OPENING REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT, MRS FOLASHADE JAJI AT THE MAIDEN EDITION OF THE SOUTH-WEST FORUM HELD ON THURSDAY, 2ND DECEMBER, 2021 AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL, GRA, IKEJA
I am delighted that the maiden edition of the South-West Secretaries to the States Government (SSGs) Forum is being hosted by the Lagos Government, the State Of Excellence and Aquatic splendor. I believe that our coming together underscores the importance we all have placed on our responsibility to the people of the South-West region, that is to deliver good governance and dividends of democracy.
The theme of our meeting, ‘Leveraging Good Governance in Managing Cabinet Affairs Offices” is very apt. It will afford us the opportunity to rub minds, share knowledge and experiences on methods and working strategies in our different States and also to appraise what can be done differently having in mind international best practices.
I must applaud the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha for championing the ongoing reforms at the Federal Cabinet Affairs Office and cascading it to the States under the Community of Practice Initiative. I equally commend my colleagues for their hard work to ensure that Governments in the South west achieve their mission and objectives.
AS Governments we need to effectively collaborate on governance issues that would engender better and shared understanding of complex problems involving our people and work together to proffer credible solutions. This way policy makers can identify and target problems and deliver action more effectively.
Permit me to say a few things about my Office ahead of the knowledge sharing session. In Lagos State, the Office of SSG falls under the Sixth Pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Developmental Agenda which is Security and Governance. To assist in carrying out the mandate of the Office, we have the statutory support of Directorates and Units which are; A & HR Dept.; Accounts Dept.; Audit Unit; Planning Unit; ICT Unit; Procurement unit; and Public Affairs Unit; we have two core Departments (Cabinet Affairs Office and Political Affairs and Special Services Department (PASS) and the Gazette Unit). We also recently created the Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation Department when we observed that some aspect of our functions were lagging behind.
Let me acknowledge the remarkable support and cooperation of Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat and in fact, the entire Members of the Lagos State Executive Council by way of adhering to the established EXCO Memo writing structure and the processes around our EXCO presentations in the State. This has made our work, as the secretariat of the EXCO meetings much
I am sure that we shall learn of one another’s practices and techniques as we share and contribute today.
I am positive that collectively we will reposition the Cabinet Offices not just in the western States but in Nigeria.
I want to particularly thank the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO); Partnership to Engage, Reform and Leam (PERL) and Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission for the Cabinet Affairs Office institutional appraisal carried out last year even though we could not wrap it up due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
I also would appreciate DAWN Commission for their contributions towards take-off of this forum in the Southwest region.
I look forward to our robust discussions, believing there Will be a lot to gain and that there will be prompt implementation of all our resolutions which will enable the Cabinet Office function more effectively as we daily oversee the implementation of decisions, policies and programmes of our various States. I thank you for your attention.
Mrs. Folashade Sherifat JAJI
Secretary to the State Government
2nd December 2021