Senior advocate lauds Tinubu for establishing evaluation standards for Ministers

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By Ebere Agozie

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Mohammed Ndarani, has commended President Bola Tinubu for establishing the evaluation standards for the assessment of his ministers.

Ndarani said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday while reacting to the recent event of presentation of ministerial scorecards demanded by President Bola Tinubu.

He urged strict adherence to them for the good of their ministries, and also for the people of Nigeria as a whole.

“It is only proper that to whom much is entrusted, much is expected, which means that these assessments would in addition keep political appointees on their toes.

“Article 19[1]2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides a guide for the assessment of ministers and other federal appointees.

“The assessment will help the public to also track the performances of these minsters and know when and how to hold them accountable’’.

He recalled that Tinubu had instructed 47 ministers to present their performance scorecards ahead of his administration’s one-year in office.

Ndarani also commended Tinubu for mandating no fewer than 140 officials to track and assess the performance of all federal ministries, departments, and agencies ahead of the first assessment exercise.

He noted that although some ministers might have embarked on extensive media hype with little to show in real achievement, much might not have be heard of others, who may have performed well.

“Sometimes, it is not the people that you hear of who are the performers in this country, so, nobody can evaluate any minister other than members of the public,’’ he stated.

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“They are the ones who would have felt the impact of the ministers’ actions, or the lack thereof’’.

He equally urged the president to consider Section 14[1], 2[a] [c] of the constitution to serve as the foundation during the next ministers’ assessments.

“Section 14[1], 2[a] [c] of the 1999 Constitution says, ‘(a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority; (c) the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in it.

“In the light of the above, it is desirable that citizens’ opinion and assessment is considered, in order to get an accurate rating of the ministers.

“There should be modalities for the assessments, key performance indicators and the reporting mechanisms made available for the public to participate in the exercise’’.

He said that while a few ministers have performed well, others are still learning on the job.

Ndarani suggested that allowing only ministers to evaluate their own performance undermines the objectivity of the assessment as a minister cannot be the judge in his own case.

“We know that sometimes highly placed public officers operate under serious constraints with several factors in play, which revolve around a paucity of funds.

“Nonetheless, the ministers alone cannot be left to make their own assessments, as this would negate the principle of ‘Nemo judex in causa sua’, which simply says that one cannot be a judge in his own cause.

“A scorecard where only the ministers assess themselves and score themselves might be a watered-down exercise which could raise questions as to the objectivity of the assessment.

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“There should be an avenue, a mechanism or a survey put in place where people can vote or voice their opinions on the performances of ministers, or public officers, generally.

“Nigerians should be given a voice in the ministers’ assessments since this will improve the outcomes, and bring them into compliance with global best practices. (NAN)

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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