By Felix Onuah
ABUJA (Reuters) -Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the ministers for power and agriculture on Wednesday in a rare cabinet reshuffle, citing the need to improve economic management and the delivery of public services.
Saleh Mamman was replaced as power minister by Abubakar Aliyu, the minister of state for works and housing, while Mohammed Sabo Nanono was replaced as agriculture minister by Mohammad Abubakar, his counterpart at the environment ministry.
Buhari told a cabinet meeting the sackings were a result of a process of “independent and critical self-review”, according to a statement from his spokesperson.
“These significant review steps have helped to identify and strengthen weak areas, close gaps, build cohesion and synergy in governance, manage the economy and improve the delivery of public goods to Nigerians,” Buhari said.
High food price inflation has been a persistent problem in Nigeria since the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It stood at 21% in July, according to the latest official data.
The World Bank has warned that millions of Nigerians were being tipped into poverty and even food insecurity because of steep rises in the prices of staple goods.
Electricity supply, a perennial problem in the West African nation, remains erratic, with daily power cuts lasting hours a fact of life even in the most developed urban areas.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by John Stonestreet, Jon Boyle and David Clarke)