Nigeria President Buhari plans to expand his cabinet

File photo: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s cabinet will be expanded to bring in “more people and fresh ideas, for the ultimate benefit of the people of Nigeria”, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday.

Government officials have privately raised the prospect of Buhari reshuffling his cabinet since he returned from medical leave in Britain in August, but the presidency had not discussed any changes until Tuesday’s comments on Twitter.

However, Buhari did not immediately provide any further details, nor mention any potential reshuffle of ministers’ current portfolios.

The president’s relationship with his cabinet has at times been tense. It took him six months to appoint his initial team after he was inaugurated in May, 2015.

Ministers have struggled to get access to Buhari since then and some are unhappy with their portfolios, according to people familiar with the situation.

A letter from Nigeria’s oil minister to Buhari, leaked at the beginning of this month, said he had failed to secure an appointment with the president despite many attempts to do so.

Reporting by Paul Carsten,; Editing by Gareth Jones and Ed Osmond