Ahead of the May 29 inauguration of President-elect, Bola Tinubu, several members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have intensified lobby to join the Cabinet.
BusinessDay checks show that the incumbent Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, is amongst those being touted for the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
It was gathered from a source close to the APC, that Lalong who served as the Director General (DG) of the Tinubu- Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, may become the 20th Secretary to the Government of the Federation, based on the zoning formula being proposed by the party.
The party source noted that with the South being favoured to produce the Senate President, the party is looking towards the North Central for the position of the SGF.
“ Baring last minute changes, the South East, South South will battle for the position of the Senate President and the North Central is favoured to produce the SGF.
“ As you know, the SGF position is very important as the engine room of the administration revolves around it. So, Lalong, a lawyer and a man who served twice as Governor will do well, because the SGF coordinates the Cabinet office,” the source said.
Lalong, is a law graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, with a strong professional career as an attorney.
He contested the State House of Assembly election for the Shendam Constituency under the Peoples Democratic Party, in 2000 and upon his election, served as the Speaker Plateau State House of Assembly. In October 2000, a position he occupied until 2006
He is the longest serving Speaker, haven served seven years
During that period he was two times (2001–2002) elected as the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of the 36 states of Nigeria.
The office of the SGF remains an integral engine room around which other functions revolves
The office is amongst other several functions, charged with the responsibility of processing requests for duty tours and medical treatment of government officials, including the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), abroad.
The office of the SGF had hitherto controlled as many as 14 federal government agencies, until August 21, 2019, when the Buhari administration created the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management, which has now reduced the number of agencies under control of SGF office to 12.
This followed the removal of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, to join the newly created Ministry.
The SGF office evaluates the performance of the ministers and Permanent Secretary on behalf of Mr. president, as well as maintains mandate acceptance documents signed by ministers on an assumption of office.
The office which also coordinates the Cabinet Secretariat, also serves as the Secretariat of the National Council of State, the Federal Executive Council and other Constitutional Councils which are chaired by the President or the Vice President.
As a result, a memos going to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), are routed through the office of the SGF from where they are distributed to Ministers ahead of Cabinet meetings, as well as provides support services to Administrative Tribunals, Commissions and Panels of Enquiry.
The office also coordinates public safety matters and manages National Honours Awards, while also monitoring and coordinating the implementation of government policies and programmes in line with the programmes of the ruling government.