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Nigeria swears in lawmakers, focus shifts to president’s cabinet nominees

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ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s new lawmakers were sworn in on Tuesday following February elections, setting the stage for President Bola Tinubu to submit cabinet nominees in a process likely to signal how he intends to tackle a struggling economy and growing insecurity.

The swearing-in ceremony in the capital Abuja also saw Tinubu’s allies elected as Senate President and House Speaker, to mark the official start of legislative duties for newly elected officials.

Nigeria’s Senate wields significant influence in Nigeria’s bicameral legislature, including scrutinizing and confirming the president’s cabinet nominees.

Tinubu has up to the end of July to name his cabinet but his aides say the president could submit some names as soon as next week. His choice of finance, petroleum and defence ministers as well as national security adviser would be closely watched.

The 71-year-old Tinubu suspended central bank governor Godwin Emefiele last week, cheering markets, but his permanent removal would require a vote by the Senate.

Tinubu’s ruling party controls a majority in both arms of the national assembly and political analysts say this will make it easier for the president to push his legislative agenda.

(Reporting by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Camillus Eboh, Editing by William Maclean)

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