President Goodluck Jonathan will formally hand over the reins of power to the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, at a dinner on May 28.
The Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki, who disclosed this to journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, said May 29 has been reserved for the inauguration of the incoming president and his deputy.
She did not say where the dinner will hold, though it is believed it will be held at the Banquet Hall at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“By May 28th we expect to have concluded one-way governance and be welcoming the incoming government,” she said.
New governments are inaugurated on May 29 every four years since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999.
The minister said Mr. Jonathan, at the FEC meeting, the first after the general elections, mandated all heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies to submit their handover notes in preparation for the transition of government.
The handover notes, which are to be put together by ministers and other heads of parastatals, are to be submitted to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, before the 20th of April.
PREMIUM TIMES had published, exclusively, details of a memo dispatched by the SGF to all ministers, service chiefs, Inspector General of Police and heads of extra-ministerial departments asking them to prepare their handover briefs ahead of the inauguration of the incoming All Progressives Congress administration.
Mrs. Akwashiki explained that the handover notes from the MDA’s are to assist the transition committee of the federal government, which is chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, put together the final handover document for the President.
She said the ministers would be expected to brief the president on inherited and ongoing projects as well as their level of completion.
She said all pending contracts that require presidential approval should be submitted by the 13th of May.
According to the minister, “As you know we are already in transition mood and so there is very little to report. What we discussed with the President in council, he emphasized on the need for all MDAs to submit their handing over notes to the office of the secretary to the government of the federation by 20th of this month, that is next Monday. So we are going to be very busy this weekend putting our handing over notes together.
“It is for the MDAs to submit their notes to the SGF a who will handle the total package of the handing over to the incoming administration. It doesn’t mean that this 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 formula 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.
The minister said Mr. Jonathan emphasized that he would require another briefing from all MDAs to indicate inherited projects, the level of execution of projects initiated 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 the transitional committee has already been set up by the president headed by the Vice President. Other than that we have an inaugural committee that is headed by the SGF. So everything we are doing we are doing to achieve a smooth transition, getting all our notes together she said.
Mrs. Akwashiki said despite the focus on transition of power, the running of government has not stopped. According to her, the FEC would continue hold its meeting till the 20th of May.
“There is no space 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 May 13th,” she stated.
“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 federal executive council every week, the last one that will be the valedictory one will be on May 20th.
“So governance is not stopping, we are still working and in the event you have approvals it must be concluded before 13th.