By Yakubu Aliyu
President Bola Tinubu has approved the deployment of National Agency for Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and 10 other government institutions to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The other agencies also moved under the SGF supervision include the Nigerian Extractive industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the infrastructure concession regulatory commission (ICRC), the Fiscal Responsibilities Commission (FRC), National Quality Council (NQC), the National Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (N-HYPADEC) and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR).
Others include the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), the Border Community Development Agency (BDCA), the National Boundary Commission (NBC), the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Galaxy Backbone Limited.
Before their deployment to the office of the SGF, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), was placed under the Presidency, while the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), was domiciled under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Segun Imohiosen, Head Media and Communications, office of the SGF, who confirmed the development, said “it is a reflection of the important roles of the office.”
“Yes, some of these institutions are new additions to the office of the SGF, which signals the roles and importance President Bola Tinubu attaches to the office based on the unquestionable competence of Senator George Akume,” Imohiosen added.
He, however, could not give further implications of the new development for the office of the SGF and the effective date of their deployment.
Abiodun Ogunmefun , the Director, Planning Research and Statistics, said the development had further made the office of the SGF more powerful and more capable of driving the economy and President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
He, however, noted that some of the agencies under the SGF had been there for the past two years.
“When an agency has issues that are more than the strength of the supervising Ministry, they are temporarily transferred to the SGF office pending when those issues are resolved
“Some of the agencies you are seeing here come under those challenges”, he said.
PDM gathered that the move is to strengthen administrative processes of the government, in line with the outcome of recent ministerial retreat, which took place in early November and convened by President Tinubu.
The retreat had initiated several policies and programmes, including the introduction of key performance indicators for Miniseries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
As contained in the document, the office of the SGF was assigned to coordinate government activities as the main administrative hub, ensure the early submission of memos to the cabinet office ahead of time, (latest by Wednesday) for analysis with Permanent Secretaries before the Federal Executive Council meetings on Mondays.
The retreats also targeted improved alignment of the budget for the MDAs to the President’s vision, strategic goals, and relevant KPIs. Formulate a standardised checklist detailing appointment criteria for ministers and heads of agencies.
Others include allowing Ministers presenting memoranda at FEC to be accompanied by their permanent secretaries to hasten information flow.
The government also established mechanisms for evaluating the efficiency of previous intervention programs and conducting proper pre- and post-project assessments to determine the efficacy of the programs.
To achieve the objectives the office of the SGF which serves as the administrative hub for policy making, was assigned to manage the Cabinet office, the Ecological Projects office, General Services office, the Political and Economic Affairs office, as well as the Special Duties office SSO.
The SGF office had the mandate to coordinate the activities of the federal government as well as monitor the execution of government policies
The office had hitherto served as the frontline advisory institution of the presidency; it drives policy formulation, harmonization, and implementation; and monitors Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
Prior to the new regime, agencies domiciled in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, include the National Commission for Refugees (NCR), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), the National Council for the Control of Aids ( NACA) and the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission
Others include the National poverty eradication program, Federal Road Safety Corps (FIRS), the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The SGF also had the National Hajj Commission (NHCN), the Nigeria Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF).the Nigeria National Merit Award (NMMA), the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The OSGF comprises five (5) Offices headed by Permanent Secretaries as well as directly responsible for the supervision of sixteen (16) Agencies domiciled in the Presidency.
They include General Services Office (GSO); the Cabinet Affairs Office (CAO); the Political and Economic Affairs Office (PEAO); the Special Services Office (SSO); and the Ecological Projects Office (EPO).
The OSGF also has other statutory offices, including Legal Unit; Internal Audit Unit; the Press and Information Unit; the Resident Federal Auditor, as well as the Central Delivery and Coordinating Unit;
It was also gathered that the office, with a staff strength of about 1,628 civil servants, is designed to handle issues relating to political office holders, including Mr. President and the Vice President.
The main activities conclude the Coordination of policy designs and formulation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies for approval by Government; serve as the Secretariat to the Council of State, the Federal Executive Council, Security Council and other Constitutional Councils which are chaired by the President; as well as oordinate the activities of Ministries and Government Agencies as well as monitor the implementation of Government decisions, policies and programmes;
It also handled constitutional, political, and socio-economic matters as may be referred to the presidency; serve as the chief adviser to Mr. President and the Vice President on policy issues; provide administrative support services for Administrative Tribunals, Commissions and Panels of Enquiry; as well as coordinates public safety matters;
Other issues handled by the office of the SGF include those dealing with the affairs of former Heads of State and Presidents/Protocol Matters; processing of communication and documentation, and conveying the directive of the President
The office also process and grant government approval for overseas tours, inter-governmental meetings, conferences and medical Check-up/ treatment for Public Officers, Members of the Judiciary, Chairman and Members of Statutory Commissions for approval by the President; process appointments to the Headship of Statutory Bodies, Commissions and Agencies by the President and matters relating to conditions of service of Political Office Holders
The SGF also liaises with Secretaries to State Governments and provides office accommodation and support services for Political Office Holders.
Up until now, the agencies within the purview of the OSGF were 16, while the Office administratively interfaces with the 14 bodies.
The SGF office serves as the administrative nerve center of federal government activities, saddled with the responsibility of being the Secretariat to the President and, by extension, advising the Government on broad policy matters across the nation’s political, social and economic milieu.