By Chimezie Godfrey
The meeting held on Friday in Abuja was the first virtual gathering of the Forum for the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs).
Mustapha in his remark stressed that the essence of the meeting was to ensure effective interaction between the federal and state governments on issues of national importance.
He said,”It is with delight that I welcome us all to the first virtual meeting of the Forum of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) with Secretaries to State Governments (SSG). I also wish to congratulate those of us that have been left to continue with the good work we are doing in our various states.
“For the new members, I warmly welcome you and look forward to a harmonious working relationship for the benefit of our principals and most importantly the generality of Nigerian people. This platform is to ensure effective interaction between the Federal and State governments to discuss issues of national importance especially cascading and synchronizing the policies, programmes and agenda of the Federal Government to sub-national levels.
“As you may be aware, the Forum aims at engendering understanding, sharing of ideas, experiences and streamlining of policies at both Federal and State levels for enhanced National growth and development.”
He decried the fact that poverty has continued in the land unabated despite efforts by governments at various levels.
“This situation is not abating in spite of the various efforts of government at all levels.
“Ineffective coordination between and within various levels of government have been long implicated as a reason for not too visible performance.
“It is, therefore, necessary to fill gaps, block leakages, remove overlaps and increase collaboration and partnerships between the Federal and State Governments through the office of SSGs so that we have a really National effort at tackling poverty in the country,” he said.
Mustapha pointed out that a number of such federal and state level interactions exist but because they are sectorally based and do not have the holistic view that their offices can provide, make them lose optimization of their efforts.
He said that at the Federal level, the creation of a Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is their effort to try to harmonise and coordinate all federal level policies, programmes and initiatives that addresses poverty.
“You would all agree that this would go a long way in synchronizing our collective efforts.
“This extra-ordinary meeting was, therefore, convened at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is to start strengthening our interactions and synergy in our collective efforts to eradicate poverty in the Country.
“In our preparation for this meeting, we had requested for the status of poverty eradication programmes in all your states and unfortunately we only received responses from sixteen states.
“These information, which have been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development are very necessary to enhance its coordination efforts.
“I wish to, therefore, implore all to respond to such information requests and in a timely manner,” the SGF stressed.