The newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume on Wednesday assumed duty in his office as 21st SGF in Nigeria, hours after he was sworn in by the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Akume who was accompanied by the former Governors of Kebbi and Jigawa states, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Mohammed Badaru respectively was received by senior officials and staff in the SGF office.
He received a handover note from the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, including a report from the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the investigation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, the former acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Recall that Magu was appointed in November 2015 as acting chairman of the commission by President Muhammadu Buhari. On July 6, 2020, Magu was removed as the Chairman of the EFCC in an acting capacity over fraud allegations.
The former governor of Benue, who noted that the SGF office is a sensitive office, appealed for the cooperation of the staff while pledging to do his best in the interest of the nation in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of government policies and programmes in assisting the President to deliver on his mandate.
Akume held other political offices as a two-time elected Governor of Benue State from 1999 to 2003, re-elected in 2003 to 2007.
He was also appointed as Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, in former President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government.
He commended the former SGF, Boss Mustapha for the smooth transition programmes handled by him, stressing that he would try all he could to continue to do his best from where the former SGF had stopped.
“We will do our best to the interest of the country, I have an open door policy and we would continue to do our best, starting from where you have stopped.
Akume also appreciated President Bola Tinubu for giving him such a great opportunity to serve his fatherland, while praying for the entire nation.
Boss Mustapha in his speech before formally handover the affairs office of the SGF to Akume, drew his attention to some pending issues such as the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the investigation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, the former Acting Chairman of the EFCC,
He noted that the SGF office is a challenging one, especially as it is saddled with the responsibility of being the Secretariat to the President and, by extension, advising the Government on broad policy matters across the nation’s political, social and economic milieu.
He said: “It is my great pleasure to be here today to formally hand over the affairs of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to His Excellency Distinguished Senator (Dr) George Akume, the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, after serving the nation to the best of my ability for five and half years.
“I want to use this opportunity to brief you on the activities and functions of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, which is the arm of the Presidency that is charged with the responsibility for ensuring effective coordination and monitoring the implementation of approved Government policies and programmes,” he said.
Mustapha listed some of the pending issues including a report of the inter-ministerial committee to consider pending bilateral agreements between the Federal Government and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Others were the report of the presidential committee on the review of the number and strategy for resourcing Nigeria’s diplomatic missions worldwide, and the approval of the recommendations of the reviewed white paper on the presidential committee on the restructuring/rationalisation of Federal Government parastatals, agencies and commissions.
Other reports, the former SGF wanted Akume to look into and advise the government were; Ama Pepple’s report on the new agencies created after the Oronsaye report, which white paper was produced by the Ebele Okeke committee, a report on the presidential implementation committee of the white paper on the commission of inquiry into the alienation of federal government landed property.
Report of the presidential steering committee, formerly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19; implementation committee on special detainees linked to Boko Haram insurgency.
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