The Executive

This arm of the Federal Government consists of the President, the Vice-President and other members of the Federal Executive Council.

In the Federal Republic of Nigeria, executive power is exercised by the President. The President of Nigeria is both head of state and head of government and is elected through a multi-party system, by the people. The President heads the Federal Executive Council, also known as the cabinet and is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The President is elected every four years and can serve a maximum of two terms and must step down at the end of the second term. After being elected, the President appoints a Federal Executive Council, which includes representatives from all 36 states and the Vice-President. He oversees the day-to-day running of the affairs of the nation assisted by Ministers, Special Assistants, Special Advisers and other relevant government functionaries with supervisory roles over areas of government. As the Head of State, he also wields ceremonial powers and functions.

The Vice-President holds the same powers as the President but can only exercise these in the absence of the President or as directed by the President or the National Assembly. At the State level, the Executive arm comprises the Governor, the Deputy Governor and other members of the State Executive Council. Each of Nigeria’s 36 states has a Governor, elected to a maximum of two four-year terms, and
a House of Assembly. The executive branch is divided into Federal Ministries, headed by a minister appointed by the President. The President’s appointments are confirmed by the Senate. In some cases, a Federal minister could be assigned to be responsible for more than one ministry and a Minister may be assisted by one or more Ministers of State. Each ministry also has a Permanent Secretary, who is a senior civil servant.

There are 30 Federal Ministries in the government covering all relevant sectors of the country. Each one has a Minister and, in some cases an additional Minister of State at the Centre of Affairs, all appointed by the President. The Permanent Secretary is the accounting officer and administrative head of each ministry, while the Head of Service of the Federation is the administrative head of the Civil Service.

Other parastatals are the responsibility of the Office of the Presidency, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Federal Civil Service Commission among others.