No plan to sack non performing ministers, says President Jonathan

Former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan sets parameters to measure the performance of serving ministers.

Ini Ekott

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, dispelled speculation that his newly-unveiled rating for ministers was to set the grounds for firing non-performing officials.

An unprecedented government Performance Contract Agreement, signed on Wednesday between Mr. Jonathan and the 42 ministers, in a way indicated that the president may have adopted a better approach to easing out non-performing cabinet members.

The new rating for ministers came amid public assessments that applauded some ministers and showed discontent for others.

For instance, many Nigerians have credited the power minister, Barth Nnaji, with a relatively improved electricity supply. But calls have mounted for the removal of sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, in the aftermath of Nigeria’s scandalous performance at the just concluded London Olympics.

In a PREMIUM TIMES poll rounded off  Tuesday, an overwhelming 71 per cent of voters said the minister and members of the Olympic Committee should take responsibility for the fiasco, and resign from their offices.

Fourteen per cent sought the resignation of only the committee members while another five percent said only the minister should leave. The president has ordered an “overhaul” of the nation’s sports sector in the wake of the outing.

But the president’s stance during the agreement signing ceremony made it clear that the rating formula had nothing to do with sacking the ministers, whether they perform or not.

Mr. Jonathan said the assessment will only appraise his administration’s performance and delivery of targets to Nigerians.

“I read all kinds of thing in the media, that the president wants to assess the ministers so that he would know who would go and who would stay. That is not the purpose of this.

“We would have done it probably in the first week when we came on board, but the key thing is that we have given ourselves points that we think we will get at, we believe that if we get at those points or even if we achieve 70 per cent of that, at least it will be better off for our own country,” the president said.

According to the president, the exercise is to ensure enhanced performance, transparency and accountability in governance, adding that it is not a witch-hunting exercise.

“I want to assure every one of you who has taken part in the exercise that this is not a witch-hunt targeted at anybody,” the president said in his remarks after the signing ceremony.

“The exercise will transcend the civil service ranks through the permanent secretaries, to the directors to the junior staff,” he said.

The president also pledged to surrender his office and that of the vice president to a similar assessment.

He said though they were saddled with the responsibilities of supervising the ministers, there should be parameters used in measuring the performances of the two top offices.

It remained unclear what the actual indices of assessment will be, and the fate of the failures.


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