John Shiklam in Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, yesterday swore-in 13 newly appointed commissioners, warning that his administration would not condone appointees who perform below expectations.
Speaking at the ceremony which held at Government House, Kaduna, the Governor said much was expected from the newly constituted state executive council, adding that much must be delivered for the benefit of the people. He charged the commissioners to quickly settle down and deliver results.
“Each of you will receive and adhere to job descriptions that will be followed by Key Performance Indicators and Performance Agreements (KPIs). Every Commissioner must in turn sign KPIs and Performance Agreements with the top management of their ministries.
“All are subject to strict quarterly reviews, because we must maximise the short time left to deliver service for our people,” the governor said.
According to him, the commissioners were appointed not based on their local government areas of origin, but because they had been tested and found capable to work for the state. “I know that some of you are qualified and big enough to be ministers but you decided to serve your state. I therefore urge your family members to cooperate with you and give you enough space to concentrate on your works,” he said .
According to the governor, the ministries had been designed to help drive the governance agenda in the state in line with the objectives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) “and our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari. Social justice is paramount to us in Kaduna.”
He explained that the decision to appoint many people who served during the first term of his administration, was informed by the fact that they were insiders who could hit the ground running.
“We chose insiders so that they can hit the ground running. That is why you can see so many familiar faces, selected for their sound education, solid experience and capacity” he said.
The governor further stated that his administration would continue with the reforms in the civil service, education and the health sectors.
“In our first-term, we devoted much effort to implementing tough, but necessary policy reforms.
He said: “We firmly began to promote equality of opportunity as a key component of our governance agenda.
“At great risk, we undertook to return the concerns of ordinary people to the heart of government.
“ I assure the people of Kaduna State that we shall not waver in expanding access to decent education and quality healthcare for ordinary people.
“ One of the most important reforms we started in the first-term is the Public Service Reform and Revitalisation Project.
“One of its major objectives is to strengthen the public service by injecting into its ranks our younger, well-educated, IT-compliant and competent personnel.
“This goal will be actualised, by the grace of God. We shall be recruiting more teachers, health workers, administrative officers and other professionals into the public service.
“Vacant positions in the public service will continue to be advertised. Public service jobs will be available, but only on merit, not ethnicity, religion or as a result of cronyism.
“ While we envisage no major change of direction regarding our governance policy since 2015, we shall be paying closer attention to some aspects of the social sector.
“There will be a focus on providing low-income housing and developing a social protection system, in addition to expanding access to education and improving health outcomes.
“ With 5% of Nigeria’s population, Kaduna State may account for up to 1 million of the 16 million housing deficit in Nigeria. This gap exists mainly at the lower end of the market, which is not particularly attractive to the private sector. Therefore, the state government must intervene to address this deficit and enable ordinary people to access decent housing.
”I also indicated in my second inauguration address that we shall launch a social investment programme for the poorest and the most vulnerable residents of our state.
“Even in tough times, there is an obligation for government to strive to leave no citizen behind. As such, we shall reform and expand programmes like the Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund (KADWEF) to fully embrace the vulnerable.
“Along with our partners, we have made a lot of investment in providing facilities and opportunity for skills acquisition and vocational training.
“ During this term, we shall seek to take the next step and move beyond skills acquisition into creating more jobs and businesses.
”We shall support initiatives to create products and move these jobs to the market, thus, creating a veritable and sustainable made in Kaduna brand…”