Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Alhaji Abba Kyari, who has held posts at United Bank for Africa, Unilever, and Mobil, as his chief of staff.
Unlike his recent predecessors, Kyari is not a politician. “Chief of staff might not appear as high profile as some of the top ministerial posts but is probably the key appointment in terms of defining an administration and how effectively it operates,” said Antony Goldman, of Nigeria-focused PM Consulting.
“Abba Kyari is not a politician, but that is probably part of his attraction,” Goldman said.
Buhari, who was inaugurated on May 29, has said he plans to name his cabinet in September.
The position of secretary to the government of the federation, which involves coordinating activities across government departments, was filled by Babachir David Lawal.
He is an engineer who previously worked in the telecommunications sector.
Hameed Ibrahim Ali, a retired colonel, was named as head of the Nigerian Customs Service.
The Nigerian Immigration Service is to be headed by Kure Martin, who has worked in the department since 1989.