* National security adviser remains unchanged
* New cabinet expected in coming weeks
By Nick Tattersall and Felix Onuah
LAGOS/ABUJA, May 31 Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan has started appointing his new administration, a team
which will be closely watched for its ability to drive
badly-needed reform in Africa's most populous nation.
Jonathan named former Senate president Anyim Pius Anyim as
secretary to the federal government late on Monday -- a day
after being sworn in for his first full term -- a powerful post
that coordinates between ministries and the presidency.
He also retained General Andrew Azazi, a fellow member of
the minority Ijaw ethnic group from the southern oil-producing
Niger Delta, as his national security adviser, a key position
particularly in the wake of weekend bomb blasts.
Ministers and other senior political advisers from the last
administration reached the end of their tenure on May 29, and
although Jonathan is expected to retain many of them, he
formally dissolved the cabinet.
Jonathan has said he expects to name a new cabinet over the
next two weeks. Ministries in Africa's top oil exporter and
third largest economy will be run by civil servants until then.
His choice of ministers and aides will be closely watched.
Nigerians and foreign investors alike are hoping Jonathan, who
first came to power last year when his predecessor Umaru
Yar'Adua died in office, will surround himself with reformers.
"Nigeria is on the verge of a takeoff," Jeffrey Sachs, a
leading development economist and adviser to U.N. Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon, wrote in a New York Times column published
on Monday after a visit to Nigeria.
"In my conversations with President Jonathan...I felt a firm
determination to ensure that this time, in this decade, Nigeria
fulfills its potential to become an African economic powerhouse
and a member of the world's leading emerging economies."
MUCH AT STAKE
Some steps have already been taken.
Banking and capital markets regulation has been tightened
over the past 18 months. Finance Minister Olusegun Aganga, whom
many analysts expect to be retained, has overseen the
establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to better manage
long-squandered oil savings.
Jonathan has relaunched a blueprint for the privatisation of
the power sector, a multi-billion dollar programme which has
caught the attention of foreign investors and which is aimed at
ending chronic power shortages, a major brake on growth.
But there are massive challenges.
Corruption remains endemic, from bribe-taking policemen to
politicians who see high office as a means to control lucrative
government contracts rather than serve the public interest.
And while April's elections were deemed to have been the
cleanest in decades, hundreds of people were killed in rioting
in parts of the mostly Muslim north after Jonathan, a Christian
from the south, was announced the winner.
A ruling party pact on regional rotation had meant the north
expected to be in power this term, a rhythm interrupted when
Yar'Adua died and Jonathan took over last year.
Three simultaneous bomb blasts -- two in the north -- killed
at least 16 people in the hours after Jonathan was sworn in on
Sunday, while Boko Haram, a radical Islamist sect in the remote
northeast, is carrying out almost daily fire bombings.
His critics doubt that Jonathan, whose respectful demeanour
is a change from the overbearing brashness of some of the
country's former military rulers, will have the guts to clean
out the vested interests hampering Nigeria's development.
His path to the presidency has not been an easy one and
there is a list of regional and political factions who feel he
owes them for his victory. Such debts have in the past crimped
Nigerian leaders' ability to pursue their reform plans.
"The swearing in of President Goodluck Jonathan ... will
neither usher in a new era for Nigeria nor will it be a breath
of fresh air. It is going to be business as usual," said Shehu
Sani, president of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria.
(For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the
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(Writing by Nick Tattersall, Editing by Lin Noueihed)