Former Presidential Aide Akande comments on duplication of Ministers’ portfolios

Posted by Timige, On 25 Aug, 2023 | Updated On 25 Aug, 2023 No Comments »


Former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, has urged President Bola Tinubu to urgently address duplication in some portfolios assigned to recently appointed Ministers.

According to the seasoned journalist, it was important for the President to clarify portfolios like Innovation and Social Development which could cause friction among the ministers if they are not urgently addressed.

He said this on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily breakfast show on Friday.

“We have the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation and we also have the Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy. That has to be sorted out,” Akande counselled.

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He also noted that it was important for the president to make that important clarification to prevent the possibility of clashes between the ministers.

The former presidential spokesperson then advised President Tinubu to make comprehensive civil service reforms as a priority agenda item in his government, stating “it’s a big deal.”

Akande also emphasized the significance of a performance-based evaluation system in government. He encouraged President Tinubu to develop clear measures for assessing civil servant performance and relating it to career advancement.

He said further “These Ministers serve st the pleasure of the president. He is the one that sets the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); he’s the one that determines, within the law, who should be in place” in the cabinet.

He emphasized that an effective and accountable civil service is the foundation of every successful administration. He claims that without public civil servants, ministries will have tremendous hurdles in carrying out their missions in the next administration.

On the tensions among Ministers in the Cabinet, Akande said “People come into the cabinet with pedigrees, some as former Governors, commissioners, or Ministers. That does have something to do. But what we must understand is that the Federal Executive Council is the President’s Court. It’s what the President wants in terms of the setting, arrangements that’s going to prevail.”

On the relationship between Ministers and Civil Servants, he said, “Everything rises and falls on the Civil Servants. There is no better way to say it because these are the people that will be there even after the minister is long gone. The president can hire and fire ministers at his whims and caprices, but the issue of the Civil Servants are a little bit more complicated. It’s not as easy as that if you are going to fire.

“It’s important that we pay attention to Civil Service Reforms. It is a big deal. This is where the work of people like Mr Aig-Imoukhuede should be commended.” The former banker and his Foundation has been collaborating with the Head of the Civil Service on reforms of the Federal Civil Service in the country.

Drawing on his experience in the previous administration, Akande emphasized the significance of a modernized civil service capable of efficiently implementing the government’s objectives and projects. He emphasized the need for such reforms in providing effective public services, encouraging openness, and combating corruption. President Tinubu’s lofty goals for the nation, according to Akande, can only be accomplished with the assistance of a dynamic and proactive civil service.

Source: State Lagos - Daily Trust

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