1 There is no doubt that this year’s birthday anniversary is going to be the very last anniversary Boss Mustapha would be celebrating as the 19th Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) under President Muhammadu Buhari administration which will be ending exactly on May 29, 2023.
2 However, it is important that I highlight the intellectual idea that has become the guiding principles for the SGF upon his assumption of office as the 19th Chief Scribe of the nation on November 1st, 2017.
4 As the 19th Secretary to the Government of the Federation and one of the longest serving Chief Scribes of the nation, Boss Mustapha would go down in history as an untainted public servant who has never compromised his principles, beliefs and ethics of service for political correctness or parochial interest.
5 Rather, he has served with due diligence and honesty; puting the interest of the nation first before any other consideration.
6 At this point, let me share little ideas about the Office of the SGF. According to Mustapha, “The office provides the operational basis for the presidency. Technically, we provide the President with the secretariat to function efficiently and effectively.”
7 “We also provide advisory support to the presidency and government institutions. The office is structured in such a way that you have to coordinate the activities of government from a wide perspective, because you are dealing with agencies of government, ministries, or institutions, etc. So, it’s really a mixture of a lot of things.”
8 Though a politician by calling, but high moral standards, probity and fairness to all people has been his guiding principles. These are the qualities that has endeared him to the heart of many Nigerians as one of the most stable and uncontroversial personality of the Buhari administration.
9 Interestingly, since his appointment, he has never been found wanting in the discharge of his duties as there has been no covert or obvert case of corruption, abuse of office, dereliction of duties and misdirection of state’s agenda or embezzlement of all sorts that have been found against him or his office before the prying eyes of the various anti-graft agencies.
10 Instead, the office has served as the coordinating and monitoring room for the effective and smooth running of state’s affairs and the delivering of services to the people.
11 Undoubtedly, the Office of the SGF been a frontline advisor institution to the President and which has the mandate to coordinate government policies, monitor and ensure full implementation of those policies, programmes and projects has lived above boards in the last six years.
12 We saw how a stable personality in the person of Boss Mustapha has stabilized the act and science of governance under the Buhari Presidency.
13 The executive and the legislative arms of government now work together for the interest of Nigerians without undermining each other or shirking their responsibilities.
14 Affirmatively, Boss Mustapha is one man who has defiled the trappings and egregiousities of office which had caused the downfall of many in their public outings.
15 Probably, this is due to the fact that he sees public service as a call to serve humanity and not the direct opposite.
16 Intrinsically, Boss Mustapha remains one of the very few chief scribes of the nation who has never travelled outside the country for any purpose even when there are compelling reasons to do so since his appointment; instead, he has remained dutifully committed to the task of bridging the gab between policy pronouncements and policy implementation by ensuring effective monitoring, coordination and implementation of government policies, programmes and projects to the admiration of many.
17 Today, because of the effectiveness of the 19th SGF, the Buhari administration is never in lack of transformative policies that are capable of changing the lives and fortunes of Nigerians as there are many programmes and projects of the administration scattered all across the country.
18 Nonetheless, one interesting hallmark of the Boss Mustapha’s Secretaryship is the fact that files don’t get trapped in his office as files are timely and frequently treated and acted upon in the best interest of the nation.
19 Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that any government can make policy but the freedom to choose what to believe lies with the people; especially in the ongoing battle between the real news and the fake news.
20 This is why the recent launch of the Presidential Delivery Tracks (PDT) and Central Delivery Coordinating Unit (CDCU) website to track and monitor government projects across the country is quite commendable.
21 The PDT/CDCU App is a co-creation platform that aims to connect the citizens to governance in Nigeria by increasing citizens’ access to the Federal Government‘s Presidential priority policies, programmes, and projects.
22 “The goal of the PDT/CDCU according to report is to promote transparency and expand access to reporting on presidential priority policies, programmes and projects.
23 This is by incorporating citizens as the third layer of reporting to offer vital information that will facilitate effective service delivery.
24 Over the last two years, the PDT/CDCU had successfully driven FG’s delivery initiative to incorporate a systematic feedback mechanism from the citizens into the design and operationalisation of its Performance Management System.
25 “This is in recognition of the critical roles of the citizens in promoting inclusive and citizen-centered governance.”
26 Accordingly, the nine thematic areas or priority areas of the administration includes;
27 1. To Stabilise the Macroeconomy.
2. To Achieve Agriculture and Food Security.
3. To Ensure Energy Sufficiency in Power and Petroleum Products.
4. To Improve Transportation and other Infrastructure.
5. To Drive Industrialisation focusing on SMEs.
6. To Improve Health, Education and Productivity of Nigerians.
7. To Enhance Social Inclusion and reduce poverty.
8. To Fight Corruption and improve Governance.
9. To Provide Security for all citizens.
28 This is why the PDT/CDCU objectives of developing the ‘Citizens App’ and the website is most commendable because it would make it possible for citizens to report accurately and provide feedback on the implementation of government’s programmes and projects within their localities.
29 However, it is right to state that apart from his primary responsibility as the Chief Scribe of the nation, Boss Mustapha is also the Secretary to the highest policy-making body in Nigeria which is the Federal Executive Council as well as the highest advisory body in the country which is the National Council of State. Other responsibilities given to him by Mr. President includes;
30 1, Chairman, Ajaokuta Presidential Implementation Committee,
31 2, Co-Chairman of the Nigeria Digital Identity for Development Ecosystem Project,
33 4, Chairman, 15-man Inter-Ministerial Committee to organize the 62nd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria
34 5, Among others.
35 In all these, Boss Mustapha has performed creditably well as the key words that keep resonating in all his engagements are excellence services, hardworks and patriotism. For Example, look at the excellent management of the Covid-19 pandemic by the PSC under his watch.
36 From just two molecular laboratories and 500 daily testing capacity with inadequate manpower and facilities, the PSC successfully waged the war on Covid-19 with minimal casualties, averted national calamity, upgraded and repositioned our healthcare system and infrastructures to an optimal level.
37 In the words of the SGF, “When we started, there were only two laboratories that could do COVID-19 test. But, today to the glory of God, it’s notching up to about 150 or more; it’s rising on a daily basis, both from the private sector and the public sector. A lot of isolation centers have been built. Our knowledge and our ability of management have also improved, because we are getting to understand it better, and our clinicians getting to know the modelling and how to provide care for people has improved tremendously.”
38 This is even as the World Health Organisation has ranked the country’s response to Covid-19 as the fourth most successful in the World.
39 In the same vein, a normalcy index published by The Economist Magazine based in the United Kingdom also ranked Nigeria as fourth on the list of countries whose responses to the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted to normalcy.
40 These are not just mere eulogies, but the outcome of a careful and calculated studies of the various responses by different nations of the globe.
41 Therefore, there is no better way to celebrate the 66th birthday anniversary of the nation’s Chief Scribe than to sincerely give him a pat on the back as well as encouraging him to sustain the momentum in the remaining lifespan of the Buhari administration because the best reward for good governance is more services.
42 At this juncture, I say Happy Birthday to you Sir!
“Comrade Edwin Uhara is A UN-trained Negotiator and APC Chieftain based in Abuja”