Special advisers are appointed by the President of Nigeria with confirmation from the National Assembly as permitted by the Constitution to assist the Presidency in the discharge of his duties. The President possesses the power to cease the appointment of any Special Adviser in his cabinet.
This is a list of Special Advisers to President Muhammadu Buhari:
Chief of Staff to the President – Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari
The incumbent Chief of Staff to the President that assumed the post on May 13, 2020, after the death of the former Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari. The position of the Chief of Staff to the President entails advising the President on various issues as well as managing the flow of information and persons to the President. He had previously served under the military regime of Muhammadu Buhari as a Ministers of External affairs from 1968 until 1985.
He obtained his Economics degree from the London School of Economics in 1968, and then went on to a master’s degree and a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University, New York. He was a lecturer in several institutions which include; City University, New York; University of Albany; Ahmadu Bello University, and others. He went on to have a tremendous career at the Unites Nations serving in positions that include, President of UNICEF, Unites Nations Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, making him the Nigerian with the lengthiest stint at the United Nations.
Deputy Chief of Staff – Mr. Adeola Rahman Ipaye
I Adeola Ipaye was educated at the University of Lagos where he obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Law from the University of Lagos. He had a brief stint as a practicing lawyer before his foray into lecturing where he attained the position of Senior Lecturer. In May 2001, he was appointed as Special Adviser to Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the then Governor of Lagos State. By 2003, he was appointed Senior Special Assitant on Legal Matters. He also functioned in the capacity of Special Adviser to Babatunde Fashola, the then Lagos State Governor, on Taxation and Revenue.
With the wealth of leadership experience, he got appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President on September 3, 2015, by President Muhamadu Buhari.
Special Adviser to the President (Political Matters) – Senator Babatunde Ojudu
He assumed the position of Special Adviser to the President on political matters on January 7, 2016. He obtained a Bachelor of English from the University of Ile-Ife while obtaining his masters in Political Science from the University of Lagos.
Before he was appointed Special Adviser, he had dabbled in journalism, reporting for The Guardian, and writing for African Concord Magazine and later became the first managing editor of The New Magazine, which he formed with his friends. He served as a Senator representing Ekiti Central Federal Constituency from 2011 until 2015.
Special Adviser to the President (Infrastructure) – Ahmad Rufai Zakari
Born on February 25, 1984, he is among the youths in the cabinet of the President of Nigeria. He possesses a stellar track record of excellence in several areas of endeavors. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering/Economics in 2006 from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He started his career at General Electric as an Electrical Engineer. He was Executive Director and Audit Manager of General Electric from 2012 until 2014. He also became the Executive Audit Manager of General Electric. In 2019, he was appointed by the President as Special Adviser on Infrastructure.
Special Adviser to the President (Social Investment) – Mrs. Mariam Uwais
Mariam Uwais was educated as a lawyer obtaining Bachelor’s degree in Law as well as a Master’s degree in Law. Her law practice experience spun through, Kano Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria, and private legal practice as Principal Partner in Primera Africa legal after a successful merger between Wali-Uwais & Co. and Sterling Partnership. She has sat on several boards with some of such being, Lagos Business School Advisory Board, editorial board THISDAY newspaper, as well as Board Director of Stanbic IBTC Bank. Before she was appointed Special Adviser to the Presidency on Social Investment, she was a Non-Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.
Special Adviser to the President( Media & Publicity) – Mr. Femi Adesina
After obtaining tertiary education from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, and the Lagos Business School, Mr. Femi Adesina acted in the capacity of a writer for Radio Lagos. He went on to write for, Vanguard Newspaper, National Concord Newspapers, and The Sun Newspaper. He served double terms as President of the Nigerian Board of Directors. He was appointed into the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari, in the capacity of Special Adviser of Media and Publicity on August 3, 2015.
Special Adviser to the President (Economic Matters) – Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu
He obtained an Economics degree from the University of Ife and proceeded to obtain a doctorate in Economics from the University of South Africa. Before he assumed duty as Special Adviser to the Presidency on Economic matters he had served as a Director of Capacity Development Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
Special Adviser to the President ( Ease of Doing Business) – Dr. Jumoke Oduwole
Dr. Jumoke obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Lagos before proceeding to acquire a Master’s degree in Commercial Law from the University of Cambridge, and a Master’s degree in International Legal Studies from Stanford University. She was appointed as a Special Adviser in August 2019. Prior to her appointment, she was lectured as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. Before then, she briefly had a stint as an Investment Banker situ FCMB Capital Markets in 2003 before venturing into lecturing a year later. She has previously served in the capacity of Senior Special Assistant on Industry, Trade, and Investment.