Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has appointed Hadiza Balarabe, his running-mate for the 2019 governorship election, as his new senior adviser/counsellor.
Samuel Aruwan, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity, announced Balarabe’s appointment in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Kaduna.
Mr Aruwan said the appointment took immediate effect.
The statement said Mrs Balarabe, until her new appointment, was the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency.
It said that Balarabe would function in her new position from Government House, overseeing key agencies reporting to the Governor.
According to the statement, some of the key agencies include the State Pensions Board, KADGIS and KASUPDA, “advising the governor on matters of human capital development, and understudying him and the Deputy Governor in all aspects of governance.
“As Senior Adviser-Counsellor, she would be at the heart of government, attending meetings of the State Executive and Security Councils”.
According to the statement, the new responsibility places her within the second echelon of the government, next to the two elected leaders of the executive branch.
“She will join other senior officials to drive the policy and governance aspirations of the government in the remaining crucial months of the current mandate.
“The second echelon of the Kaduna State Government comprises of senior officials who are copied recipients of all correspondence from the governor.
“As part of Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s strategy to ensure that not just himself and the Deputy Governor are abreast of all issues and decisions the government is dealing with.
“These senior officials act as the principal advisers to the governor, and also function as implementors and monitors of the governance agenda of the government.
“In her new role, Dr Hadiza Balarabe will attend all meetings and activities in the Governor’s office, and perform other assigned responsibilities,” the statement read in part.
NAN reports that Mrs Balarabe becomes the first woman to join the second echelon since Hadiza Bala-Usman, Mr El-Rufai’s first chief of staff, left to take up the leadership of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The new appointment is expected to further expose this accomplished medical doctor and public health expert to the entire workings of the state government.