The Ag. Director General BPSR, Mr. Ibrahim Dasuki Arabi received in audience a-two-man team from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria, led by the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, (ES/CEO), Mr. Daniel Asapokhai on Wednesday, 16th January, 2019.
He expressed his delight at the willingness of the Council to work with the Bureau in the interest of better service delivery in the Country. Briefing the meeting made up of Management Staff of BPSR and the Deputy Director and Head Directorate of Corporate Governance of FRC, Mr. Nelson Anumaka, Mr Arabi gave a brief rundown of the core mandates of the Bureau, its Achievements and challenges.
He said that for every action the Bureau takes or intends to take gets the approval of the Steering Committee for Reforms which is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as the vice chair of the Committee.
Explaining further, the Ag. Director General, BPSR informed the team that the Bureau developed the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms (NSPSR) as a coordinating strategic frame work for public service reforms and that the Bureau as the engine room of reforms, renders consultancy services to Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) using Nigeria’s Development Partners to achieve their aims.
He enumerated successful interventions the Bureau has carried out among which are: The Institutional Strategy study on the National Human Rights Commission; the Police Service Commission-Reform of Federal Special Anti- Robbery Squad (F-SARS), Tackling Youth Unemployment in Nigeria among others. The DG also informed that the Bureau has developed the Self Assessment Tool (SAT) as an on line tool assessable through the BPSR website. He gave a highlight of the Bureau’s monthly Lunch time Seminar where burning issues in the economy especially around public service delivery are brought to the fore and discussed with the CEO.
Mr. Arabi also informed the delegation of the induction programme which the Bureau started last year for Board Members of Commissions/Agencies and CEOs which has been institutionalised. The outcome of these induction programmes had been very revealing and rewarding. The SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha gave additional details on the roles, responsibilities and limitations of the Board Members/CEOs. The Bureau carried out the institutionalization of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) which is a veritable tool for fighting corruption in the system. He revealed that in line with the constitution, the Public Service Rules are supposed to be reviewed every five (5) years. According to him, this is being handled by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
He also said that the BPSR is currently working with the Office of the Vice President on the review of the Oronsaye White Paper. The DG informed the visiting team that the Bureau had over a dozen publications to its credit.
In response, Mr. Daniel Asapokhai, the Executive Secretary, FRC applauded the Ag. DG and the entire Bureau on these achievements and noted that he is in the right place because the aim of the visit is to solicit for partnership between the BPSR and FRC of Nigeria to work together to establish a code of governance for the Public Sector, noting that the Sector has some peculiarities. He stated that the FRC is a Regulatory Agency of the Federal Government established to promote Trade and Investments in Nigeria and that FRC seeks to promote these by high quality reporting and by good corporate governance, because according to him these two will surely create trustworthy business environment, which is very desirable for both the Private and Public Sectors.
The ES/CEO however decried the limitation of the FRC of Nigeria to effectively carry out its activities as it was removed from the Federal Government budget line, and it is now self-sustaining. The Council’s source of revenue generation is solely tied to fines and penalties got from defaulting Organisations which is grossly inadequate because FRC focuses on the benefits of doing what is in the code, so corporate bodies that don’t default cannot be fined.
In conclusion, he indicated the interest of the FRC of Nigeria to participate in the BPSR SAT programme and the full assessment programme and that he would want this to come up as soon as possible.
Strategic Communications Department.
16th January, 2019.