Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the State House has been making judicious use of the budgetary allocations to it by the National Assembly.
Speaking today, August 8 when he received members of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Professor Gambari said that the management of the State House are working in tandem with the mood of the President.
“We operate within the budget of the State House and we try to manage our resources very judiciously because that’s also one of the things that Mr. President insists on; the judicious use of scarce resources.
“We must always remember that all of us Senators, the State House staff, we serve only one constituency, which is the people of Nigeria.”
The Chief of Staff assured the visitors that the State House, by nature, has to lead by example, adding that President Buhari believed strongly in transparency, openness and accountability.
“So we are very open, and I’m sure in terms of our interactions, there may be issues that you want to raise, which we are going to respond to very positively.”
Professor Gambari acknowledged the seriousness with which the Senators take their assignment, adding: “Federal Character sums up the strength of our country because the strength of our country lies in our diversity; diversity is not a weakness but strength because out of those plurality of our people we are working towards one nation and therefore the maintenance of the strength and the use of it for the fulfilment of the purposes of the state directives, policies, programs and projects of several administration is in your hands, in terms of oversight.”
According to Prof. Gambari, “Inter-Governmental Affairs is very important because no particular Government, State, Federal, Local or entities of the three arms of government, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary is an island, rather, working together in the harmonious way can achieve the purposes which our various mandates have given us.”
This was even as the Chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma Laah said that the committee has no intention to indict, sabotage, vindicate or find fault with the State House officials “but to further expand and reason for the good governance of our country and ensure proper service delivery.”
He stressed that the committee enjoys a very good and cordial working relationship with the management of the State House, and that the visit aims at further deepening the existing relationship.
The Permanent Secretary State House, Tijjani Umar, in his presentation outlined in detail the budget performance for the periods under review, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
He commended members of the Committee for their invaluable assistance, guidance and understanding as they strive to provide excellent, efficient and qualitative service to the President towards the effective discharge of his responsibility to Nigerians.
The Committee members, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary and State House management team later went to project sites for inspection.
They expressed satisfaction with what they saw, especially the extension of the State House Clinic, the Special Care Centre and ground clearing for the construction of the new Presidential Wing of the State House Clinic which would take care of the President, the Vice President, their families and other VIPs.