FG to launch app for quarterly assessment of ministers

Hadiza Bala Usman NPA MD

The Federal Government has begun plans for periodic assessments of cabinet ministers and the agencies under their supervision.

This follows the clamour by Nigerians for more transparency in governance.

Disclosing this during a live interview on TVC News on Tuesday, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on policy coordination, Hadiza Usman said there would be a quarterly assessment of ministries from January 2024 after the ministers would have signed a performance bond with the president.

“We’re looking to commence an assessment of the respective ministries,” she said, stating that the quarterly assessment of performance would culminate into an annual scorecard.

“The quarterly assessment will start in January 2024, whereby all ministries will have received their 2024 budget and they’re able to clearly follow the law that has been so defined within the context of the deliverable.”

Usman disclosed that there have been ongoing conversations and sessions with ministries and agencies to clarify their deliverables. These deliverables will translate into key performance indicators (KPIs) that each ministry is expected to meet. More importantly, these performance goals will directly influence the budgetary provisions for 2024.

“Each ministry has been mandated to ensure that their deliverables are aligned with their budgetary provision that will be submitted and forwarded by the president to the National Assembly,” she said.

“But what is important is the understanding that you have a policy position that has been so defined in your sector, there is a deliverable that is tied to the policy and the key performance indicators that have been detailed for the respective deliverable that you’re required to do. And all of those have clearly budgetary provisions that will be provided for them.”

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To solidify this commitment, Usman announced an upcoming cabinet retreat in the first week of November where the final details will be discussed with the full cabinet and President Tinubu.

“At the end of it, we’re going to culminate in the performance bond that will be signed by each ministry. Every minister and the Permanent Secretary will sign the performance bond with Mr. President, which will detail what they’re expected to do within the one-year 2024 budget cycle. And that performance bond is what we’re going to use to track the performance of that minister,” she said.

In a bid to ensure widespread stakeholder involvement and accountability, Usman noted that citizens will play a crucial role in the assessment process. A new software platform, she said, is in development to allow citizens to report on project-based deliverables committed to by the federal government in 2024.

“Citizen engagement is a key aspect of what we seek to achieve, ensuring that citizens are part of this assessment. Some of the clear submissions around deliverables that are project-based, we’re going to deploy a software application where citizens are able to report back on project-based deliverables that the federal government has committed to doing within the period of 2024.

“In addition, we’re also going to look to see the best mechanism that we’ll use in ensuring that there’s a citizens accountability matrix relating to non-project-based deliverables. So those are the areas that we’re looking to have a full circle of accountability.”

Usman further underscored the seriousness of the government’s commitment to accountability by highlighting the introduction of a Consequence Management Framework. This framework, she said, will address both actions and inactions of ministries, departments, and agencies, ensuring that they bear the consequences of their performance.

Recognising the interconnectivity of various sectors, ministries, departments, and agencies, Usman noted that her team is actively working to streamline processes and foster synergy to recognise each sector’s contribution. This proactive approach aims to remove bottlenecks and enhance overall efficiency.