At the end of yesterday's Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, all the ministers were made to sign a performance contract with President Goodluck Jonathan. This performance contract was developed by the National Planning Commission (NPC) for performance evaluation of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This contract, which will be evaluated twice every year, will be the criterion for judging the government officials based on how far they meet their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
The thinking of the drivers of President Jonathan's administration's policies in endorsing this charter is to ensure that the ministers and other heads of parastatals commit themselves to timelines and specific deliverables in the implementation of budgets and other government policies every year. It is understood that government officials will be either sanctioned or rewarded depending on their performance indices after each evaluation exercise.
It is intriguing that President Jonathan is administering this performance contract on the ministers about 15 months after they were appointed. During his electioneering campaign the president had promised to implement a 'transformation agenda' that will put the country on a new pedestal.
The implication of what is happening now is that Mr. President obviously did not know about the competences and abilities of his cabinet members to key into his 'transformation agenda'. Also, it is a confirmation that there was no agenda for the administration. This, perhaps, explains why the administration's activities are in a flux.
Again, the question is: what was the yardstick for measuring the performance of the serving ministers before yesterday? Who will be held responsible for the perceived under par performances in so many of the sectors?
We do not want to believe that Mr. President is learning on the job. But his actions or inactions prove us right at every point.
Leaders of governments in other climes, who are focused, hit the ground running, as their administrations are judged from the day they took the oath of office.
Ours cannot be different. Given our badly mismanaged economy and the attendant socio-political problems, Nigerians expect nothing less than a focused leader who has his administrative plan cut out from day one. We frown at leaders learning on the job. The nation is at the brink and we cannot afford such luxury.
Thankfully, the recent impeachment threat by the members of the House of Representatives seems to have shocked the officials in the presidency to genuinely put in place modalities for monitoring of the 2012 budget performance.
While we admit that governance involves an interplay of forces, the leadership of a country such as ours requires sincerity of purpose.
The administration should be focused and decisive. Mr. President appears to be treating his appointees with kid gloves to the detriment of the citizenry. We want to remind him that he is vicariously responsible for all their actions, and inactions.