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Jonathan raises alarm over ministers-perm secretaries’ rivalry

President Goodluck Jonathan has raised the alarm over what he called cold war between ministers and their permanent secretaries. Jonathan spoke at the State House…

President Goodluck Jonathan has raised the alarm over what he called cold war between ministers and their permanent secretaries.

Jonathan spoke at the State House in Abuja today after swearing in six new permanent secretaries for the Federal Civil Service.

The president described conflicts and disagreements among top government officials as a recipe for failure.

Jonathan, who said his administration had received too many complaints on the issue lately, did not name the affected ministries.

He said: “One other thing is the ability of permanent secretaries to work with their ministers. Lately, we’ve received too many complaints about cold relationships between permanent secretaries and ministers. If permanent secretaries don’t work with ministers, ministers don’t work with the permanent secretaries, there is no way we can do what we’re expected to do. The ministries are meant to be run by the political heads, the administrative heads and of course, the directors.”

Jonathan said: “If there is a conflict or cold relationship between key actors in any department of government, it’s a recipe for failure. So, in any ministry where the permanent secretaries and ministers are not in good terms, it’s another way of telling Nigerians that both of you’ve failed the country. Yesterday, I had a conversation with the Head of Service and I’m beginning to think about what’s the approach to begin to develop a system that will stop this.

“I think it has to do with relationship between human beings. As much as we’re different people from different backgrounds, working for government has a process. If we follow the due process in doing things, areas of conflict will be minimized. Government must be managed differently from the way we manage family affairs. In the interest of this country, permanent secretaries must work amicably with ministers.”

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