser who has long been tipped to become the next finance minister in Africa’s biggest economy.

The Senate president said three names were yet to be approved as lawmakers awaited their security clearance.

Nigeria’s Senate has the power to stop a president’s Cabinet appointments, but Tinubu’s ruling party has a majority in the chamber and the nominations were expected to be approved.

It was not immediately clear when the nominees will be allocated their ministerial portfolios.

Under Nigerian law, the president is required to choose at least one Cabinet member from each of the country’s 36 states.

The number of Cabinet nominees has led to criticism from opponents who say this will lead to a bloated administration at a time when Tinubu has asked citizens to be patient with his reforms, the removal of a popular but costly petrol subsidy, that has lead to soaring prices.

Tinubu won a disputed February election on promises to reboot the country’s flagging economy, deal with a high debt burden and double-digit inflation, and address widespread insecurity.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Leslie Adler)