Why FG revived inter-governmental affairs' standing committee
In a bid to increase efficiency and accountability, the Federal Government has inaugurated a permanent standing committee on Inter- Governmental Affairs under the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF). Although the committee had existed under the defunct Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, but the ministry was scrapped at the inception of the current administration in 2015. Two departments of the ministry, special duties as well as states and local governments affairs was transferred to the office of the SGF. The move made the committee dormant.
While speaking at the unveiling of the committee in Abuja, the SGF, Boss Mustafa, said his office and that of Forum of Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs forum) would examine federal and state governments’ operations within the context of the nation’s federal system.
Mustafa said the Inter-Governmental Affairs Committee provides avenue for regular interface by all tiers of government, adding, “They evaluate, share ideas and experiences on specific policies, programmes, projects, and activities of the 3-tiers of government with a view to creating the much needed coordination and synergy in our collective desire to actualize our goals of improving the quality of service delivery to our people.”
He said the government considered it appropriate to resuscitate and re-establish the committee to serve that critical role in the coordination and implementation of national policies and programmes. He noted that in reconstituting the committee, his office deemed it necessary to expand the scope of the membership by bringing in all relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that have direct bearing on activities of the states and local governments.
Mustapha stated: “We also brought in Secretaries to the State Governments, one each from all the six geo-political zones, the Director-General of Governors’ Forum and the Secretary-General of ALGON to create a broad-based platform for decision-making and implementation by the committee.”
He itemised some of the terms of reference of the committee to include serving as the coordinating link in the activities of the 3-tiers of government in the fulfillment of their statutory obligations and to remove all areas of frictions in the operation of the three.