The Federal Government has inaugurated a standing committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
Mustapha said the committee is not new as it had existed under the defunct Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
He noted that following the scrapping of the ministry at the inception of the present administration in 2015, two departments of the ministry, namely, Special Duties as well as States and Local Governments Affairs, were transferred to the Office of the SGF, while the committee became dormant.
Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ecological Fund Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal, said while the SGF/SSGs Forum examines Federal and state governments’ operations within the context of the Federal system of government, the Inter-Governmental Affairs Committee provides avenue for regular interface among all tiers of government.
He said: “They evaluate, share ideas and experiences on specific policies, programmes, projects and activities of the three tiers of government with a view to creating the much-needed coordination and synergy in our collective desire to actualise our goals of improving the quality of service delivery to our people.
“We considered it appropriate to resuscitate and re-establish the committee to serve this critical role in the coordination and implementation of our national policies and programmes.
“In reconstituting the committee, we deemed it necessary to expand the scope of the membership by bringing all relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that have direct bearing on activities of the states and local governments.
“We also brought SSGs, one each from all the six geo-politic zones, the Director General of Governors’ Forum and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) to create a broad-based platform for decision making and implementation by the Committee.”
The membership, he said, include the SGF as Chairman; members include the Permanent Secretary (PEAO-OSGF), Permanent Secretary (Special Duties-OSGF), Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Justice), Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Finance) and Permanent Secretary (Budget and Planning).
Other members are: the Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Health), Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Education), Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Agriculture), Permanent Secretary (Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry Niger Delta) and Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports).
Also, in the committee are: Permanent Secretary (Information and Culture), Permanent Secretary (Women Affairs), SSAP (Sustainable Development Goals), SAP (Social Investment), Director General (Governors’ Forum) and Secretary General (ALGON).
It also included the SSG, Akwa Ibom State; SSG, Ebonyi State; SSG, Ekiti State; SSG, Gombe State; SSG, Kaduna State and SSG, Plateau State, while Dthe irector (S and LG/OSGF) will serve as Secretary of the committee.
The committee, Mustapha said, can co-opt any MDA it considers necessary in carrying out its responsibilities.
He added that the terms of reference of the committee are: “To serve as the coordinating link in the activities of the three tiers of government in the fulfilment of their statutory obligations.
“To serve as the coordinating link in the activities of the three tiers of government in the fulfilment of their statutory obligations.
“To remove all areas of friction in the operations of the three tiers of government.
“To make appropriate policy inputs and recommendations on cross-cutting activities of the three tiers of government.
“To examine and take appropriate actions on petitions and complaints brought before it by the three tiers of government.
“To promote a harmonious fiscal federalism between the three tiers of governments, and
“To handle issues as may arise or referred to it from time to time.”
The SGF urged the committee members to see their appointment as a patriotic call to duty devoid of partisanship.
“I appeal to you all to put in your best and give your maximum cooperation to ensure the success of the committee in the overall interest of our dear Country,” he said.