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Monstrous powers of the SGF

An expose on the powers and influence of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF!  It is revealing and instructive

By Jide Ajani, Deputy Editor

Myopia is in the air. Nigerians, wont to pay lip service to the real essence of governance, are at it again. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has zoned the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to the South-East geo-political zone.

Yet, in doing that, many do not see the importance and the very influential role such an office and its occupier would play in moving the country forward.  But ask any politician why he is seeking public office and he throws the answer in your face: To serve the people.  What he actually means is that he wants to seek financial, political and psychological gratification.

For instance, how else would anybody influence policy than when his responsibility is to “ensure the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes for the overall development of the country”.

*From right, President Goodluck Jonathan; VP, Alhaji Namadi Sambo; SGF, Yayale Ahmed and Mr. Steve Orasanye, ex-Head of Service.

The responsibilities of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, OSGF, are enormous. Specifically the office undertakes the following responsibilities:-

i) Coordinating policy design and formulation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies for approval by Government;
ii) Serving as Secretary to the Council of State, the Federal Executive Council and other
Constitutional Councils, which are chaired by the President;
iii) Coordinating the activities of Ministries and Government Agencies on the implementation of Government decisions, policies and programmes
iv) Dealing with constitutional, political and socio-economic matters as may be referred to the Presidency;
v) Administrative Tribunals, Commissions and Panels of Enquiry; vi) Coordinating national security and public safety matters;
vii) National Honours Award
viii) Prerogative of Mercy
ix) Protocol Matters
x) Channeling of papers and directives of the President;
xi) Processing and granting Government approval for Overseas Tours, Intergovernmental Meetings/Conferences, medical check-up/treatment by Public Officers;
xii) Processing requests for Overseas Duty Tours/Conferences including medical check-up/treatment abroad for members of the Judiciary, Chairmen and Members of Statutory Commissions/Bodies for approval by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
xiii) Coordinating the appointments to Headship of Statutory Bodies, Commissions and Agencies by the President;
xiv) Dealing with matters relating to conditions of service of political office holders;
xv) Intergovernmental Affairs and relations with State and Local Governments;
xvi) Liaison with Secretaries to State Governments;
xvii) Allocation of office accommodation to Political Office Holders. So, if an individual is eminently placed to coordinate and handle all these, should he not be considered a very important and influential individual? But that is not all that he does. In terms of the structure of that office, there is more. In discharging the aforementioned responsibilities, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is structured into the following Offices, each headed by a Permanent Secretary.  There are six of such offices:
*Cabinet Secretariat;
*General Services Office;
*Political Affairs Office;
*Economic Affairs Office;
*Special Services Office;
*Special Duties Office;

Then there is the supervisory roles that have also been lumped together in that office and the list is legion. The following Parastatals/Agencies are supervised by the Office of the SGF:
i) Ecological Fund
ii) National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)
iii) National Economic Intelligence Committee
iv) Presidential Advisory Council
v) Code of Conduct Tribunal
vi) Code of Conduct Bureau
vii) Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency
viii) National Hospital
ix) Federal Road Safety Commission
x) National Commission for Refugees
xi) Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVS)
xii)Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
xiii) South-South Health Care Programme
xiv) National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA)
xv) National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC)
xvi) Ministry of Special Duties
xvii) Secretariat of the Presidential Council (PAC)
xviii) Secretariat of the Presidential Committee on National Identification Systems, Consumer Credit and Outsourcing initiative
xix) Galaxy backbone
xx) NIMC
xxi) Christian Pilgrims Commission
xxii) National Hajj Commission

In influencing policy and coordinating same, the SGF is imbued with enormous powers which naturally sets the tone and direction of any administration in a manner which should affect, positively, the lives of the people of the country but more specifically, the lives of the people of the zone from whence cometh the occupier of that office.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.