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Nigeria gets first oil minister

Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua has named a new minister in charge of the country's troubled oil sector.

Rilwanu Lukman, former secretary general of the oil cartel Opec, will now head the petroleum ministry.

Until now it was a post the president had kept for himself, as did his predecessor Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mr Lukman is widely respected and regarded as the architect of planned wholesale reforms of the country's oil and gas sector.

The country's main earner, the oil industry, is beset by a violent conflict in the southern region which has cut output by a fifth.

The industry has also been damaged by the government's failure to keep up its part of the funding deals it made with the oil companies.

Mr Lukman has advised sweeping reforms of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Source of this news is from bbc website

Posted on Friday 19th December 2008

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