• Gives MDAs April 20 deadline on handover notes


President Goodluck Jonathan will on May 28 leave office to pave way for the inauguration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s administration the next day.
An insight given into the preparations by the Federal Government for the smooth transfer of power to the new government showed that President Jonathan would handover office to Gen. Buhari at a dinner fixed for May 28.
Consequently, the President has given April 20 as deadline for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs to submit their handover notes to Secretary to Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim.
Jonathan gave the directive yesterday at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at the State House, Abuja.
The Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, who spoke to journalists after the FEC meeting, explained that the President intended to make the May 29 transition effective, noting that series of activities had been lined up for the event.
Akwashiki said the President Jonathan also indicated that he wanted anything requiring his approval to be done by May 13.
According to her, the Council will hold its valedictory meeting on May 20 before the May 28 dinner where Gen. Buhari will be ushered in as new President.
She said: “The President also emphasised that he would require another briefing from all MDAs to indicate inherited projects, how far they have been executed and initiated projects by his administration and the level of completion, whether completed, ongoing or abandoned. We discussed other issues but we are particularly paying attention to the transition and how to make it effective.
“As you are all aware, we have a transition committee setup by the President and headed by the Vice President. Other than that, we have an inaugural committee that is headed by the SGF. So everything we are doing is to achieve smooth transition and getting all our notes together.
“By May 28, the President intends to have the formal handing over done at a dinner so that we can reserve May 29 for the incoming administration. By May 28, we expect to have concluded and welcomed the incoming government.
“Also, you know that May 29 is our Democracy Day, so we have activities lined up all through that week, showcasing all what we have achieved and other things we do normally on our Democracy Day except that this year is special with the inauguration of our new President,” she said.
The minister added that governance will not completely be brought to a halt immediately even though emphasis will be on the handing over plans.
She continued: “It is for the MDAs to submit their notes to the SGF who will handle the total package of the handing over to the incoming administration. It doesn’t mean that is the exact notes that will be passed on. There is a format to follow and so it becomes easier for all the MDAs to follow the template. If they do that, it will be easier for the President to compile everything.
“The format is to ensure you submit everything before they pass it to the incoming government. That is not to say that governance has stopped, of course, we are in government until the day the President-elect takes oath of office.
“There is no vacuum, there are things happening. And if you have any pending contract approval it has to be submitted before the 13th of May. Everything that requires the President’s approval should be submitted before April 13. We also do not want the incoming administration to accuse us of rushing projects which is normal, so we are guided by that. And if you have approvals, we are going to have FEC meeting every week, the last one will be the valedictory session on May 20th. So governance is not stopping, we are still working and in the event you have approvals, it must be concluded before May 13,” Akwashiki said.