President Goodluck Jonathan today warned Ministers to avoid the temptation of leaving their jobs in the hands of Permanent Secretaries and other top directors of their ministries, saying the minimum target of each minister in terms of performance in his administration is 70 per cent.
42 ministers took turn to sign the agreement at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa.
``I read all kinds of thing in the media that: the president wants to assess the ministers so that he would know who would go and who would stay. That is not the purpose of this.
``We would have done it probably in 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.’’
In his remarks after the signing, Jonathan refuted media reports that the objective of the Performance Contract System was to sack some ministers.
He said the exercise was to ensure enhanced performance, transparency and accountability in governance.
Specifically, he said that the Performance Contracting System was geared towards improving performance and delivering quality and timely services to the citizenry.
Jonathan said the system would also improve productivity and instill a greater sense of accountability for effective service delivery.
``I want to assure every one of you who has taken part in the exercise that this is not a witch-hunt targeted at anybody. It is to remind all of us, from president to directors-general, to advisers and to 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,’’ he explained further.
The president noted that government could no longer rely on the media for the assessment of it performance and activities.
He said the media had been politicised and compromised and its assessments were biased and no longer reliable.
``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 owned the media houses have private jets and those who own private jets are not ordinary people.
``So the media is now the voice of the powerful people. So, we have to have a way of assessing ourselves.’’
On the perceived rivalry between ministers and ministers of state in some ministries, Jonathan said he expected every minister to be abreast with all activities of his or her ministry.
``If Minister A does not know 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.”
The president directed that the process of signing the performance agreement be replicated throughout the system, with ministers signing with their permanent secretaries and heads of parastatal agencies.