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Nigerian president reshuffles cabinet, drops 20 ministers

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Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has relieved 20 ministers of their appointment, as part of efforts to rejuvenate his government, president's Spokesman Olusegun Adeniyi said Wednesday in the country's capital city Abuja.

In a statement, Adeniyi, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, said the measure was designed to reposition and strengthen the administration for enhanced effectiveness in service delivery.

According to the official News Agency of Nigeria reports, at the end of Wednesday's meeting of the Federal Executive Council, Yar'Adua thanked the outgoing ministers for their services to the nation since the inception of the present administration, wishing them well in their future endeavours.

The president also directed that until new ministers are confirmed by the Senate and sworn into office, Remi Babalola, minister of State on Finance, would serve as Supervising Minister for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

Demola Seriki, Minister of State on Agriculture and Water Resources, will serve as Supervising Minister for the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, Minister of State on Culture and Tourism, will serve as Supervising Minister for the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Some ministries in the shake-up scheme include the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the National Sports Commission, National Planning Commission, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development.