In his strict determination to see to the reduction of corruption in his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a strong warning to his in-coming ministers to desist from approving payments to contractors.Adding that it is the sole responsibility of Heads of ministries, Departments and Agencies that are armed with such duties.
According to the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Danladi Kifasi, the Buhari government wants to keep the political class away from issues of finance. He made the disclosure recently at a media briefing in Abuja. According to him “If a minister travels out and payment is due, we cannot afford to wait for the ministers to come back before we pay.” ”
It was however discovered that there had been constant clash between permanent secretaries of major Federal Government ministries and former ministers in past governments over the payment of contractors.
Most permanent secretaries and directors of accounts in the ministries fell out with many of the former ministers following their refusal to pay contractors favoured by them.
“In the procurement process, ministers do not approve either. It is the Ministerial Tenders Board that sits to consider and approve contracts within their approval threshold. If it is beyond the Board, it goes to the Federal Executive Council.
He concluded by saying “The only thing a minister does is that he signs the council memo for the procurement that goes to the Federal Executive Council. For the Ministerial Tenders Board which is usually chaired by the Permanent Secretary; the Permanent Secretary sends his report and the minutes of the tenders board to the minister for his concurrence and endorsement. That is their role.
“For instance, if ministers were asked to be approving payments, now that there are no ministers will work then stop? So it is actually a misinformation.”
“Consequently, permanent secretaries, Directors, Chief executives of parastatals and agencies are to take appropriate steps to address this situation. All public servants are to note that measures as enshrined in the Public Service Rules will be enforced on erring officers,”