The Chief of Staff (CoS) portfolio under the current Nigeria’s presidency is unarguably the most powerful in recent history, even though it might not appear as high profile as some of the top ministerial posts but is probably the key appointment in terms of defining an administration and how effectively it operates.
As a result of its highly elevated profile, the office of the chief of staff has been a focus of considerable attention lately and three days after the swearing-in of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians were eagerly and looking forward to who will be appointed to oversee the strategic office.
It was confirmed the current Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Rt. Honorable Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila was appointed as the Chief-of-Staff (Cos) to the President Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR).
The appointment of Femi Gbajabiamila as the Chief of Staff (Cos), is a strategic move by President Bola Tinubu to consolidate his political base and strengthen his administration and that also demonstrated the President’s avowed commitment to good governance by bringing on board competent Nigerians from all walks of life and all parts of the country to assist him in renewing Nigeria’s hope and taking it to the promised land.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is a well-known political figure in Nigeria, having served as a member of the House of Representatives for over 24 years. He is a legal practitioner, a seasoned, astute and accomplished legislator, and a respected leader in our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). His experience and suitability for the strategic office of Chief of Staff is not in doubt; his administrative prowess, sagacity and his legislative knowledge are attributes needed to coordinate the staff of the President.
Hon. Gbajabiamila’s appointment as Chief of Staff is a clear indication that President Tinubu values competence, loyalty, and experience in his team. Hon. Gbajabiamila possesses these qualities in abundance, having served in several leadership positions in the House of Representatives, including as the Leader of the House.
Gbaja’s appointment is indeed well-thought-out and speaks volumes of the President’s penchant for excellence, and I am confident that Femi Gbajabiamila will bring to bear his legislative prowess and intellect, administrative experience and networks in ensuring the smooth running of the office of the president and support the government to provide good governance and successfully deliver the RENEWED HOPE Programmes for the benefit of Nigerians.
As Chief of Staff, Hon. Gbajabiamila is expected to play a critical role in managing the affairs of the presidency, ensuring effective communication between the President and other stakeholders, and providing strategic advice to the President on key policy issues. Hon. Gbajabiamila’s wealth of experience in legislative and executive matters makes him the best candidate for the job
The role of Chief of staff is to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters, as well as the line manager for all staff at the Presidential Villa.
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.
The Chief of Staff is an appointee of the President. His role is to manage the office of the high executive while coordinating his programmes and the core agencies needed to run the administration. He also serves as the principal channel of communication between the President and his core officials, including the Federal Executive Council. He also ensures that the engagements of the President, including the presidential fleet, operate in a flawless manner.
Being Chief of Staff is certainly not a job for the fainthearted. You have to be a technocrat who understands technical economics and the minutiae of international trade and high finance. But you must also be a hands-on administrator with a nose for power and diplomacy. It is a 24-hour job in which you must be alert always. It requires patience, high ability, energy, discretion and tact. But you must also be tough. You must be ready to swim with the sharks and graze with the bulls.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has a proven track record of excellence in leadership. He has sponsored and co-sponsored several bills and motions that have had a positive impact on Nigerians, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare, and social welfare. He is also known for his efforts in promoting good governance, accountability, and transparency in the legislative process.
Hon. Gbajabiamila’s appointment as Chief of Staff is expected to strengthen the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government, as he has a good working relationship with members of the National Assembly. This will be critical in ensuring the smooth passage of key legislative initiatives that will advance President Tinubu’s agenda for Nigeria.
Femi Gbajabiamila is a quintessential government official, having served as the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives – an epitome of competence, commitment and patriotism.
In conclusion, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s appointment as Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a clear indication that the President values competence, loyalty, and experience in his team. Hon. Gbajabiamila’s wealth of experience in legislative and executive matters, his proven track record of excellence in leadership, and his good working relationship with members of the National Assembly make him the best candidate for the job. Nigerians can expect a more efficient and effective presidency under his leadership.
Suwaid writes in from Tarauni LGA of Kano State