President Muhammadu Buhari has been in London for six weeks on medical leave, raising questions over his capacity to govern Africa’s largest economy.
In his absence, diplomats and business leaders say the presidency has acted with an energy rarely seen in the two years since Buhari, 74, was elected.
Civil servants say they are handling heftier workloads, while investors are praising a new, long-needed foreign exchange policy.
Meanwhile, diplomats say Osinbajo’s inner circle is gaining influence inside the presidency, but Osinbajo has made it clear that his loyalty lies with Buhari.
But the 59-year-old lawyer is getting work done. He has relaxed visa rules to lure foreign investors, a plan drawn up by Buhari but which like others got stuck in his chief of staff’s office, according to diplomats.
Officials in Aso Rock have seen their working hours extended to 7 p.m. when Osinbajo leaves, or later. Buhari and his aides typically close shop at 4 p.m, officials said.
“This man is a workaholic,” one presidency insider said. “I wonder whether he rests at all because he even shifts some of the meetings to his official residence.”
Osinbajo’s leadership appears to have been accepted in the north, which under an informal deal with the Christian south should have its turn at the helm of power.