The Roles, Powers, And Functions Of Boards Of Federal Parastatals| Abuja Network News

It is no longer news that President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has dissolved the 160 boards of Federal Parastatals and making plans and arrangements to appoint new leaders and membership of the said boards amidst intense lobbying by party faithfuls from various quartets. 

The move is also expected to consolidate Tinubu's grip on power and to enable him appoint his loyalists who believe in his renewed hope manifesto for efficient execution and delivery of his campaign promises in line with party's policies. 

Nonetheless a good number of Nigerians knows little about Parastatals, powers and functions in the affairs of Government, below is a brief explanation of the aforementioned according to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha during the induction of heads and members of the Federal Parastatals in a workshop in the prestigious Nicon Hilton Hotel in 2028.

What are Parastatals?

Parastatals are Government establishments created by statutes to 
deliver specific mandates. The structure and operating instruments are 
derived from their respective Acts of establishment. Depending on 
exigencies, parastatals are placed under the supervision of the Presidency or 
a Ministry. The affairs of Parastatals are superintended by a Governing 
Board, headed by a Chairman, to provide policy guidelines and liaise with the 
supervisory Ministry through the Permanent Secretary for effective 
monitoring, policy guidance, Budget processing and ensuring that 
Government policy directives relating to the functions of the Parastatal are 
carried out effectively. However, the day-to-day administration of the 
Parastatal is handled by a Chief Executive who doubles as the Accounting 
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha in a seminar held for heads and members of the Federal Parastatals hinted that “it has observed with concern that divergent interpretations of the roles Governing Boards of Federal Parastatals
are expected to play in the corporate governance of their organizations."
Arising from this, a number of worrisome issues have begun to emerge. 
Some of these include:

a. Disagreements on who is responsible for the day to day running of 
Parastatals and Agencies;
b. Disregard for extant regulations guiding/restricting the conduct of 
Board meetings;
c. Interference in the function of Office of the Chief Executive Officers;
Issuing directives to staff without recourse to the Chief Executive Officer thereby creating disharmony amongst personnel; 
e. Initiating unlawful disciplinary measures against the Chief Executive 
without requisite guidance and approval from supervisory Ministry; and
f. Instigating the Labour Unions and Associations as agents of 
distraction in the Parastatals.
6. The observed poor and unhealthy relationships existing between 
Governing Boards and their Chief Executive Officers the following referral 
authorities and other relevant Government circulars are charged by status to guide the conduct of federal Parastatals and their respective boards for the  smooth conduct of Government business.  

i. Public Service Rules; 
ii. Financial Regulations;
iii. Guide to Administrative Procedures in the Public Service;
iv. Public Procurement Act 2007; and
v. Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 etc.
The Roles and responsibilities of the Board of Parastatals. 

The roles and responsibilities of Boards of Parastatals as provided by some of 
the earlier mentioned referral authorities: 
• Statutory Boards/Councils shall set operational and administrative 
policies in accordance with government policy directives and shall 
supervise the implementation of such policies;
• A Board shall not be involved directly in the day-to-day management of Parastatals.
 A Minister exercises control of parastatals at policy level through the 
Board of the parastatal only;
• The Board must only operate on a part-time basis in accordance with 
extant rules that forbid allocation of official quarters to members on a 
permanent basis, use of official vehicles by members on a permanent 
basis and payment of estacode allowances for only overseas’ travels 
approved by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the 
Federation and their supervising Ministry; and
• On the other hand, the core functions of the Chief Executive Officer include:

The day-to-day administration of the organization, as well as 
providing strategic leadership for the management of the organization.
The Board shall, in addition perform the following oversight 

• ensure that the Federal Government of Nigeria’s long-term interest is
• work with the management to determine the organization’s mission and 
long-term strategy;
• promote sustainable and cost-efficient activities of the organization;
• establish and promote the objectives, business and integrity of the 
• establish internal control over financial reporting, and assess the 
organisation’s risks and strategies for risk mitigation;
• monitor the performance of management in achieving set objectives of the organization; and
• Request appropriate reports from Management.
9. In conclusion, Governing Boards and Chief Executive Officers of 
Federal Parastatals and others who run them must remain worthy of the trust 
reposed in them by their respective appointments. First, there must be a 
sustained and committed leadership that embodies the core values of good governance. 

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