Roles Of Chief Of Staff, SGF Remain The Same – Garba Shehu
The Presidency has described as false, reports that the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF) have changed.
In a statement, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, maintained that under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari I.
According to him, 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.
Shehu said: “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”.
Mr Shehu also debunked reports that the ministers were being denied direct access to the president.
According to him, 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 because many of the Buhari (II) Cabinet ministerial appointments are new appointments and are therefore not 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.
“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,” he said.