Unhealthy relationship between CEOs of MDA’s, Governing Board members worrisome, unacceptable – SGF Mustapha

Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha has decried what he described as unhealthy and poor relationship existing between governing boards of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and their Chief Executive Officers in the country.

The SGF said it is unacceptable and that government will not allow it to continue as it affects smooth operations of public service in the country.

Mustapha made this known in Abuja at the induction programme for chairmen, governing board members and chief executives of parastatals, agencies and commissions inaugurated by the Federal Government on Monday.

The induction was organised for the Governing Boards of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Nigeria Electricity Management Agency (NEMSA).

According to him, “The observed poor and unhealthy relationships existing between Governing Boards and their Chief Executive Officers have become very worrisome to Government and are unacceptable.

“This could be avoided if Chairmen and Members of Governing Boards acquaint themselves with the instruments of establishment of their respective organisations, where the role and responsibilities of the Board are prescribed,” the SGF added.

Mustpha explained that the induction program was introduced to further deepen the CEOs understanding of the new policies, processes and procedures that have been introduced into the art of governance.

He added that it becomes more significant at this time, that the present administration is fully committed to the entrenchment of good and purposeful governance in the country.

On their responsibilities, the SGF reminded the participants at the event that, “Governing Boards and Chief Executive Officers of Federal Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions and others who run them must remain worthy of the trust reposed in them by their respective appointments. There must be a sustained and committed leadership that embodies the core values of equity, integrity and good governance. I therefore, enjoin you all to be worthy of your calling and strive to entrench these values in your organizations.

“I am assured that you will take this induction programme very seriously and leverage on the gains, as I affirm the unflinching support of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari in the discharge of your duties. I have directed that this programme should be fully participatory and as such, any of you could be invited to chair and lead a session without prior notice. It is therefore, necessary that you all remain to the end of the event as Government will not hesitate to enforce action on anyone found to have left this programme halfway.

“It is pertinent to mention that, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) has been directed to conduct an impact assessment on the Agencies whose Chairmen, Board Members and Chief Executives have been inducted.

“This is to enable Government assess the level of their compliance with Extant Rules and harmonious work relationship amongst Chairmen, Board Members and Chief Executives in their various Agencies and also ensure effective service delivery to the citizens.

“On the other hand, the core functions of the Chief Executive Officer include; the day-to-day administration of the organization, as well as providing strategic leadership for the management of the organization.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi said the induction is borne out of the observation that most members appointed to Governing Boards of federal agencies largely lack such knowledge and experience, hence the need to give them orientation.

He said, “You will agree with me that while top-level Federal Civil Servants, such as Permanent Secretaries grow through the Federal Civil Service and acquire extensive public service knowledge and experience in the conduct of government business, most members appointed to Governing Boards of Federal Agencies largely lack such knowledge and experience, this is because most of them are selected from outside the public service, and assume duties in their respective agencies with limited knowledge of the workings of the public service, corporate governance practices and conduct of government business.

“It has become imperative that the Federal Government looks at how to properly induct/orientate the newly appointed members of Governing Boards of Federal Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions on the ethics and procedures of the Federal Public Service before or after assumption of office.

“The failure to do this has proven costly to the country, sometimes with disastrous financial resources. In order to address this concern, as well as respond to the numerous concerns from Federal Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions on matters relating to good corporate governance practices,” Dr Arabi added.

By Aliyu Umar Aliyu