President Muhammadu Buhari is poised to hire a strategist who will advise him on how to deliver on key administrative policies, a job placement announced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows.
The potential official whose job title will be “senior special assistant to the president on planning and strategy” is expected work under the president’s chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari.
“The overall objective of the consultant is to support the Nigerian government through the provision of high-quality technical and policy advice and support to the Office of the Chief of Staff,” the UNDP wrote in the job advert.
The advert suggests the presidency is trying to professionalise a chief of staff’s office that was characterised by allegations of political meddlesomeness, inefficiency, and other inadequacies during the tenure of Mr Gambari’s predecessor, Abba Kyari.
The consultancy role is expected to be an interim contract which will run for 12 months, starting from August 3.
Application for the opening closes midnight July 19, New York time.
The successful applicant is expected to report to the UNDP senior economist and will be responsible for the provision of technical advice on strategy, planning and research required to deliver on key presidential, economic and social development priorities, the advert added.
Aside this, the consultant may also be tasked to advise the government on its post-COVID-19 recovery plans and on how to leapfrog national development within the overall context of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Applicants are expected to have Master’s degree or its equivalent in any of international relations, political science, social sciences, business administration, public administration, management or law, and must be fluent in English.
“A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in such areas as: international organizations, government, political, social, civil, or legal affairs; public or business administration; or management is required,” UNDP wrote.
When hired, the job of the official will also include to liaise with MDAs, local and international partners, render policy advisory services and represent the chief of staff in brokering negotiations.
UNDP also said the to-be advisor must be one who “demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards” and also “promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.”
It is believed that the chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari, brokered the backing of the UNDP for the job opening.
Mr Gambari, himself a renowned diplomat, who replaced Abba Kyari, the powerful presidential aide who died in May from COVID-19 complications, was Nigeria’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Since President Buhari’s reelection in 2019, a total of eight special advisers, 44 senior special assistants, and 56 special assistants have been appointed, an official document seen by this paper showed.
These form the bulk of the 190 appointees that serve in the offices of the president, his deputy, and their wives.
With the new recruitment underway, the senior special assistants tally might reach 45 come August.