Sacking two ministers not enough — Daily Trust Editorial

Posted by News Express | 7 September 2021 | 666 times

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•Sacked ministers Sabo Nanono and Sale Mamman


Last week, in a surprise move, President Muhammadu Buhari sacked two members in his cabinet – the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono and that of Power, Engineer Sale Mamman. This came two years and a few days after they were inaugurated by the president on August 21, 2019 alongside 41 of their colleagues, even though Nigerians have been grumbling over ministers’ non-performance for long.

The sacked ministers were replaced with the ministers of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar and the Minister of State, Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, respectively.

The sack of the ministers came as a pleasant surprise as it was the first time the president would sack any minister since he assumed office over six years ago. Throughout his first tenure, he did not sack any minister, and upon winning his second term in 2019, President Buhari returned most of those who served in his first tenure and posted them back to the same ministries.

Announcing his decision to the cabinet members during the FEC meeting, Buhari said the cabinet reshuffle would be a “continuous” exercise. He said the changes in the team, which he formed on August 21, 2019, were a sequel to the “Tradition of subjecting our projects and programmes’ implementation to independent and critical self-review” through sector reporting during cabinet meetings and at retreats. Buhari’s statement, it was gathered was in reference to a cabinet office review he commissioned with the mandate to review activities of all ministries, their presentations before the FEC and contributions of the ministers as individuals in shaping policies and discussions in the council.

The sack, it was noted, was based on a review of the performance of the ministers by the cabinet office. This in itself is significant in that it has been a long time since we heard of a performance review carried out on public office holders at that level. We commend the revival of the Cabinet Affairs Office (CAO) under the supervision of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and urge that it continues to carry out its oversight functions on ministers even after this administration comes to an end. We believe that if public office holders like ministers know that their performances would be reviewed, they will work hard and citizens will get the full dividends of democracy.

However, as much as we commend the government for mustering the courage to sack these ministers for non-performance, the act would have had more impact if it had been done earlier as the importance of the two ministries cannot be over-emphasised. Power and agriculture are crucial to the lives of the average Nigerian and as such, only the best should be appointed to man those ministries. Indeed, a cursory look at the performance of all the ministers shows that many of them have not lived up to expectations and ought to have been relieved of their jobs long before now. In view of that, while noting this sack, Nigerians await the full implementation of the performance review report. It is a good thing that the government said more ministers would be sacked, we hope that will not take too long.

This government cannot afford any delay as it has barely 20 months left to redeem itself. All non-performing ministers should go so that people who will do the job can be injected into the system. As much as we agree that political consideration is important in making appointments in a democracy, more emphasis should be placed on people who can really deliver on the goals of an administration.  Square pegs must be put in square holes for success to be recorded. All non-performing public office holders must be held accountable.

Already, a lot of time has been wasted, the current administration must, therefore, increase momentum to make an impact and leave an enduring legacy.  Indeed the president can, within the time left, restore confidence in his administration and erase the disappointment of Nigerians in the delivery of democratic dividends.

Source: News Express

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