Making Govt Work for the People

Ibukun Ogunfuyi

Nigerians should rest assured that the President Bola Tinubu Administration is committed to reversing the country’s downward trajectory and putting her on a firm path to sustainable development.

It would be deceptive to fail to acknowledge and understand the people’s sceptical disposition to government promises and assurances, given the years of misgovernance that they have been subjected to; but this administration is committed to making Nigerians smile and become proud of their country, once again. President Tinubu believes that this is doable, and he is committed to achieving the same in the shortest time possible through the implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

There is also the fact that every government reform policy, no matter how well-intentioned, comes with a measure of pain and demands for sacrifice over a gestation period; this is the situation Nigeria is currently facing. But the government will continue to do its best to alleviate the effects of these policies in the interest of Nigerians.

 To ensure that his government makes measurable impact, the President redefined the administration’s priorities. The eight Presidential priorities were communicated to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume in a government-wide circular on January 15, 2024. At the centre of the eight priorities listed by the (SGF), is the one focused on “improving governance for effective service delivery.” 

 This priority, which speaks to the President’s determination to ensure that people in the public and civil service work in the interest of the people and in tandem with Nigeria’s citizens who should have a say in, and monitor the performance of government and its functionaries, ties all the other priorities. This priority underpins all the other priorities which focus on sector specific sustainable development.

The eight priorities, according to Akume’s circular, are:

  • ​Reforming the economy to deliver sustained and inclusive growth.
  • ​Strengthening national security for peace and prosperity.
  • Boosting agriculture to achieve food security.
  • Unlocking energy and natural resources for sustainable development.
  • ​Enhancing infrastructure and transportation as enablers for growth.
  • ​Focusing on education, health, and social investment as essential pillars of development.
  • ​Accelerating diversification through industrialisation, digitisation, creative arts, manufacturing, and innovation.
  • Improving governance for effective service delivery

To ensure that MDAs do not get carried away and lose sight of these priorities, the President reinvigorated the Central Delivery Coordination Unit (CDCU), which was established by Executive Order 13 of 2022. He also appointed his Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, to head the unit.

The CDCU is, amongst other functions, set up to “support ministries to ensure that resources and efforts are focused on the delivery of agreed priorities, especially in the implementation of annual performance plans and resolution of issues impeding delivery; sensitise citizens and citizen-based organisations work with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on presidential priorities; track and provide validated quarterly reports to the President on the implementation of the policies, programmes and projects developed from working with ministries, citizens and development partners”.

To achieve these objectives, Bala Usman has led the CDCU, working with the ministries, (to identify deliverables associated with each of these priority areas. They have also identified Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to guide CDCU’s quarterly assessment of MDAs’ progress on the presidential milestones). This w

9th implemented with the support of development partners like the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (FCDO PERL). Delivery Managers from the CDCU monitor clusters of ministries whose responsibilities align with the attainment of certain priorities.

For example, the priority of “Accelerating diversification through industrialisation, digitisation, creative arts, manufacturing, and innovation” has one Delivery Manager. In streamlining this priority and easing out deliverables from it, the CDCU identified five ministries, namely: Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment; Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy; Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology; Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy; as well as the Ministry of Tourism.

These deliverables and KPIs form the basis of the CDCU assessment of the performance of all MDAs and the production of scorecards that will be submitted to the President.

Penultimate week, Bala Usman and her team were joined by sector experts to verify the claims of milestones presented by desk officers of the ministries. From Tuesday through Friday, the sector experts scrutinised the performance of the MDAs in all the priority areas, they painstakingly analysed information presented to ensure compliance with targets and timelines, placing emphasis on achieving global standards.

 The Federal Ministry of Agriculture defended claims about the volume of land cleared, quantity of actual farming that has taken place in the dry and wet seasons, as well as the number of farmers that have benefitted from government’s fertilizer interventions. The ministries of Education, Health and Aviation discussed various initiatives introduced to make Nigerians feel the impact of government. This exercise is preparatory to finalising the scorecards for the performance of the ministries for the first Quarter of 2024 in accordance with the promises that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu made to Nigerians.

*Ogunfuyi is on the CDCU communications team.

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