New circular warns ministers against arbitrary removal of CEOs of parastatals, others

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Boss Mustapha
Boss Mustapha
President Muhammadu Buhari through office of the secretary to the government of federation, SGF, has expressed concern over the increasing arbitrary removal of chief executives of government’s agencies, parastatals and departments.
To curb the trend, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, has issued new directives for removing a serving chief executives
The directives were contained in a circular dated May 19, 2020, which was copied to the chief of staff to the president; deputy chief of staff to the president; ministers/ministers of State; dead of the Civil Service of the federation; chairmen of Commissions/Extra-Ministerial Departments; permanent secretaries and the National Security Adviser.
The circular was also sen to special advisers/senior special assistant, chief of defence staff; service chiefs (Army, Navy , Air Force); governor, Central Bank of Nigeria; clerk of the National Assembly; chief registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria; secretary, National Judicial Council; secretary, Federal Judicial Service Commission; directors-general and chief executives of Parastatals/Agencies; auditor-general of the Federation and the accountant–general of the federation.
Entitled APPROVED DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE AGAINST CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PARASTATALS, AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS, the circular said: “Government has observed with concern, the arbitrary removal of Chief Executive Officers and its impact on stability and service delivery.
“Accordingly, Mr. President has approved the following streamlined procedure for the discipline of Chief Executive Officers of Government Parastatals, Agencies and Departments in accordance with the Public Service Rules (PSR).
According to the circular, “The following procedure shall  apply whenever a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is to be subjected to disciplinary action:
i.                    When an act bordering on Serious Misconduct against a Chief Executive Officer is reported, it shall be the duty of the supervising Minister through the Permanent Secretary to refer the matter to the Governing Board for necessary action in line with the relevant provisions of the Establishment Act and the principles guiding Chapters 3 and 16 of the Public Service Rules;
ii.                  The Board shall in line with due process, issue him/her a query requesting an explanation with respect to the specific act(s) complained about;
iii.                The Board shall forward its findings and recommendations to the Minister for further consideration and necessary action;
iv.                In the event that the Governing Board is the initiator of the report on the alleged serious misconduct, the Minister on the advice of the Permanent ensures that sub-paragraphs (ii)&(iii) above have been complied with, fully;
v.                  Where the Chief Executive is also the Chairman of the Board, the Minister, on the advice of the Permanent Secretary, shall apply the principles under sub-paragraph (ii) above;
vi.                The Minister after due consideration of the submission from the Board, shall on the advice of the Permanent Secretary, forward the Minister’s position along with the recommendations of the Board and the explanation of the Chief Executive Officer to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for processing to Mr. President, for a decision;
vii.              Upon receipt of the submission from the Minister, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) shall without delay cause an independent investigation and advise Mr. President on the appropriate course of action, including interdiction or suspension in accordance with principles guiding Sections 030405 and 030406 of the Public Service Rules, pending the outcome of the independent investigations;
viii.            It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to further advise Mr. President on the next course of action, based on the outcome of the final investigation;
ix.                In the absence of a Board, the Minister shall, with the support of the Permanent Secretary, function in that  capacity in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Administrative Guidelines; and
x.                  The Secretary to the Government of the Federation shall implement and/convey the approval and directives of Mr. President on every disciplinary case against the Chief Executive Officers in the Public Service.
The SGF disclosed that “Without prejudice to the content, it is expected that this Circular should be acted upon conjunctively with the provisions of the following extant Service Wide Circulars and publication:
i.                    Ref. SGF/OP/1/S.3/T.1/132-2nd August, 1999
Guidelines on the relationship between parastatals/State owned Companies and their Supervising Ministries;
ii.                  Ref. SGF/OP/1/S.3/T-23rd November, 2017
Re: Procedure for Appointing Chief Executives and Heads of Parastatals, Government – Owned Companies, Agencies and Institutions;
iii.                Ref. No. SGF.50/S.II/C.2/ 268-4th December, 2017
               End of tenure processes for Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Directors General/ Chief      Executive Officers of Parastatals, Agencies, Commissions and Government –owned Companies and Succession Guidelines; and
iv.                Federal Government Publication on Guidelines to Administrative Procedures in the Federal Public Service Chapter 7.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation said the procure as contained in the Circular “ shall serve as a mandatory guide and  all Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and any other Public Officer in similar supervisory position, are enjoined to strictly abide by its content.’’
Mustapha emphasised that “on no account shall a Minister of the Federal Republic unilaterally or arbitrarily remove a serving Chief Executive Officer, without recourse to the procedure contained in this Circular.”
– May 24, 2020 @ 11:02 GMT /
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