The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, OSGF, has promised to assist ministers in focusing on their mandates to attain the visions of President Muhammadu Buhari in the pursuit of his nine priority areas.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha who made the promise in his ‘Reflection on Ministerial Performance’ at the ministerial performance review retreat in Abuja, also promised to assist all ministries scale their challenges.
Mustapha noted that ministers and their ministries have achieved some level of progress in executing the nine priority areas even though a lot needs to be done in order to achieve the set target of the government.
“As we reflect on our performance over the last one year, it is interesting and quite informative to note the enormous work and progress that Ministers and their Ministries have made in the pursuit of the Administration’s Nine Priorities, and fulfillment of the mandates and performance bonds they signed upon assumption of office last year.
“As shown in the presentation of the score card of ministries, much progress has been made on several fronts and this is commendable, but a lot more needs to be done in meeting our set targets. Several Ministries have made significant strides in the pursuit of their objectives and we shall take steps towards supporting them to do more.
“Some others have been challenged by a number of factors and we will take steps towards addressing these challenges and supporting them,” the SGF observed.
He explained that the challenges, such as the need to collaborate at the priority area level and avoiding the debilitating effects of working in silos, have hampered speed, efficiency, effective delivery, and in several instances added to and increased the cost of running the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
He canvassed support for government to work in a seamless manner and ensure that inter-agency collaboration becomes the norm, rather than the exception.
“It is our collective task to maximize the opportunities, mitigate and minimize the challenges in order that we can make rapid progress going forward,” said Mustapha.
The SGF said government was mindful of the challenge brought by the impacts of COVID-19 which had an adverse effect on nations across the globe including Nigeria. “Several projects have either slowed down, and in some cases, have stalled altogether as a result of this pandemic,” said Mustapha even as he expressed optimism that the country will weather the storm and indeed actively seek and exploit the opportunities that it presents.
“The Economic Sustainability Plan which was presented by Mr. Vice President is one of the ways the government has responded towards cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low revenues which have affected the timely release of funds, especially for the implementation of capital projects have been repeatedly mentioned as one of the major constraints to the implementation of MDA’s programmes and projects. We will not rest on our oars in seeking other alternative sources to raise funds for projects beyond revenue from government,” he promised.
Mustapha identified inadequate capacity in the Public Service as a critical challenge that must be addressed and thanked the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for striving to improve capacity and productivity.
The SGF admitted that there is need for more home grown solutions to solve social and economic challenges facing Nigerians by adapting what has worked in other climes
“In closing, let me assure all Ministries that the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will continue to support Ministers and their Ministries on prioritization of initiatives to focus on key projects and ensure alignment to Mr. President’s overall objectives, help to outline clearly defined Key Performance Indicators for effective tracking and monitoring, as well as institute a real-time Performance Management System to facilitate delivery on Projects, Programmes and Policies.
“On my part, I am committed to this and I call on all of us to rise to this challenge. We would not relent until we achieve the aspirations of Mr. President’s agenda for Nigeria, which is anchored on the nine priorities of government,” Mustapha added.