President Goodluck Jonathan has reshuffled his cabinet, dropping nine ministers.
The ministers affected are those of Ruqayat Rufai (Education); Zainab Kunchi (Power, [state]); Buka Tijani (Agriculture [state]), Shamsudeen Usman (National Planning; Ita Okon (science and technology); Olugbenga Ashiru (foreign affairs); Ama Pepple (lands) and Hadiza Mailafia (environment).
President Jonathan had long been expected to rejig his lackluster cabinet which has largely failed to deliver services to the Nigerian people.
But while the expectation mounts, Mr. Jonathan repeatedly dispelled speculation that he had plans to fire non-performing ministers.
Last August, he unveiled a rating procedure known as Performance Contract Agreement for ministers but said he would not use the result of the assessment in considering who to fire. Mr. Jonathan said the assessment would 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 was 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.