Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, has launched the Cabinet Affairs Handbook to guide Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the preparation of documents for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and other advisory councils.
The handbook is a 98-page document broken into six chapters and annexes. It enunciates the operations of FEC, the types, structure and contents of council documents and enactment of bills and legislation, among others.
The operation manual was launched yesterday by the SGF supported by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winnifred Oyo-Ita and the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr Tukur Bello Ingawa.
It was unveiled during the maiden meeting of Heads/Permanent Secretaries of Cabinet Affairs Offices at federal and state levels, held at the State House, Abuja.
Also, three former permanent secretaries of the Cabinet Affairs Office were presented with award of honour in recognition of their excellent performance in that office.
They were Ambassador John Alhassan Gana, Dr. Roy Ugo, and Mrs Georgina Ehuoria.
Mustapha lauded the Cabinet Affairs Office, describing it as the strategic organ responsible for ensuring coordination in policy development and tracking the implementation of the policies of governments at all levels.
The Cabinet Affairs Office is under the Office of the SGF and it provides technical assistance to all meetings of FEC, the Council of State and the Police Council, by processing council memoranda and necessary documents for consideration.
The cabinet affairs office has undergone phenomenal changes from the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1914 to the establishment of the Nigerian Secretariat by Sir Hugh Clifford between 1919-1925, who placed it under the direct control of the Chief Secretary to Government.
Mustapha said that deliberate efforts should be made in support of nationwide progress towards the emergence of the cabinet offices as the engine room at the centre of government at all levels.
In his keynote address, the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Babatunde Lawal, stressed that the role of Cabinet Affairs Offices was not merely to provide administrative support for councils, but to help define and deliver government objectives and achieve socio-economic inclusion for all citizens across the three tiers of government.