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Nigerian govt strips ministers of power to remove heads of agencies

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The Federal Government has stripped ministers of the power to relieve heads of agencies and parastatals under their ministries of their duties.

This was disclosed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha in a circular to the ministers.

The circular issued on Tuesday, is coming on the heels of the sacking of the Managing Director of the Power Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman.

According to the circular, ministers would no longer have the powers to sack the Chief Executive Officers of agencies unilaterally.

The circular also directed the ministers to refer erring heads of agencies to the governing boards as the starting point for any disciplinary action.

The circular, also disclosed that President Muhammafu Buhari has approved a new disciplinary procedure for the Chief Executive Officers in accordance with the Public Service Rules (PSR).

The circular reads: “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).

“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;

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“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; the board shall forward its findings and recommendations to the minister for further consideration and necessary action;

“The minister, after due consideration of the submission from the board, shall on the advice of the permanent secretary, forward the ministry’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.

“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.

The circular further added that it is the responsibility of the SGF to advise the president on the next course of action based on the outcome of the final investigation.

“This procedure 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.

“For emphasis, 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”, the SGF said.

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