The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Monday said governing boards of federal agencies or parastatals have no power to remove Chief Executive Officers appointed by the President.
He said such boards may, however “articulate infractions, investigate wrongdoing and make recommendations to government through the supervisory ministry.”
Mustapha made the clarification at an induction programme for governing board members of federal parastatals, universities and medical centres organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, in conjunction with the Department for International Development, a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid.
The clarification came at the time the dust raised by the recent decision of the Governing Board of the National Health Insurance Scheme to suspend Prof. Usman Yusuf as the Executive Secretary is yet to settle.
The chairman of the board, Ifenne Enyanatu, had on October 18 announced Yusuf’s indefinite suspension, saying the board consulted and got the approval of the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on the matter.
Yusuf had however rejected the suspension, saying it is only the President that can suspend him.
Although he did not specifically mention the NHIS saga, Mustapha said the Federal Government was concerned that most governing boards have not understood their roles in the corporate governance of the agencies they superintend.
So far, he said the government has noticed some infractions on the side of such boards.
He listed the infractions to include what he called the board chairmen’s undue interference in the day-to-day activities of their parastatals and agencies; blatant disregard for extant regulations guiding the conduct of board meetings; interference in the function of the CEOs; issuing directives to members of staff without recourse to the CEOs; imposition of disciplinary measures against the CEOs in flagrant violation of the laid down rules; and using labour unions as agents of distractions in the agencies.