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FG says absence of collaboration among MDAs affecting service delivery, cost of governance 

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The Federal Government on Tuesday hinged service delivery and increasing cost of governance on lack of collaboration among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

It noted that several ministries had made significant strides in the pursuit of their goals andobjectives but could have done better if there was collaboration.

 

To attain government goals, it said inter-agency collaboration would scaled up to make rapid progress in service delivery.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said this in a paper titled “Reflection on ministerial performance” on the second day of the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.

According to him, a lot of progress has been made in the nine priority areas of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, noting that while the scorecard of ministries showed that much progress has been made on several fronts, a lot more needed to be done in meeting set targets.

“Several ministries have made significant strides in the pursuit of their objectives and we shall take steps towards supporting them to do more.

“Some others have been challenged by a number of factors and we will take steps towards addressing these challenges and supporting them.

“These challenges, some of which we have identified; such as the need to collaborate at the priority area level and avoiding the debilitating effects of working in silos.

“This challenge has hampered speed, efficiency, effective delivery, and in several instances has added to, and increased the cost of running the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“We will have to support government to work in a more joined up manner and ensure that interagency collaboration becomes the norm, rather than the exception.

“It is our collective task to maximise the opportunities, mitigate and minimise the challenges in order that we can make rapid progress going forward,” Mustapha said.

The SGF noted that the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic have had an adverse effect on nations, including Nigeria.

According to him, several projects have either slowed down, and in some cases, have stalled altogether as a result of the pandemic.

Mustapha added: “We shall weather this storm and indeed actively seek and exploit the opportunities that it presents. The Economic Sustainability Plan which was presented by Mr. Vice President, is one of the ways the government has responded towards cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Low revenues which have affected the timely release of funds, especially for the implementation of capital projects have been repeatedly mentioned as one of the major constraints to the implementation of MDA’s programmes and projects.

“We will not rest on our oars in seeking other alternative sources to raise funds for projects beyond revenue from government.”

Another area of concern, according to the SGF, is the issue of inadequate capacity in the public service which he described as a a critical challenge that must be addressed.

He noted that the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is currently working in that regard.

Mustapha said in order to address other related constraints, inter-agency collaboration and partnerships in government, as well as explore private sector resourcing in key MDAs where subject matter experts equipped with strategic skillsets to facilitate project delivery are required, will be encouraged.

“Our commitment going forward is to build on the progress we have made in the past year, reflect on the lessons learned, fix those issues that have proved to be impediments, double our efforts and ensure that this time next year when we gather again to review progress, we will be reporting more tremendous gains and achievements.

“To achieve this objective, it is planned that the Delivery Unit at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will support the ministers and the respective MDAs towards the actualization of this objective.

“Going forward, we need to formulate more home grown solutions, which I believe you have actually deliberated upon during the breakout sssions yesterday (Monday), to see what and how people in other climes are faring and where it suits, adopt and adapt what has worked as the World Bank Chief Economist suggested yesterday,” he stressed.

He assured ministers that his office will continue to support them on prioritisation of initiatives to focus on key projects and ensure alignment to the President’s overall objectives.

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