Barely 19 months to the end of his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday directed ministers and permanent secretaries to increase their efforts and work in collaboration toward total delivery of the set target to improve the livelihood of all Nigerians.
He gave the directive at the end of the two-day mid-term ministerial performance review retreat at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President also instructed the ministers to ‘‘ramp up implementation’’ of their mandates along with the nine priority areas of his government, and stressed the need for synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities in the country to keep the economy on the trajectory of growth.
Buhari noted that intensive discussions at the retreat provided an opportunity to reflect on what the administration had done and areas it needed to improve and refocus attention.
He said: ‘‘The retreat provided an opportunity for us to undertake an objective assessment of our stewardship, in line with the contract we signed with the Nigerian people to deliver on our electoral promises.
‘‘From the assessment report and discussions at this retreat, I am glad to note that progress has been made towards the achievement of our objectives.
‘‘The independent performance assessment report presented on day one of the retreats, indicates that significant progress has been achieved in the delivery of ministerial mandates.
‘‘Distinguished participants, the discussions at the retreat have prompted the need for us to ramp up implementation on the deliverables.
“We must close the gaps in our implementation efforts to ensure that we attain set targets by 2023.”
To achieve this, the President directed the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to immediately begin the process of convening quarterly coordination meetings for each priority area, based on the collaborative results framework.
He explained that the aim of these meetings was to ascertain the status of implementation across the nine priority areas, identify bottlenecks, and proffer immediate solutions.
‘‘All ministers and permanent secretaries must be in attendance. These are not meetings to delegate,” Buhari said.
He further instructed the office of the SGF to immediately commence engagement with stakeholders to agree and push forward a framework for the institutionalization of the Central Delivery Coordinating Unit.
He said: ‘‘All ministers and permanent secretaries are to promote a robust performance culture across the Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, by setting up intra-ministerial delivery task teams.”
Besides, the President directed the Head of Service to, as a matter of urgency, invest in capacity strengthening of the Planning, Research and Statistics departments in all MDAs.
‘‘This should be done in collaboration with the Central Delivery Coordinating Unit,” President Buhari added.
Underscoring the need for synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities, the President assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to implement fiscal measures to improve domestic revenues and mobilize external funding support to build a more resilient economy.
He assured that issues around expanding access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians would be given priority attention within the period of the administration.
‘‘We will sustain all ongoing efforts in rebuilding our health system through targeted investment in the health sector, especially our vaccination drive to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘‘This administration remains committed to providing the education and training required for employment and entrepreneurship, particularly using technology to impact the relevant skills on our youths.
‘‘Our Social Investment Programmes will be sustained in the coming years. We will continue to reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable households through the National Cash Transfer Programme and other initiatives of Government,’’ he said.
On infrastructure, the President pledged that the Federal Government would prioritize funding and ensure that all high-priority ongoing infrastructure projects were completed before the end of this administration.
He announced that the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund would continue to support the delivery of legacy infrastructure projects across the country.
On his assessment of the retreat, the President said: ‘‘I am confident that the lessons we have learned in the last two years of implementing our policies, programmes and projects will serve as the needed tool to propel every ministry to remain committed to the achievement of our developmental objectives.”
The President commended the SGF, Boss Mustapha, and his team for successfully organizing the retreat, as well as the resource persons that added immense value to the process.
The nine priority areas set out by the administration include building a thriving and sustainable economy, enhancing social inclusion and poverty reduction; enlarging agricultural output for food security and export as well as attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.
Others are expanding transport and other infrastructural development, business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialization; access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians.
The administration has also prioritised building a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion as well as security for all.