Don't Miss

Jonathan to reshuffle Cabinet, says Punch

By on March 5, 2012

There  were  indications on Sunday that President Goodluck Jonathan might carry out a cabinet reshuffle later this month.

A senior government official who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said those affected were to be asked to go because of poor performance.

THE PUNCH’s investigations in Abuja showed that three ministers would be dropped this month. Another batch, according to a Presidency source, would be shown the way out in June.

The  source said the three ministers that have been pencilled in for removal this month had been in government since 2007. He, however did not give their names.

The source explained that those in the second batch were appointed by Jonathan, when he assumed office as acting President in 2010.

He said, “The cabinet reshuffle  is going to be a prelude to the sacking of  many ministers later this year, possibly June. Three ministers are going this month and some will be moved to other ministries. But in June, many of those who have been in government since 2010 will be sacked, if they failed to perform.”

The Minister of National Planning,   Dr. Shamsudeen Usman and his Petroleum Resources counterpart, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, were initially appointed in 2007 by Yar’Adua and had survived previous cabinet shake-ups.

Ministers, who have been in the cabinet since 2010 include Mr. Segun Aganga (Trade and Investment), Bala Muhammed (Federal Capital  Territory), Ruqayyat Rufai (Education),  Emeka Wogu (Labour), and Caleb Olubolade (Police Affairs)

Investigations showed that among the criteria that would be used in assessing the ministers was what a source in the Presidency described as “public opinion.”

According to the source, Jonathan is sensitive to criticisms against his government.

The source said, “ The President is not impervious to the negative publicity some of the ministers are attracting to his administration.

“Besides, those who have not made much impact but may be lucky to escape this month’s cabinet shake-up, will not escape the next one. Some of them will be given a second chance and transferred to other ministries.”

It was also gathered that the performance of the 2012 budget would form part of the yardsticks for measuring the ministers’ performances.

“The performance of the budget will be monitored and ministers will be given another chance to improve the budget performance of their ministries as they will be held responsible for any failure. Those who excel will have nothing to fear,” the source said.

It will be recalled that Jonathan had at the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday decried the poor service delivery of ministries, departments and agencies, and asked the ministers to sit up.

The council, had at the meeting, discussed the report on Service Compact (SERVICOM) with Nigeria, which is used in measuring the performance of the MDAs.

The Minister of Information and Orientation, Mr. Labaran Maku, who briefed journalists after the meeting, had said, “The report (SERVICOM report) says we need to improve on our services to the satisfaction of citizens. There is need to re-energise the SERVICOM in government.

“The President emphasised the need for all of us to sit up. He stated that all ministers and all those holding executive positions in government must do their work because the work we do would be measured by the results the citizens get. The President emphasised that all of us must take service delivery seriously.”

Investigations also showed that the cabinet shake-up would be used to address complaints of marginalisation by some zones and states.

It was learnt that the South-West, which lost the speakership of the House of Representatives to the North-West might be considered for more ministerial and board appointments.

Our correspondent also gathered that some members of the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party’s National Working Committee would be among nominees that would replace  the ministers that might be sacked.

The party on Saturday began its ward congresses. Its local government congresses will take place on March 10, while state executives will be elected on March 17.

The national convention, where new officers of the party will be elected, will take place on March 24 and new NWC members will assume office on March 26.

Investigations revealed that the outgoing Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, had been penciled in for a ministerial appointment.

It was learnt that names of  three nominees would be forwarded to the Senate before the March 24 national convention of the PDP.

Besides ministerial posts, it was gathered that  the NWC members would be part of boards of agencies and parastatals, which would soon be constituted.

The Presidency source, who said the President would soon announce the cabinet shake-up, added, “The NWC members who cannot make the ministerial list will be given board appointments.

“You are aware that many of those who worked for the President in the 2011 poll have not been catered for. Mr. President is aware of this and it will be addressed when the boards are be reconstituted.”