The president not only decides the direction of Nigerian foreign policy but also plays an important role in carrying it out. During various crisis in Africa e.g. Liberia, Sierra Leon, Kenya,
Zimbabwe, the Nigerian president has contributed in peace mediation directly or indirectly by giving weight to African Union efforts.
The president is the chief administrator, or chief bureaucrat, of the nation and is ultimately responsible for all the programs in the executive branch. His is responsible for seeing that "all laws are faithfully executed," and sets the broad policy for the executive departments and agencies rather than managing their day-to-day operations.
A president does not simply propose legislation but is actively involved in seeing that it becomes law. His job is to approve the laws that have been created. When the Senate and the House
approve a bill, they send it to the President. If he agrees with the law, he signs it and the law goes into effect.
The Asu Rock staffs maintain close contacts with the House and the Senate, while the president meets with Senators to press for passage of bills and calls individual members of the Senate to ask for their vote. In instances of a divided government, in which the Asu Rock and the Senate are controlled by different political parties, the president can appeal directly to the people for support.
The president is expected to set the moral tone for the nation, including exemplary honesty, religious faith, virtue, fidelity, loyalty and integrity. The question of a president's moral leadership will assume new importance in the near future when the media and public start giving the private lives of the elected officials’ closer scrutiny, as they should. The
"character issue" is frequently included in public opinion polls on a president's performance in the developed countries of Europe, USA and Asia.
Character is extremely important in persons occupying public office for the following reasons:
- There will be more consistency in government policy. A man of good character cannot be compromised in his decision-making process.
- He is less likely to be impaired by errant behaviour. He can be relied upon for integrity in all his relationships, either inward or outward looking.
- Honesty and integrity mean that we will know where a man in office stands at all times, i.e. reliability.
The people can rely upon the decisions made and the actions taken as straightforward and in their best interests.
- People of good character are less likely to yield to pressure from special interest groups and make decisions which will act to the detriment of the majority of our citizens.
- A character defect is all-pervasive in the sense that it impacts the personal life and political life as well; you cannot arbitrarily say that a man can be dishonest and immoral in his personal life and honest and moral in the exercise of his official duties as a government official. On the contrary, his character colours all aspects of his thinking and of his life. We cannot permit persons with multiple standards to occupy offices of public trust.
In addition to performing clearly governmental functions, the president serves as the "titular head" of a political party. A president is expected to support the party's platform,
help raise money for the party and campaign for the party's candidates.