SGF inducts board members for MDAs, calls for diligence and due process
1. M Boss Mustaphathe Secretary of the Government of the Federation (FMS) appealed to the new administrators of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDA(s) to ensure due diligence, due process and service delivery.
2. The FMSrepresented by Mr. Maurice MbaeriPermanent Secretary General Services to FMSmade the call during a two-day induction program for chairpersons and board members Federal government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions on Monday in Abuja.
3. According to him, the programme, organized by the Bureau of Civil Service Reforms (BPSR) in collaboration with Konard Adenauer Foundation (KAS)aims to build the capacity of board members of federal parastatals and commissions on organizational effectiveness and cooperative governance.
“The program aims to deepen your understanding of the new policies, processes and procedures that have been introduced to the art of governance.
“This induction program has become more important at this time as the current administration is fully committed to entrenching good and deliberate governance in our country.
“As you all know, the public service that we all know remains the main provider of services in Nigeria.
“It is the operational arm of government responsible for implementing policies and programs that ensure the effective delivery of good governance and democratic dividends to citizens.
“It is, however, of a hierarchical structure drawing its direction from the main decision-making body of the Federation, the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“The affairs of parastatals are overseen by a board of directors, headed by a chairman, responsible for providing policy guidance and liaising with the line ministry through the permanent secretary for effective monitoring, policy guidelines and ensuring that government policy guidelines relating to parastatal functions are carried out.
“It should therefore be noted that the day-to-day administration of parastatals is handled by a managing director who also acts as accounting officer.”
He expressed concern about some worrying issues that threatened the proper functioning of some MDAs such as:
“Disagreements over who is responsible for the day-to-day management of parastatals and agencies; disregard of applicable regulations guiding/restricting the conduct of board meetings and interference with the function of the office of the CEO.
“Giving direction to staff without resorting to the general manager, thus creating discord among the staff.
“Initiating unlawful disciplinary action against the Chief Executive without the required guidance and approval from the parent ministry and inciting unions and associations to act as agents of distraction in parastatals.”
According to him, the observed poor and unhealthy relationships existing betbetween governing boards and their CEOs have become very worrisome for the government and are unacceptable.
“This could be avoided if chairpersons and board members familiarized themselves with the founding instruments of their respective organizations, where the role and responsibilities of the board are prescribed,” Mbaeri said.
In his speech, the Director General of BPSRdoctor Dasuki Arabisaid the induction was appropriate, particularly given growing concerns about weak corporate governance practices and the struggle and misunderstanding among some agency board members, parastatal federal agencies and commissions.
“It is a known fact that while senior federal officials, such as permanent secretaries, directors and their equivalents in the service, grow in the federal public service and acquire varied knowledge in the public service and related experience in the conduct of government business, most federal agency board members largely lack this knowledge and experience.
“This is due to the fact that most of them are appointed from outside the civil service and assume functions in their respective agencies with limited knowledge of the functioning of the civil service, corporate governance practices and the conduct of government business.
“Note that parastatals are important institutions because most citizens directly experience governance and service delivery through them.”
He said it was therefore imperative for the Federal government examine how to properly introduce new appointees to federal public service ethics and procedures before or immediately after taking office.
“In order to address this concern as well as to address the many concerns of federal parastatals, agencies and commissions on issues relating to good corporate governance practices, the FMS led the institutionalization of the integration program for members of governing boards and directors general of the federal public service upon their appointment.
“It is in the above context that this initiation takes place.
“Thus, members can better understand their roles, key responsibilities and the behavior expected of them in their respective organizations, both as individuals and as part of the collective responsibility of the board.
“And how they can effectively help promote good corporate governance practices in agencies,” Arabi said.
“We are part of the official German development cooperation and are therefore funded by the German government.
“We have established more than 100 offices around the world and have been active in Nigeria for 20 years now.
“The objective of our work in Nigeria lies in promoting democratic governance and the rule of law and in reforming the security sector,” Peran said.