In Farewell Speech, Buhari Apologises to Nigerians for ‘Temporary Pain and Suffering’ Caused by His Policies
Promoting Public Accountability, Service Delivery
Recently, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation launched the Presidential Delivery Tracker and Website for the Central Delivery Coordination Unit, CDCU, to connect more citizens to governance by increasing their access to the federal government’s Presidential priority policies, programmes, and projects. Beyond that, Chiemelie Ezeobi reports that it will promote public accountability and improve service delivery
If there is one thing Nigerians have been clamouring from government, it’s open governance as this would help ameliorate endemic corruption across board and build trust. Which was why the recent launch of
Central Delivery Coordination Unit website (CDCU) and the Presidential Delivery Tracker (PDT) App was welcomed with open hearts and showered with commendations.
The Central Delivery Coordination Unit
What exactly is the Central Delivery Coordination Unit one might ask? The CDCU was setup to track, review and periodically report to the President the performance of ministries in the delivery of the Ministerial Mandates signed by Ministers and Permanent Secretaries with the President in 2019.
All these are geared towards the achievement of the nine priorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria which includes stabilising the macroeconomy;
achieving agriculture and food security;
ensuring energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; improving transportation and other infrastructure;
driving industrialisation focusing on SMEs; improving health, education and productivity of Nigerians; enhancing social inclusion and reducing poverty; fighting corruption and improving governance; as well as providing security for all citizens.
Presidential Delivery Tracker (PDT) App
The Presidential Delivery Tracker (PDT) App is therefore a co-creation platform that aims to connect citizens to governance in Nigeria by increasing citizens’ access to the Federal Government’s Presidential Priority Policies, Programmes, and Projects.
Recently in Abuja, both initiatives were launched to a rousing applause and in attendance were the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of state for Budget & National Planning, Prince Clem Agba; and Special Adviser to the President on Policy & Coordination, Dr. Habiba Lawal.
Other attendees were Permanent Secretaries from OSGF, the Director-General (BPP), the Director-General, BPSR, the Statistician-General, NBS, the Director (Development) and Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, (FCDO) who through its flagship governance programme, PERL shaped the projects.
In his keynote address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, whose office is championing both causes, lauded CDCU, adding that
over the last two years, it has successfully driven the federal government’s delivery initiative to incorporate a systematic feedback mechanism from the citizens into the design and operationalisation of its Performance Management System.
This, he said, was in recognition of the critical roles of the citizens in promoting inclusive and citizen-centered governance.
On the other hand, he said the goal of the PDT is to promote transparency and expand access to reporting on Presidential Priority Policies, Programmes and Projects by incorporating citizens as the third layer of reporting to offer vital information that will facilitate effective service delivery.
He said: “The PDT is not designed to cover all activities of the federal government but is restricted in scope to the Policies, Programmes and Projects implemented by Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies towards the achievement of Presidential priority programmes such as the nine priority areas of the current administration.
“It is important to state that the Tracker is robustly designed to allow citizens to report on the Presidential Priority Projects and Programmes in their environs being implemented by the government. It also provides the opportunity for citizens to provide assessment on the level of implementation. This will enable the CDCU to triangulate the feedbacks from citizens with reports obtained from the implementing ministries.
“The whole essence is to enhance the participation of people in local decision-making processes in a sustainable manner, which goes beyond listening to people but to make the development process and Institutions more inclusive.
“As we are all aware, citizen engagement allows us to broaden the development dialogue to include the views and perspectives of traditionally marginalised groups leading to more inclusive Institutions – governments, development organisations, and donor agencies alike.
“Hence, the expected outcome will be the most sustainable results, when citizens become active agents rather than passive recipients.”
On the other hand, he said the CDCU intends to empower citizens to make their voices heard, build citizens engagement programme that work, and participation that increases benefits if discussed with the people, since citizens are strongly driven by psychological and intangible factors, such as trust as well as, a sense of civic duty and belonging.
Essentially, he said the Presidential Delivery Tracker and CDCU website will serve as means of disseminating information on public service delivery to the citizens, receive feedbacks from the populace, and identify/suggest ways of improvement, adding that “It will also foster citizens’ voice, discussion, and debate to demand for service improvement.
“…this will not only promote effective project implementation, instill a desire for high standard, but also deepen accountability and transparency at all levels and stimulate continued policy dialogue and strategic engagement among all stakeholders.
“In Nigeria, opening up governance activities may be slow, but surely, it is now becoming a norm as government is already raising the bar for citizens participation.
“I will use this opportunity to thank the Open Government Partnership for promoting government entities to establish mechanisms for citizen feedback for more efficient public-responsive services aimed at deepening trust in government.
“Let me appeal to our stakeholders, especially the CSOs and the media, to further this engagement by promoting and creating awareness about the platforms so as to have wider reach across the country.”
Promoting Public Accountability
In her goodwill message, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, said the citizen-based mobile tracking app which allows citizens to send on-the-spot feedback on project implementation will
promote public accountability and improve service delivery in
She said: “It is well known that public accountability in service delivery plays an important role in government institutions and the nation’s economy.
Indeed, it could be successfully argued that the economic well-being of any
country is dependent, to a very large extent, on the strength, integrity,
and complexity of its institutions and on its accountability to governmental
“Thus, promoting public accountability and improving service
delivery in government institutions are initiated to ensure that such
objectives are achieved.”
While commending the SGF and team, she said international experience shows that inclusive and
transparent nations form the basis of shared and sustainable prosperity.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary Cabinet Affairs Office, James Sule, said the CDCU also identifies and resolves issues that create bottlenecks and impediments to the delivery of Presidential Priorities.
According to him, to achieve this objective, “the CDCU has incorporated a Performance Management System (PMS) with Dashboards set up in key Offices which serve as tools for measuring MDAs performance in real-time in the implementation of ministerial deliverables against negotiated targets.
“A unified collaborative results Framework has been developed for the nine Priority Areas, incorporating all the 302 Ministerial Deliverables that have direct impact on each Priority, while a total of 455 output indicators are being tracked across the 29inistries, including the OHCSF.
In developing the App, he said they engaged with various stakeholders, especially Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) at different stages of the development process. Essentially, he said their numerous interventions during the development of the Tracker and Website contributed immensely alongside support from partners like FCDO-PERL, NATVIEW Technologies, National OGP Secretariat of the Federal Ministry of Budget & National Planning, organisations and MDAs.
Commitment from Civil Society
Also speaking, Obialunanma Nnaobi-Ayodele, Nigeria Co-Chair (civil society), Open Government Partnership said: “On our part of civil society we commit to continue to work together with the government to see that the values for which this project was conceived are delivered, while continuing to hold the government accountable to its responsibilities.
“Some of the tangible result we would like to see from the use of this application would be results that reflects the measure of transparency of government, so to what degree does this app enhance disclosure;
“We would like to see the measure of trust, to what degree do citizens trust that their engagement with this app will translate to positive outcomes; and finally, we want to see the measure of participation, so what percentage of the population will use the app.”
UK Government’s Stance
In his speech, Chris Pycroft, development director, FCDO in Nigeria, reflected on the gains made, adding that it represents an important step in the transparency and accountability of government business.
” The United Kingdom has been a strong ally of the Nigerian government efforts to improve transparency and accountability. The delivery tracker is an important incentive and should be encouraged across the three tiers of government…
“Officials and contractors should face sanctions or costs if programmes are not implemented, it’s important that prior to project implementation citizens are an integral part of programm conception and that government projects reflect the need of its citizens, this is critical for building the social contract between citizens and government.”
Stressing that public trust is an important component of Nigeria’s democracy building, he said if well implemented and sustained, the President Delivery Tracker could be a powerful tool for building a constructive engagement with citizens.
Therefore to sustain this initiative, he said government must invest in building partnerships with networks of civil society groups across the country.
This will not only promote effective project implementation, instill a desire for high standard, but also deepen accountability and transparency at all levels and stimulate continued policy dialogue and strategic engagement among all stakeholders