Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has warned federal ministers against unilaterally dismissing heads of Federal Government agencies and parastatals, saying they lack the power to do so.
Mustapha issued the warning in a circular issued on Tuesday, according to TheCable.
It was learnt that the circular was issued on the day Sale Mamman, Minister of Power, announced the removal of Usman Mohammed, managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
It is, however, unknown, if Mamman’s action triggered the SGF to issue the directive to the ministers.
According to the circular, the SGF said the “arbitrary removal” of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) had an impact on stability and service delivery of the agencies and parastatals.
He insisted that there is a standard protocol for ministers to report and initiate disciplinary proceedings against any erring head of the Federal Government-owned public agencies.
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The circular read: “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;
“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.”
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Mustapha stated 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.
The circular read: “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.
“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.”
Mamman had in December ordered Marilyn Amobi, Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited (NBET), to vacate her position.
He also ordered the indefinite suspension of Damilola Ogunbiyi, former managing director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
He was, however, overruled by President Muhammadu Buhari.