Buhari Obama
US President Barack Obama offers the hand of friendship to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on 20 JulyGetty

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has announced he will appoint new cabinet members in September as he needs time to eradicate corruption first.

The leader, who won March's presidential election defeating former president Goodluck Jonathan, vowed to end corruption and terrorism during his campaign.

"Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place," Buhari wrote in the Washington Post in an article published as he met US President Barack Obama. The two leaders are seeking to improve relations, which had deteriorated during Jonathan's administration.

"When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office," he continued.

Earlier in June, Buhari announced he would recover millions of dollars of funds which, he alleged, were stolen during previous administrations. The announcement followed a protest staged by activists from the Voice of the Voiceless group, who stormed the National Assembly demanding capital punishment for those found guilty of corruption.

Nigeria

Capital: Abuja

Population: 174,507,53 (2013 census)

Largest cities: Lagos, Kano, Abuja

Major ethnic groups: 21% Yoruba, 21% Hausa,
18% Igbo

Languages: English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba

Religion: 50% Muslim, 40% Christian, 10% other

Currency: Naira (N) 1N = £0.0033; US$0.0050

"The fact that I now seek Obama's assistance in locating and returning $150bn (£96bn, €137bn) in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former, corrupt officials is testament to how badly Nigeria has been run," Buhari wrote.

Nigeria has been deemed one of the most corrupt countries in the world, with many accusing politicians of being involved in deals that benefit them rather than tackling issues affecting the population.

The country has also been marred by scandals within the oil and gas industries, as well as oil thefts which have contributed to further deepening the ongoing economic crisis.

In 2013, the head of the Nigerian Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was suspended after he claimed that $20bn of oil revenue "went missing" from state oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?

Boko Haram (recently renamed Iswap) fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law in the country.

The group declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.

Boko Haram has raided several cities in the north of the country in a bid to take control of more land.

Three states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram's attacks.

The group has killed more than 3,000 people since the beginning of 2015.

Just a few months later an ex-Goldman Sachs banker Elias Preko was jailed for laundering money on behalf of Nigerian politician James Ibori.

It has also been suggested that some politicians financially supported terror group Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of people in north-eastern Nigeria since 2009.

Speaking about the problem of terrorism in the country, Buhari said during an interview with news agency AP he is confident that a regional force fighting the terrorists –comprising troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin – is ready to take on Boko Haram within 18 months.

"We are going to deny [Boko Haram] recruitment. We are going to deny them free movement across borders. We are going to deny them training. We are going to deny them receiving reinforcement in terms of equipment," he said.

The leader added that the government is willing to release detained members of terror group Boko Haram in exchange for some 219 girls kidnapped by the terrorists from the Chibok village, Borno state, in 2014.

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