President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha as the new secretary to the government of the federation (SGF). Mustapha replaces Babachir Lawal who has been under suspension over corruption-related allegations.
Below are seven takeaways:
1. Like for like swap:
The replacement of Lawal with Mustapha is a like for like swap. Both men hail from Hong local government area in Adamawa state and are Christians. The two men also attended the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and both graduated in 1979. However, Lawal studied engineering, while Mustapha studied law.
2. Most recent appointment:
Before his appointment as SGF, Mustapha was the Managing Director/CEO of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), an agency under the ministry of transportation. Pres. Buhari appointed him into that position in June 2016 and it was supposed to be for a duration of four years.
3. An ACN man:
In the merger that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mustapha came from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) wing and served as the deputy national chairman of the party under Bisi Akande. He was a governorship aspirant but lost at the primary. On the other hand, his predecessor, Lawal, was in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) before defecting to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) with Buhari. Both Mustapha and Lawal worked in the APC presidential campaign organization in 2015 which worked for Buhari’s election.
Mustapha is an accomplished lawyer. He was Principal Counsel in the firm Messrs Mustapha & Associates, and later Principal Counsel in Adroit Lex. His legal interests and expertise included privatization commercialization and Liberalization of Public Companies/Corporate and Government Parastatals. He played key leadership roles at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) serving as Social Secretary and Chairman at the Yola branch.
Mustapha touts one of his career highlights to be his appointment as a member of Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) from 2000 to 2007. At the PTF, he was responsible for production of an up-to-date comprehensive project and programme report, including location, coverage and whether performed, performing or abandoned production of final report of Assets and Liabilities, examination of the Administrative structure and cost effectiveness of PTF Projects and Services among other duties.
6. Other roles:
He was a member of the Nigeria Constituent Assembly (1988-1989), Chairman People’s Solidarity Party-Gongola State (1989-1990), state chairman, Social Democratic Party-Gongola State (1990-1991); he was even a gubernatorial candidate for SDP in Adamawa state in 1991. He was the Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria from 2010 to 2013. In 2007, he served as the Deputy Director General of the party’s Presidential campaign Organization. He was Secretary APC Presidential Campaign Organization Mobilization (2015) and member, APC Transition Committee (2015). He is also a member, APC Board of Trustees.
7. Professional Organizations:
In addition to the NBA, Mustapha is a member of various professional bodies including African Bar Association (ABA), Commonwealth Lawyers Association, International Bar Association (IBA) and Human Rights Institute (HRI). He is a member of the boards of several companies in the manufacturing financial services as well as oil and gas sectors. He is the National Vice President, Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship international Nigeria.