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Nigeria: Exclusive - Buhari Restrains Ministers From Disciplining, Removing Heads of Agencies

The circular, dated May 19 and endorsed by the SGF, Boss Mustapha, conveyed the "concern" of the government about the tendency by some ministers to arbitrarily remove chief executive officers of agencies and its impact on stability and service delivery.

When serious misconduct is reported against a chief executive, the new procedure set by the circular requires a minister through the permanent secretary to refer the matter to the governing board of the affected agency in line with its enabling law and chapters three and 16 of the Public Service Rules on discipline and government parastatals.

"The Minister after due consideration of the submission from the Board shall, on the advice of the Permanent Secretary, forward the ministry's position along with the recommendations of the Board and explanation of the Chief Executive Officer to the Secretary to Government of the Federation for processing to Mr President, for a decision," the circular states.

Upon receipt of the submission from the minister by SGF, the procedure then establishes another layer of probe, requiring the SGF to "without delay cause an independent investigation and advise Mr President on the appropriate course of action, including interdiction or suspension in accordance with the principles guiding Sections 030405 and 030406 of the Public Service Rules, pending the outcome of the independent investigation."

"For emphasis, on no account shall a Minister of the Federal Republic unilaterally or arbitrarily remove a serving Chief Executive Officer, without recourse to the procedure contained in this circular," Mr Mustapha added.

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