The Federal Ministries of Nigeria are Civil Service departments that are responsible for delivering various types of government service. Each ministry is headed by a Permanent Secretary who reports to a Minister in the Federal Cabinet.
The ministries and parastatals are staffed by career civil servants. Each is headed by a Permanent Secretary, a senior civil servant appointed by the Head of the Civil Service. The Permanent Secretary is accountable to a Minister, who sits in the Cabinet and reports to the President. The Minister is appointed by the President subject to approval by the Senate and is responsible for policy, while the Permanent Secretary is responsible for implementation of policy.
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By convention, there must be one Cabinet member from each of the 36 states in Nigeria, although there are only 19 ministries and at times a Federal minister is responsible for more than one ministry (e.g. Environment and Housing), or the President takes direct control of a key ministry such as Petroleum Resources. To ensure representation from each state, a Minister is often assisted by one or more Ministers of State.