President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday emphasised that the Performance Contract Agreement he signed with his cabinet ministers was not to witch-hunt any of them, but to set targets and measure performances.
According to the President, government could no longer rely on the performance assessments of its activities by the media because according to him, the media has been politicised.
To improve performance and service quality According to the president, the Performance Contracting System was geared towards improving performance and delivering quality and timely services to the citizens, adding that the agreement would also improve productivity and instill a greater sense of accountability for effective service delivery.
He stated: “I read all kinds of things in the media that the President wants to assess the ministers, so that he would know who should go and who would stay. That is not the purpose of this.
“We would have done it probably 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. I am quite pleased that all the Ministers have completed the forms. Not to witch-hunt anybody
“I want to assure every one of you who has taken part in the exercise that this is not meant to witch-hunt anybody.
“It is to remind all of us, from President to Directors General, to Advisers and other aides, that we are representatives of the Nigerian people, and we are accountable to them at all times.
“I had stated clearly during the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council that Ministers are expected to be accountable, productive, transparent and focused.”
Speaking on the role of the media, the president said: “Before, the media used to be the voice of the ordinary people but now, the media is the voice of those who own the media houses and those who own the media houses have private jets and those who own private jets are not ordinary people.
Lampoons media owners
“So the media is now the voice of the powerful people. So, we have to have a way of assessing ourselves.”
President Jonathan emphasised that his office and that of the Vice President should also captured the assessment processes, adding that there should be parameters to be used in measuring performances.
He enjoined ministers and ministers of state to be conversant with activities of their ministries to reduce areas of friction.
‘The Minister must know everything happening in the ministry, just like the Permanent Secretary, will know everything happening in the ministry.
‘If Minister A does not now what Minister B is doing and Minister B does not know what Minister A is doing, but the Permanent Secretary knows everything that all of you are doing, the Permanent Secretary becomes a boss of the two ministers and the Permanent Secretary can use your heads to hit yourselves and just laugh at you.
‘I expect that if the main minister travels and I need information, I should call the Minister of State and that Minister of State must give the information about that ministry.
“If the Minister of State cannot give the information about that ministry, then something is fundamentally wrong either from two of them or from one of them.
“If the minister of state travels in a ministry where we have clear responsibilities, I called the main minister, to give me information, I expect the minister to give me information on that ministry,” he said.