President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday declared that he would sack Ministers and other cabinet members who do not measure up to the performance objectives and deliverables he has outlined for them.
To this end, he announced his intention to sign a performance bond with them at the end of a three-day cabinet retreat which he is attending with them at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
While declaring the retreat open, Tinubu further announced the setting up of a Results Delivery Unit headed by former Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, to coordinate and review the performance of the cabinet members.
Addressing the retreat participants, the President said: “You have the opportunity to change things. Recently, we received the Chancellor of the Republic of Germany and his delegation of investors. One of their key complaints and the question is whether they can bring their capital, repatriate their dividend, or if not satisfied, take their capital away.
“The Minister of Trade and Investment was called upon by me to explain further, that those obstacles are gone, never to come back again. We are open for business.
“And that is why we’ve established the Results Delivery Unit. At the end of this retreat, you’re going to sign a bond of understanding between you, the Ministers, the Permanent Secretaries, and myself.
“If you are performing, nothing to fear; if you miss the objective, we’ll review; if no perform, you leave us. No one is an island and the buck stops on my desk.
“I assure you you have a free hand. You must be intellectually inquisitive to ask how, why, when and why it must be immediate. You have a responsibility to serve people.
“I’ve taken a young lady, very dynamic Hadiza Bala Usman to head that Delivery Unit. If you have any complaints about her, see me. If you’re ready to work with her, stay there! Delivery, yes, we must achieve it for the sake of millions of the people.”
Declaring that he must achieve success as President of Nigeria, Tinubu said “We can’t complain and give excuses. This is our country we have to build it, we have to renew the foundation. We have to give hope to the populace, to Nigerians in doubt whether democracy and economic growth will be the pathway to their prosperity”.
He also stressed that “no one can stand alone, you must make a positive team. I accept the assets and liabilities of my predecessor”, while he urged the Ministers to make good of the opportunity of their appointments to help the country navigate through turbulent and unclear weather.
“A great Nigeria is possible and a greater Nigeria will come under your commitment, guidance and resolute determination to give the country a direction”, he said.
Touching on the imperative of nationhood and determination for Nigeria to succeed, Tinubu added: “We’ve spent the last six months reviewing and evaluating ourselves, we’ve come a long way but we set the agenda. Healthcare is a priority. Education of our people is a must. No other weapon against poverty than education.
“Let’s be proud that we are Nigerians. We can do it, we can show leadership, and we can fight to make democracy a lasting reference for the rest of Africa. Don’t be afraid to make decisions but don’t be antagonistic of your supervisor. If they are wrong, debate it.
“As the president, I can make mistakes, point it to me I would resolve that conflict, that arrow, perfection is only that of God Almighty. But you are there to help me succeed. The success I must achieve by all means necessary. We have great minds, great intellectuals, great intellects and all that we need.
“When we were discussing this retreat, I said other than members of the diplomatic corps to give us goodwill and inspiration, don’t invite any foreigner to give me a lecture about governance. I have been through it and I believe in Nigeria. It started from the day I was sworn that bold endeavour is only achieved through courage, determination and focused leadership.
“We are going through the reform painfully and we still have other challenges. Don’t be a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress. Let us look forward. Let us be determined that corruption will go, progress will be achieved, and better wages for our workers living wages.
“We will transform the economy to work for millions of our citizens we must take 50 million people out of poverty. We must build healthcare that works for all. Look around don’t be wicked. Look at the standard of education, look at the classrooms, look at the roads. We can only spend the money, we will find it, we cannot spend on the people.
“No crime in borrowing. Thank you World Bank for being a lending friend. But let your achievement be homegrown. The determination that Nigeria can do it is here. If it did not start six months ago, we are here to switch off the light, make you included, and make all Nigerians included.
“Our path for tomorrow is charted for our children and grandchildren. Don’t be selfish about it. Property is not a shameful thing. It’s only unacceptable. And we have to banish it because it’s unacceptable. Let’s work on other identifiable areas.”