President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as his Chief of Staff.
Gbajabiamila confirmed this in a tweet on Friday while thanking the president for the appointment.
He tweeted, “Thank you Mr. President @officialABAT for finding me worthy of being your Chief of Staff.”
“Having spent the last 20 years in the Nigerian Parliament, and after winning my 6th term election into the National Assembly, I shall work with Mr President in discharging the enormous task ahead of him for the peace and progress of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
He further tweeted, “I shall give my best when I take office on June 14, 2023 as reflected in Mr. President’s official letter.”
In a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) with Vice President Kashim Shettima in attendance on Friday, the President also appointed a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, as Deputy Chief of Staff.
President Tinubu also appointed a former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, to serve as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
Speaking at the meeting held at the State House, the President said the national and sub-national governments will work together on the minimum wage, which already requires “soul searching.’’
He stated, “We need to do some arithmetic and soul searching on the minimum wage,’’ adding that “We will have to take a look at that together, and the revenue. We must strengthen the source and application of our revenue.’’
President Tinubu, therefore, urged the governors to seize the opportunity of being chosen among millions of citizens in their states to make a difference in the lives of people, adding that he will work for the benefit of Nigerians.
He said, “This meeting is not strange to me, and the content of the meeting is so valuable. The camaraderie is very stimulating. This is about the Nigerian project, not Bola Tinubu’’.
The President further revealed that the multiple exchange rates will be streamlined, noting that governance was a continuum.
He stated, “I have inherited the assets and liabilities of my predecessor. This is the first time you entered the Council Chambers, and it is my first time too for a meeting.”
“As progressives and thinkers under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC), you have a role to play in educating our people and making sure we manage ourselves’’.
The president noted that it was a good and encouraging sign that the APC has a majority in the National Assembly and some Houses of Assembly, which will make it easier to develop policies that will directly impact the economy and the people.
According to him, “If we work together, the Nigeria of our dreams is not far away. Rest assured that we will not have multiple exchange rates anymore. You asked for this meeting, and I had to set aside time to be here.”
He added, “We have a political party that we will need to manage, whichever way, we have inherited assets and liabilities, and we cannot complain’’.
President Tinubu assured that he would maintain an open-door policy, willing to entertain issues, deliberate, and collectively find solutions to the challenges facing the country, including security, adding “It is in our hands, and I am ready to work and listen at any time’’.
On his part, Vice President Shettima urged the governors to rally around the President as he tackles the challenges affecting the economy, like the oil subsidy and multiple exchange rates.
“Let us rally around the President and not bulge, there are vested interests that may want to resist the subsidy removal. Its removal will free resources for the development of your states”.
In his remarks, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State pledged the support of the Progressive Governors to the President, noting that the initial decisions already foretell good intentions for the economy.
Uzodinma stated, “We are here today as members of the APC to fraternize with you as our leader, and congratulate you on your election as President, and Commander-in-Chief.”
He added, “We are using this opportunity to express our support for you at this trying time in our history’’.
The governor further noted that the President had made a good start by prioritising the economy and welfare of the people, with honesty of purpose.
“We are aware of your capacity and excellent track record”.
On his part, Governor Babagana Zulum Borno State, who stated that the development of the national and sub-national economies remains interwoven, assured President Tinubu of their support to help him succeed.
Other governors present at the meeting were Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, and Dikko Radda of Katsina State.
Also, Governors Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Hyacinth Alia of Benue, Umar Bago of Niger, Nasir Idris of Kebbi, Uba Sani of Kaduna, Umar Namadi of Jigawa, Nwifuru Francis Ogbonna of Ebonyi , Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto, and Bassey Otu of Cross-River State were present at the meeting.