President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the next administration must preserve the achievements of his government in office.
He disclosed this on Tuesday when he inaugurated 22-man Presidential Transition Council, to facilitate and manage the 2023 transition programme, in Abuja.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the President said the reforms that enabled those achievements must be documented and communicated in clear terms.
According to him, the development will make the incoming administration understand what the current administration has done, the basis of its decisions, what it achieved and the opportunities for continuity.
He said: “although the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria sets out the overarching framework for assumption of office of the President, this is the first time in our history as a country that the Federal Government of Nigeria will be establishing a detailed process for managing Presidential transitions of government at the federal level.
“It is with great delight and honour therefore, that I am carrying out the onerous task of inaugurating the Presidential Transition Council, on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In line with the Executive Order No. 14 of 2023, the council is charged with the responsibility of facilitating and managing the 2023 Presidential Transition Programme.”
He said that the council will, among others, facilitate the handing over process by the current President to the President-elect; organise for the security of the President-elect and the Vice President-elect including coordinating security briefings on the nation’s security matters post-elections.
Other mandate of the council is to organise for the necessary facilities including fully furnished office and personnel for the President-elect and his/her transition team.
“Co-ordinate the briefings of the President-elect by relevant public officers; facilitate communication between the outgoing President and the President-elect; prepare the programme and organise for the swearing-in ceremony.
“Carry out any other activity necessary to ensure optimal performance of the functions of the President under the Constitution and perform any other function assigned to it under the 1999 Constitution as amended,” he said.
He added that the council shall have all powers necessary for the execution of its functions under the new Executive Order and shall conduct its business in line with national ethics as espoused in Section 23 of the Constitution.
He also said that except as otherwise provided in the Executive Order, the council may determine its own procedure.
He added, “I enjoin each of us to put in even more effort in ensuring the next administration receives every support needed to make an early and quick start. In a few months, it will be 8 years that the Buhari administration has been in power.
“Within this period, we have made significant strides in advancing the fortunes of our nation, we have also learnt lessons that will be useful for the incoming administration and it is on the strength of this trajectory, that the current administration is committing itself to making the 2023 transition process seamless for the incoming President and his team.
“Our achievements must be preserved. To maximize the limited time we have, Mr. President has directed the chairperson of the council to convene the inaugural meeting of the council with immediate effect. This aims to kick off the transition process across all levels of government in line with Executive Order No. 14 of 2023.
“The President expects that the transition process will be replicated across states government,” he said.
He also announced the appointment of the Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination, Dr. Habiba Lawal, as the Secretary of the Presidential Transition Council in line with the Executive Order No.14, and that she shall be known as the Federal Transition Coordinator.
Speaking on behalf of all the members of the council, Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, said it was a privilege to be called upon to serve.
She appreciated the confidence reposed on them by the President in approving their membership is Transitional Council.
She said: “It’s important for us to note that this time, taken by Mr. President, to establish the transition council, before the presidential election is held, is not only proactive but also selfless and very noble, and is in the interest of Nigeria. And this will no doubt remain as one of his legacies.
“It’s also important for us as the committee to state that the importance of the work that we have been saddled with we can never overemphasize it, in view of the remarkable landmark achievement of the present administration, and the need to document this properly, adequately, and to ensure the smooth continuum of governance and guide the incoming administration with regard to the sustained delivery of key interventions for the development of Nigeria.”
Yemi-Esan assured that members will work together to ensure that they leave no stone unturned in facilitating the smooth transition of governance.
Members of the council are Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairperson; Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice; Permanent Secretaries from the ministries and offices responsible for Defence, Interior, Budget and National Planning, Foreign Affairs, Information and Culture, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
Also are Cabinet Affairs, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), General Services, OSGF; Economic and Political Affairs, OSGF; State House, National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Inspector-General of Police; Director General, National Intelligence Agency; Director General, State Security Services; Clerk of the National Assembly, Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; and two representatives, to be nominated by the President-elect.