Boss Gidahyelda Mustapha CFR is a Nigerian lawyer and politician who currently serves as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) of Nigeria since 2017. He is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, which was established in March 2020 to combat the pandemic in the country. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the life and career of Boss Mustapha.
Boss Mustapha was born in 1956 in Garaha, a village located in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State in the North Eastern region of Nigeria. He attended primary school in Hong, Adamawa, and proceeded to North East College of Arts and Sciences in Maiduguri, Borno State, for his high school education. He graduated in 1976 and went on to study at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) in 1979. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School in Lagos for a mandatory one-year law class and graduated in 1980. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in the same year and did his one-year mandatory national service between 1980 and 1981.
Mustapha started his legal practice in Messrs Onagoruwa & Co in Lagos as a Counsel in 1983. He had a stint at an Italian consultancy firm, Sotesa Nigeria Limited earlier. In 1994, he established his own law practice firm, Messrs Mustapha & Associates, and served as its Principal Counsel until 2000. He later worked in another law firm, Adriot Lex & Co., serving as Principal Consultant from 2000 to 2006. Mustapha has served as a member of several boards of companies in the manufacturing, financial services, and oil and gas sectors – he has been described as a “boardroam guru.”
Mustapha entered politics in the 1980s after his law graduation. Between 1988 and 1989, he was a member of the Constituent Assembly, the body that drafted the Constitution of the Third Nigerian Republic. In 1989, Mustapha was the state chairman of the Peoples Solidarity Party (PSP) in defunct Gongola State, but the party was among the several political parties disbanded by military head of state General Ibrahim Babangida. Between 1990 and 1991, Mustapha was Adamawa state chairman of the Social Democratic Party, one of the two state-created political parties during the military regime. He ran unsuccessfully for Adamawa State governorship in 1991 under the party but lost to Abubakar Saleh Michika of National Republican Convention.
In 2000, Mustapha was a member of the presidential committee tasked by President Olusegun Obasanjo to investigate the activities of the Petroleum Trust Fund under Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari resigned his position as executive chairman of the body earlier. The committee, Interim Management Committee, did their work, but the report was never made public. Mustapha served as the deputy director-general to the presidential campaign of then Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s during the 2007 presidential election.
Mustapha was deputy national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria. The party was among the three major parties that were merged to form the All Progressives Congress on 6 February 2013 in anticipation of Nigeria’s 2015 general elections. In 2014, after the merger of their party, he ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Adamawa State.
As the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha is the topmost civil servant in Nigeria and serves as the coordinator of the affairs of the government. He is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the Federal Executive Council and the implementation of government policies, programmes and projects.
During his tenure as SGF, Mustapha has been involved in several initiatives aimed at promoting good governance and economic development in Nigeria. He has played a key role in the implementation of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), a reform programme aimed at making it easier for businesses to operate in Nigeria. He has also been involved in the development of the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which is aimed at diversifying the Nigerian economy and promoting sustainable economic growth.
Boss Mustapha has been at the forefront of Nigeria’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he has been responsible for coordinating Nigeria’s response to the pandemic. He has led the task force in developing and implementing policies aimed at curbing the spread of the virus in Nigeria. These policies have included measures such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and the establishment of isolation and treatment centres.
Under his leadership, the task force has also worked to promote public awareness about the virus and the importance of adhering to preventive measures such as wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. The task force has held daily briefings to provide updates on the pandemic and to inform the public about the government’s response.
Boss Mustapha is a member of several professional bodies including the African Bar Association, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, International Bar Association and Human Rights Institute. He has also served on the board of several companies in the manufacturing, financial services and oil and gas sectors.
In recognition of his contributions to the development of Nigeria, Boss Mustapha has received several awards and honours. In October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred on him a national honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR). This is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on a citizen of Nigeria.
Boss Mustapha is a distinguished Nigerian lawyer and politician who has made significant contributions to the development of Nigeria. As the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he has been instrumental in promoting good governance and public health in Nigeria. His achievements have earned him several awards and recognition both nationally and internationally.
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