The Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha has advised the Minister-Designates in President Muhammadu Buhari second term cabinet to remain accountable to the Nigerian citizens.
Mustapha stressed the need for consistent harmonious work relationship once they are fully absorbed into the Federal Executive Council.
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The SGF said this during the Presidential Retreat for Minister Designate and Permanent Secretaries in Abuja, on Monday.
He also reminded them that the task of governance requires patience, dedication and total commitment to the objectives we have committed to pursue, especially in realisation of the yearnings for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy by the people.
READ HIS FULL SPEECH BELOW:
A WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION, BOSS MUSTAPHA AT THE PRESIDENTIAL RETREAT FOR MINISTERS’ DESIGNATE AND OTHER PRESIDENTIAL AIDES, HOLDING ON MONDAY, 19 AUGUST, 2019 AT THE STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTER, PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA
It is with great pleasure and a rare privilege that I welcome you to this two-day Presidential Retreat organised for incoming members of the Federal Executive Council, Special Aides to the President and Permanent Secretaries, for you to be in sync with the policy direction of Government, and contribute to the attainment of the next level goals.
The objective of this retreat is to prepare the new Cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure, having been chosen to drive and coordinate the affairs and activities of the various socio-economic and political spheres of our nation. This assembly will afford participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities as Cabinet Ministers, an understanding that will help to shape and streamline efforts towards achieving the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria.
Honourable Ministers designate and distinguished participants, it is expected that the outcome of this retreat will set a strategic agenda which would define our course of action for the next four years of the Administration, set achievable targets and identify basic strategic options that will assist the new Cabinet realise the goals for which the Administration was elected to achieve.
The Federal Executive Council, referred to in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as the Executive Council of the Federation, is the principal instrument of policy decisions for the Federation, being the body charged with the responsibility for enunciating policies on matters to which the executive authority of the Federation extends.
Section 148 Subsection 1&2 (a-c) defines the responsibilities of the Federal Executive Council. It stipulates that the President shall hold regular meetings with the Vice President and all the Ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purposes of:
i. “determining the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government of the Federation;
ii. coordinating the activities of the President, the Vice President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and
iii. advising the President generally in the discharge of his executive functions with respect to which he is required by the constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body”.
Distinguished participants, the above statements are the kernel of the roles and responsibilities of Ministers of the Federal Executive Council. The import of this, is that Ministers are collectively responsible for policy decisions in Council. Although an individual Minister may differ in opinion during deliberations on any proposal before Council, however, once a decision is taken, it becomes a binding Council decision, that no Minister can speak against either in public or private, no matter the argument he/she presented during discussion on the proposal.
This principle of collective responsibility also infers that a Minister has responsibilities wider than those relating to his/her assigned portfolio and will, in that capacity, receive documents from other Ministers/Ministries, which do not concern the subjects under his/her portfolio, requiring his/her consideration and contribution during the weekly Council meetings.
It is in this wise that this retreat was conceptualized in three thematic phases comprising, a Context Setting segment, which will be led by His Excellency, the Vice President and supported by our team of consultants, Messrs. Mckinsey & Co. and KPMG. The second thematic area involves articulating the priorities of Government and target setting, encompassing all sectors of our national life. This segment is principally designed to be more interactive, setting the values of team work as your appointments demand, which will be demonstrated by your involvement in syndicated breakout sessions focused on topics across defined Government priority areas. The first day will close with presentations at plenary of group outcomes arising from the syndicated discussions on priority areas.
Day two of the retreat is primarily focused on processes as Enablers of Government’s service delivery. An appreciable understanding of which will in no small measure facilitate the efficient and effective achievement of set targets. This segment will task the experience of both serving and former top Government functionaries in carefully selected paper presentations to guide members in their official conducts.
Essentially, this retreat has been packaged to set the tone for continuous and meaningful interaction amongst Cabinet members, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions, which they supervise. We must ensure a consistent harmonious work relationship =to serve responsibly, transparent in our conducts and accountable to the people we serve, if this Administration must fulfill its promise of taking Nigeria to the Next Level.
Honourable Ministers designate, let me remind us that the task of governance requires patience, dedication and total commitment to the objectives we have committed to pursue, especially in realization of the yearnings for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy by the people.
The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has in the last four years done a lot to revamp the economy, achieve a corruption free society and provide adequate security for the people. It has laid foundation and taken bold steps in transforming the country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty.
The tasks ahead of us is to consolidate on the gains of the last four years of the Administration, identify the remaining areas that need to be addressed and remain committed to improving the lives of people by confronting the emerging challenges of climate change, resettling displaced communities, dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country, and improving the economic conditions of the citizenry.
As Honourable Ministers of the Federal Executive Council, we are expected to live above board. We must, therefore, eschew every conduct, private or public, that would tarnish the good image of the President-in-Council. We must also reconcile with ourselves that the next four years of our lives would be effectively and efficiently dedicated to the service of our fatherland.
Distinguished Ministers, we should not be discouraged by the enormous developmental challenges facing our country, rather we should see our appointments as a veritable and rare opportunity to contribute and positively impact on our society, bearing in mind that “your pride for your country should not come after your country becomes great but when your country becomes great because of your pride in it.”
I therefore urge all of us to prepare our minds and be ready to support Mr. President’s commitment to transforming Nigeria through the vehicle of efficient and effective public service delivery, to guarantee peace and economic prosperity, that will indeed transmute Nigeria to the promised Next Level.
I welcome you all to this Retreat.