Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says that the role of Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff, is still the same as it was before his reappointment.
President Muhammadu Buhari reappointed Kyari in July despite agitations against his reappointment.
Following his reappointment, Buhari asked members of his new cabinet to channel all requests to meet with him through Kyari.
This generated reactions from Nigerians, some of who claimed that the president ridiculed his ministers by granting such powers to his chief of staff.
But reacting in a statement, Shehu denied allegations that Kyari had been granted more powers under Buhari’s second term.
“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,” he said.
“Today, under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari I.”
The presidential spokesman said that the role of Kyari is based on a model adopted from the United States.
“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,” Shehu said.
“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.
“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.”
Shehu said Buhari gave the directive to the ministers in order to inform the new members of the cabinet of the mode of operation.
He urged the public to put an end to the allegation as the ministers begin to carry out their various tasks.