THE Federal Government has told the governing boards of its parastatals, agencies and commissions that they lack powers to suspend or remove a Chief Executive appointed by the President without due process.
This is coming on the heels of the controversy that has continued to trail the suspension of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf, by its board.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, made the clarification on Monday in Abuja, warning the chairmen of the boards not to interfere in the administration of the agencies.
He insisted that the board membership was a privilege and a part-time appointment.
He was speaking at the induction programme for governing board members of some parastatal agencies, including federal universities and medical centres, organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) and Partnership to Engage, Learn and Reform (PERL) of the Department for International Development (DFID).
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Mustapha said the governing boards were expected to provide policy direction and implementation of programmes for the achievement of the mandates of the agencies.
He noted that the chairmen should rather report to their ministries through the permanent secretaries for effectiveness, guidance and policy coordination, adding that most governing boards were yet to clearly understand their roles in the corporate governance of the organisations.
“Some of the issues that have become recurring decimals are undue interference by board chairmen in the day to day activities of the respective agencies, blatant disregard for extant regulations guiding and restricting of board meetings; issuing directives to staff without recourse to the chief executive officer, thereby undermining the authority and creating disharmony among personnel.
“Imposing disciplinary measures on chief executives without recourse to laid down procedure and approval from supervision authorities and using the labour unions as agents of distraction in the parastatals, among others.
“We should desist from these actions and utterances that continue to ridicule the government,” Mustapha said.
He told the board members to take their appointments seriously, warning that the government would not hesitate to enforce disciplinary actions on anyone who went contrary to the terms of the appointment.
Earlier, the Acting Director-General of the BPSR, Mr Dasuki Arabi, said the induction was timely.
He said the objective of the induction was to enable board members to understand their roles and responsibilities and the behaviours required of them.
He said that while top-level federal civil servants like the permanent secretaries grow through the federal civil service and acquire wide public service knowledge and experiences in the conduct of government businesses, most CEOs and governing board members of federal agencies, to some extent, lack such knowledge and experience.
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