Presidency explains Chief of Staff, SGF roles

August 25, 2019

The Presidency on Saturday night explained and differentiated the roles of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha,

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said that their roles have not changed from what they were doing under the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He stressed that Chief of Staff’s role is in line with the US model, which Nigeria is practising.

According to him, the access between the President and the new ministers is open.

He said “Recent media and social media reports on the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the President have suggested that the role has changed. This is not the case.

Read Also: Buhari must avoid divided presidency in his second term —ACF scribe Sani

Today, under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari I.

“It is worth stressing that the role and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff and the method of communication and arranging scheduling between Cabinet members and the President are, in Nigeria, based on the US model, where the same system operates – and has done for decades – in precisely the same way.

“That role is to act as the head of the presidential administration at Aso Rock; to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters; to be the line manager for all staff at Aso Rock; and to manage appointments and scheduling for the President.

“In the traditional presidential system, it is a primary function of a Chief of Staff, which may vary according to the needs and desires of each President, to supervise key State House Staff, control access to the office and the person of the President, manage communications and information flow and this includes that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government.

“During the President’s first term those were the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff, and they remain the same responsibilities today. There is no change.

“When President Buhari explained to ministers that they would be expected to communicate with him and arrange scheduling to meet with him primarily via the Chief of Staff, he did so as many of the Buhari II Cabinet ministerial appointments are new appointments and cannot therefore be expected to know how matters of liaising with the President operate.

“This is to stress that access to the President is open to ministers. It is not true that this is denied them in the Second Term.” he said.

Shehu added “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the other hand is responsible for ensuring the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes. All cabinet matters must go through him.

“Under this dispensation, a performance evaluation of ministers and Permanent Secretary will be maintained by the SGF. Two weeks after assuming office, they are expected to sign mandate acceptance documents.’

He said that it was time to end the unnecessary controversy in other to allow the key appointees of the President carry out their jobs.

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