THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT
The powers of the president, as in the USA, are not limited to those granted in the Constitution. Presidential authority has expanded through the concept of inherent powers as well as through legislative action.
The president is authorised to negotiate treaties on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with other nations. Such formal international agreements do not go into effect, however, until ratified by a vote in the Senate.
The president is responsible for the selection of officials to serve the government in a wide range of offices: most important among them are ambassadors, members of the Supreme Court and the federal courts, and cabinet secretaries. Most of these positions require confirmation (approval) by the Senate under the "advice and consent" provision of the Constitution.
Unlike the Aso Rock presidential staff positions or ambassadorships, cabinet appointments are not usually based on a personal relationship with the president or given as a reward. The president should base the selections on reputation, expertise, and ability to manage a large bureaucracy. Appointments are also an opportunity for a president to show that the administration represents a broad cross section of the country by including ethnic minorities and women in the cabinet.
The president is authorized to propose legislation. Despite his powers, a president cannot write bills. The president has the power of veto power. It is an important check on the National Assembly. If the president rejects a bill, it will take a two-thirds vote of both houses, which can be difficult to achieve, to accomplish a veto override.
Inherent powers are those that can be inferred from the Constitution. For example, in conducting foreign policy, a president may sign executive agreements with other countries that do not require Senate action. In USA for example and under such instances, The Supreme Court ruled that such agreements are within the inherent powers of the president. Inherent powers allow a president to respond swiftly to a crisis.
The president enjoys executive privilege also such as deciding when information developed within the executive branch would not be released to the National Assembly or the courts. “A claim of executive privilege is based on the separation of powers, the need to protect diplomatic and military secrets, and the notion that people around the president must feel free to give candid advice”.
Delegation of powers
The president may also be granted the power to deal with domestic policy. For example in the USA, President Franklin Roosevelt asked for and received extraordinary authority to do what he thought was necessary to bring the country out of the Depression. President Bush and Obama also received broad powers to address problems such as education, recession, welfare, the environment, and, most recently, homeland security. The trend throughout the 20th century has been to increase presidential powers at the expense of Congress or National Assembly.
The Function of the President
The president is expected to perform several duties as part of the office. While the Constitution mentions several of these duties, others have evolved over time. How a president carries out these functions depends on his personality, as well as on his view of the presidency and the role of government and the nature of the problems facing the country at the time.
Modern presidents usually take a leadership approach to their job. They consider themselves representatives of all the people, put in place to pursue a political agenda by using their inherent powers.
Commander in chief
The president is the highest-ranking officer in the armed services. As noted previously, presidents have shown no hesitation in filling this role by sending Nigerian armed forces on peace keeping missions to trouble spots in Africa and beyond as an instrument of foreign policy.
Chief of state
Acting as chief of state is a president's most visible role, whether meeting the heads of other countries, welcoming Nigerian sportsmen and women to the state house (Asu Rock), or opening
major national events. Although largely ceremonial, the role of chief of state makes an important statement to the world and the nation about the president as a leader.