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FG inaugurates 22-man Transition Council for seamless handover of power

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
15 February 2023   |   3:05 pm
The Federal Government has inaugurated a 22-man Transition Council to facilitate and manage the 2023 Presidential Transition Programme and make the transition process seamless for the incoming President and his team.

Boss Mustapha briefs State House press corps on outcome of meeting between Buhari and the NASS leadership.

*As Council holds inaugural meeting

The Federal Government has inaugurated a 22-man Transition Council to facilitate and manage the 2023 Presidential Transition Programme and make the transition process seamless for the incoming President and his team.

The council headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, will amongst other things, facilitate the handing over process by the current President to the President-elect; organize the security of the President-elect and the Vice President-elect, including coordination of security briefings on the nation’s post-election security matters.

The Council will also co-ordinate the briefings of the President-elect by relevant public officers; facilitate communication between the outgoing President and the President-elect; prepare the programme and organize the swearing-in ceremony among others.

Consequently, following the directive of the President, the Council has convened its inaugural meeting, thereby kick-starting the transition process across all levels of government in line with Executive Order No. 14 of 2023.

Inaugurating the council on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, the SGF said that the inauguration marked another historic moment for the administration, demonstrating its commitment to strengthening key governance institutions that support our democratic process.

He noted that President Buhari, in furtherance of his commitment to allow a fair and credible electoral process and hand over the reins of power to the next President in May, signed Executive Order No. 14 of 2023 on the facilitation and management of Presidential transition, which provides the legal framework for a seamless transition of power from one administration to another.

Boss Mustapha observed that though the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria sets out the overarching framework for the assumption of office of the President, “this is the first time in our history as a country that the federal government of Nigeria will be establishing a detailed process for managing Presidential transitions of government at the federal level adding that the President expects that the transition process will be replicated across States Government.”

Adding: “In line with the Executive Order No. 14 of 2023, the Council is charged with the responsibility to organize for the necessary facilities including fully furnished office and personnel for the President-elect and his or her transition team, carry out any other activity necessary to ensure optimal performance of the functions of the President under the Constitution and perform any other function assigned to it under the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The Council shall have all powers necessary for the execution of its functions under this Executive Order and shall conduct its business in line with national ethics as espoused in Section 23 of the Constitution. Except as otherwise provided in the Executive Order, the Council may determine its own procedure. The activities of this Council will be presented to Mr President in my weekly briefings”.

The SGF in line with Executive Order No.14, appointed the Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination, Dr Habiba Lawal, as the Secretary of the Presidential Transition Council, adding that she is by the Executive Order, to be known as the Federal Transition Coordinator.

He enjoined members of the council to put in even more effort in ensuring the next administration receives every support needed to make an early and quick start.

He said: “In a few months, it will be eight years that the Buhari administration has been in power. Within this period, we have made significant strides in advancing the fortunes of our nation, we have also learnt lessons that will be useful for the incoming administration and it is on the strength of this trajectory, our achievements must be preserved.

“The reforms that enabled those achievements must, therefore, be documented and communicated in clear terms, so the incoming administration understands what we have done, the basis of our decisions, what we achieved and the opportunities for continuity.

“I commit to supporting you with all that you may require to deliver on your responsibilities as members of this Council. We must bear in mind that the success of the next administration determines the progress of this great nation.

“The nation is therefore counting on us. I trust we will make this administration and the entire nation proud. On this note, I hereby, on behalf of the President, inaugurate the Presidential Transition.

“It is with great delight and honour therefore that I am carrying out the onerous task of inaugurating the Presidential Transition Council, on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he added.

According to him, the Council has the following membership: Secretary to the Government of the Federation – Chairperson, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries and offices responsible for Defence, Interior, Budget and National Planning and Foreign Affairs.

Others are, Information and Culture, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Cabinet Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), General Services, OSGF

Economic and Political Affairs, OSGF, State House, National Security Adviser

Chief of Defence Staff, Inspector-General of Police, Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Director General, State Security Services, Clerk of the National Assembly Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; and, two representatives, to be nominated by the President-elect.

Responding on behalf of the members, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, said that the decision of the president to establish the transition Council before the presidential election is not only proactive but selfless and very noble and will no doubt remain as one of his legacies.

She assured me that the council will leave no stone unturned in facilitating the smooth transition of governance.