AGF Malami Meets Lawan, Gbajabiamila Over Seamless Passage Of Bills

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday met with the leadership of the National Assembly on developing a working relationship that would ensure seamless passage of bills.

Malami, for about an hour at the National Assembly, met with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and some principal officers of the Senate.

Malami told his hosts that the major issue of interest to the Office of the Attorney General and the Government is having a harmonious working relationship that is targeted at advancing the interest of the nation.

He added that it was against this background that several bills were proposed during the 8th National Assembly, while additional ones will be presented during the 9th National Assembly.

Malami expressed concerns that several bills presented to the eighth National Assembly were never passed nor assented to because of certain inadequacies or constitutional issues.”

“Enormous resources, energy and cost have gone into legislative process of lawmaking, and I feel the time is now right for us to work together for the purpose of eliminating the associated bottlenecks that have constituted hindrances to the passage of the bills and assenting thereto.

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“My beneficial approach is to look at the possibility of working together between the executive and legislature; and where the need arises, the judiciary, in working on the bills before they proceed to the stages of public hearing.

“We cannot afford to expend resources, time and energy in formulating and drafting bills that will eventually not be passed or assented,” Malami said.

Malami suggested, as a way forward, sending advance legislative proposals for possible review and inputs of the lawmakers even before the final consideration of the draft bill by the executive.

In his response, the Senate President described the meeting as an “historic engagement” and commended the approach of the Executive.

Lawan said the present cordial relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly should be one driven by mutual respect and consultation between both arms of government.

“Our relationship should be based on mutual respect and consultation. This is a clear demonstration of the kind of consultation we have been talking about.

“We shouldn’t work at cross purposes; and beyond bills, we need to extend the consultation to other spheres of engagements for us to achieve optimal performance,” Lawan said.

According to him, the meeting was an important and historic engagement between the Office of the AGF and the current leadership of the National Assembly towards achieving a working relationship that would facilitate the seamless passage of bills and their assent by the President.

“This shows the kind of relationship that characterise the ninth National Assembly and the Executive arm of government, which essentially is for the benefit of Nigerians, the people we represent,” Lawan added.

“There are three major functions of the legislature; the oversight, representation and legislation.

“Legislation is a fundamental pillar of what we do here. Your office is in charge of executive bills that find their way to the National Assembly and therefore, this is an effort by the executive arm of government to ensure legislative processes that will start from the executive to the legislature or vice versa, should be seamless, speedy passage and effective implementation for good governance.

“When we process a bill, so much resources, effort and commitment are put into it; so we have to do everything possible to ensure that the processes are such that the outcomes justify the enormous resources put into the processing of the bills.”

To ensure a hitch-free passage of bills, the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives along with the Attorney-General of the Federation at the meeting underscored the need for committees to be constituted on both sides of government for the purpose of engagement.

“If there’s anything we identify that will cause us not to pass a bill, we will draw the attention of the executive to it and mandate our relevant committees to engage with the concerned agency and the AGF’s office so that all such issues are sorted out.

“We should have our bills assented to, whether they are executive bills or private members’ bills.

“This relationship is productive so far, it is working and helping this country and we will continue with it. However, that is not to say that we will compromise on things that are our mandate,” Lawan said.

The Senate President also called on the AGF to ensure that heads of agencies are carried along in the process of drafting executive bills to avoid sabotage from any quarter.

“I want to advise, that when an executive bill emanates from you, exhaust all opportunities for heads of agencies that will be affected by the eventual passage of the Bill into law to participate.

“Let them put in their ideas before you roundup work on the draft that will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.

“Often times, heads of agencies deliberately refuse to attend public hearings, and when the bills are passed and sent to the president to sign, then they go around saying things about the bill stopping government from working and so on.

“The National Assembly would do everything to ensure optimal productivity, but those civil servants who sometimes feel they would lose power and authority would attempt to jeopardize the assent of the President.

“This is something that we have to address. When there’s a public hearing on a bill, we will make it mandatory for heads of agencies that are supposed to participate to attend. If they don’t attend, they shouldn’t go back to the President to advise against the assent to such bills.

“The government put in a lot of effort and resources, and we do the same. But one individual, like a Managing Director or Executive Secretary, who feels he or she may lose part of his mandate to another agency, may go ahead to sabotage the whole process. We need to guard against that.”

Senators in attendance are: the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Deputy Minority Leader, Ajayi Boroffice; Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha; Deputy Minority Whip, Sahabi Ya’u Alhaji; Senator Albert Bassey (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North), and Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta South).

SGF Warns Against Using His Office For False And Fraudulent Information

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, says his attention has been drawn to unrelenting activities of faceless persons using the social media and other platforms to lure unsuspecting members of the Public to submit their Curriculum Vitae at a fee, to a non-existing desk at his Office, for Federal Government appointments.

Mr Mustapha also says his Office is similarly aware of inaccurate information being peddled around regarding constituency projects being executed under its supervision.

In a communique signed by spokesman to the Secretary General of the Federation,  Mr Willie Bassey, the SGF says his office neither executes nor supervises constituency projects.

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Mr Mustapha also says he has become aware of numerous forged introductory letters purportedly issued from his office seeking diverse favours from individuals and corporate entities for personal gains.

He advised the general public to beware of the clandestine activities of dubious and fraudulent persons and their cohorts going about to fleece unsuspecting members of the public.

The SGF assured Nigerians that the Government has evolved measures to track the unpatriotic and faceless persons and will bring to justice anyone found engaging in these unwholesome activities.

He urged Nigerians to always get clarification from the official communication channels of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation which are: Website Address: www.osgf.gov.ng and Email Address: [email protected]

Roles Of Chief Of Staff, SGF Remain The Same – Garba Shehu

'It's Jealousy': Garba Shehu Faults PDP's Comments On Niger Governors’ Visit
A file photo of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

 

The Presidency has described as false, reports that the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF) have changed.

In a statement, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, maintained that under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari I.

According to him, the role of Chief of staff is to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters, as well as the line manager for all staff at the Presidential Villa.

Shehu said: “It is worth stressing that the role and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff and the method of communication and arranging scheduling between Cabinet members and the President are, in Nigeria, based on the US model, where the same system operates – and has done for decades – in precisely the same way.

“That role is to act as the head of the presidential administration at Aso Rock; to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters; to be the line manager for all staff at Aso Rock; and to manage appointments and scheduling for the President.

“In the traditional presidential system, it is a primary function of a Chief of Staff, which may vary according to the needs and desires of each President, to supervise key State House Staff, control access to the office and the person of the President, manage communications and information flow and this includes that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government.

“During the President’s first term those were the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff, and they remain the same responsibilities today. There is no change”.

Mr Shehu also debunked reports that the ministers were being denied direct access to the president.

According to him, when President Buhari explained to ministers that they would be expected to communicate with him and arrange scheduling to meet with him primarily via the Chief of Staff, he did so because many of the Buhari (II) Cabinet ministerial appointments are new appointments and are therefore not expected to know how matters of liaising with the President operate.

“This is to stress that access to the President is open to ministers. It is not true that this is denied them in the Second Term.

“The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the other hand is responsible for ensuring the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes. All cabinet matters must go through him,” he said.

We Have Placed High Premium For The Provision Of Infrastructural Development – SGF

SGF Boss Mustapha speaks at the commissioning ceremony of operations vehicle at the headquarters of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Abuja on April 12, 2019.

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, says the Federal Government has placed the provision of infrastructural development in the country seriously.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the operational vehicles at the headquarters of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Abuja, the SGF explained that the government is increasing its spending on road infrastructure to reduce crashes.

“We have also placed a high premium for the provision of fiscal stimulus for infrastructural development with particular attention to the national road transportation system.

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“Government, therefore, is informed by the acute recognition of the critical place of road transportation in Nigeria’s historical and national life.

“Consequently, the Federal Government designs to invest in all areas designed to promote effective and efficient transportation system,” he stated.

The SGF noted that in 2018 alone, the current administration “constructed and completed an additional 1,513 kilometres of road, several bridges and rehabilitated 1,008 kilometres of roads across the country.”

He believes that the purchase and commissioning of 74 operational vehicles for FRSC will enhance traffic control on the roads, reduce crashes and ease the movement of goods and services across the country.

SGF Inaugurates Inter-Ministerial Presidential Inauguration Committee

SGF Inaugurates Inter-Ministerial Presidential Inauguration Committee

 

The Federal Government has inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Presidential Inauguration Committee for the swearing-in ceremony of President Muhamadu Buhari as he begins his second term on May 29.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who is the chairman of the committee, performed the inauguration on Thursday in his office in Abuja.

Addressing the members, Mr Mustapha stressed the need for the committee to ensure strong collaboration with other sub-committees.

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He explained that the sub-committees would emerge from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its support groups, with a view to guaranteeing the success of the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

The inauguration ceremony took place two days after President Buhari approved the constitution of the committee, with the mandate to plan, organise and execute all approved activities for the 2019 Presidential Inauguration.

It is also to co-opt persons and organisations relevant towards the successful execution of the programme, as well as carry out any other assignment as may be required.

Other members of the committee include the APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, as well as eight ministers and heads of security agencies, among others.

See the full breakdown of the committee below:

Secretary to the Government of the Federation – Chairman
Minister of Information & Culture – Member
Minister of Interior – Member
Minister of Foreign Affairs – Member
Minister of FCT – Member
Minister of Defence – Member
Minister of Health – Member
Minister of Education – Member
Minister of State (Aviation) – Member
National Chairman, All Progressives Congress – Member
Inspector General of Police – Member
Director General (Department State Service) – Member
Commander, Brigade of Guards – Member
Permanent Secretary (State House) – Member
Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) – Member
Permanent Secretary (Political & Economic Affairs Office) – Member/Secretary

FG Has Made Provision For N30,000 Minimum Wage, Says SGF

FG Has Made Provision For N30,000 Minimum Wage, Says SGF
A file photo of the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha.

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, says the Federal Government will implement the New Minimum Wage of N30,000.

Addressing reporters on Thursday in Abuja, he stated that the government was committed to the implementation, despite the increase from N27,000 to N30,000 by the House of Representatives.

“Look at where we took it from; from N18,000 as a minimum wage,” Mr Mustapha said. “What is before the House of Representatives is N30,000, although our recommendation is N27,000.”

“Whatever comes out of it, I can tell you that this President has sufficient capital in terms of his integrity to own up whatever the Nigerian people decide,” he assured the people.

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The SGF further disclosed that the government has made adequate arrangement in the 2019 Appropriation Bill, to cater for the new wage.

He explained that the importance of this was to give workers across the country a reasonable wage, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari does not take the welfare of workers for granted.

Mr Mustapha said, “We have made adequate provision in the 2019 budget; we mean well for the good workers of Nigeria.

“For him (Buhari) to come as a President and decide that ‘look, we need to give the working class a wage’; that is reasonable.”

Committee Investigating NHIS Submits Report To SGF  

 

The committee set up to investigate allegations of fraud against the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Professor Usman Yusuf has submitted its report.

The committee submitted the report of its findings to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha on Monday.

But it, however, refused to make public their recommendations.

The report is coming more than seven weeks after the committee was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the allegations against Professor Yusuf.

READ ALSO: FG Inaugurates Seven-Man Panel To Probe NHIS Boss

Buhari Directs NHIS Boss To Proceed On ‘Administrative Leave’

After its inauguration on November the 2nd, 2018, the committee was given two weeks to complete its assignment.

It will be recalled that the Chairman on the NHIS Board, Mr Ifenne Enyanatu, had in October suspended the Executive Secretary after obtaining permission from the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole.

However, Yusuf defied the Governing Council and resumed at the headquarters of the NHIS in Abuja with the backing of policemen, a day after the pronouncement.

It’s ‘Totally Out Of Place’ To Boycott Budget Presentation, Says SGF

It's 'Totally Out Of Place' To Boycott Budget Presentation, Says SGF
A file photo of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has condemned the call on members of the National Assembly to boycott the presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

He said this on Tuesday in Abuja while briefing reporters after a late evening meeting with the caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives.

Although he stated that he was not aware of such call, Mr Mustapha insisted that it would be wrong for the lawmakers to do so since it was an issue of national interest.

“It is also going to be totally out of place to boycott. This is a national responsibility; the President has to lay the budget as demand by the Constitution. He’s going to do exactly that,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the budget proposal for 2019 during a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

On issues discussed with the APC lawmakers, the SGF said the meeting was just to discuss matters relating to the party in preparation for the general elections in 2019.

“We are preparing for elections. We have to come and dialogue and strategise and plan for the elections,” he told reporters.

“Very soon they are going on recess, and so we have to plan what they will do in the course of the recess in terms of deepening democracy and preparing our party for the elections.”

The APC caucus in the Senate also met but the lawmakers refused to brief reporters after the meeting.

SGF Asks Nigerians To Support FG In Ensuring Peace

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is asking Nigerians to support the Federal Government in ensuring peace in the nation.

Mustapha made this call on Saturday during a breakfast meeting with businessmen in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“The citizens have a major role to play in securing peace in this nation. Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility,” he said.

The SGF alleged that some politicians desperate to win elections were arming groups ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Despite that, the SGF explained that the current administration has done well to improve the electoral process.

“Things are changing with the improvement in the electoral processes. But in the past, early in the morning, somebody will just come out with one rifle and shoot a gun in the air (so) everybody takes cover and then he packs all the electoral materials. There are constituencies where you never voted. It is a collective responsibility,” he added.

FG Is More Than Mindful About Wave Of Killings – SGF

 

The Federal Government says it is not unmindful of the trend of killings in the country, especially as a result of the crisis between herdsmen and farmers.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said this on Friday at the graduation ceremony of the Course 26, National Defence College in Abuja.

READ ALSOThere Is Some Injustice’ In Blaming Me For Killings, Says Buhari

“Government is more than mindful about the wave of wanton killings in northern Nigeria, which places a dent on the overall achievement in the security sector,” said the SGF who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event.

“This administration is saddened by this ugly development and commiserates with Nigerians, particularly those who have lost loved ones and property in these mindless expressions of violence.”

Mr Mustapha noted that the government has a primary responsibility of ensuring the security of lives and property of the citizenry.

He, however, assured Nigerians that President Buhari’s administration remains committed to carrying out its duties.

FG Is More Than Mindful About Wave Of Killings – SGF
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha

The SGF highlighted the progress made so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, as well as the peace being enjoyed in the southern part of the country.

He said, “The most urgent of our express mandate is to deliver improved national security. As a result of concerted national and international efforts, I am pleased to state that Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism is decidedly in the recession.”

“We have also enjoyed the longest period of peace in the Niger Delta in recent times,” he added.

Mustapha commended the military, police, and other security agencies for their efforts in combating the security challenges in the country.

He said the government was encouraged by such efforts, especially in providing security in areas of violent conflicts.

At the event, the SGF addressed a gathering of security personnel, including the 136 participants from 16 countries who graduated from the college.

The event had in attendance the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, among others, were also present.

SGF Calls For Synergy Among Public Officials

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has called for a synergy between the newly inaugurated governing board members of federal parastatals and their Chief Executives, to reduce frictions in public offices.

The Permanent Secretary, General Services, Olusegun Adekunle, who represented the SGF, made the appeal on Saturday at the induction of the first batch of the recently inaugurated governing board members.

The President had on February 27, 2018, appointed 209 board chairmen and 1,258 board members for government agencies and parastatals.

He approved the inauguration of the board in order to provide proper governance and oversight structure for government agencies and parastatals.

The aim to ensure a good working relationship between these board members and the chief executives of government organizations is the reason why the bureau of public service reforms is organizing this induction for board members.

Earlier on Thursday, the SGF had noted in a press release that “the poor and unhealthy relationship existing between governing boards and their Chief Executives Officers (CEOs) has become very worrisome to the government which is unacceptable”.

FG Pledges Support For Nigerian Economic Submit Group
File photo: Mr Boss Mustapha

In the past, the Public Procurement Act is often not respected especially when contracts are awarded, often leading to frictions between the board and their CEOs.

According to the SGF, the public service remains the government’s major service provider in Nigeria, an operating arm of government.

The public service is also responsible for implementing policies and programs of government, hence the urgent need for a cordial relationship with their various boards.

Buhari Is Not Tribalistic, Has A Good Vision For Nigeria – SGF

 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a man who is not tribalistic but has a good vision for Nigeria.

The SGF explained that Buhari’s cabinet has a total of 36 ministers which share an equal religion, adding that some of the ministers in the forefront of his cabinet are from the south-east and are Christians.

“In Buhari’s cabinet there are 36 ministers, 18 are Muslims and 18 are Christians, his interest is to see the growth of the country and can afford to take the risk”.

Mr. Mustapha disclosed this on Tuesday during the South East Mega Rally which was held in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

He appealed to the Igbos not to listen to the stories that are going around about the President but rather commended him for being an honest man.

“Buhari is an honest man that caused the whole African continent to make him the champion of anti-corruption”.

He questioned why people will vote candidates that cannot get up to 500 votes in their constituencies.

“The time is now, the time for decision is now, you are the only people that can determine your future and cast a vision of your future to ensure that after Buhari’s second tenure you can make a demand for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

He further noted that after the second tenure of the President the South East can negotiate for the presidency.

He called on the Igbos to vote for someone who can deliver the 36 states of the federation and not someone who cannot deliver the one state in the country.

He urged them to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari come 2019 Presidential Election.