Saturday, March 20, 2010

Goodluck jonathan: How to choose your Ministers

Dear Goodluck Jonathan,

I have said it times without number, this is the most difficult time to rule Nigeria. The closest person that has been in your shoes is Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who after the sudden death of General Sanni Abacha was made Head of State and was responsible for steering the Nigerian ship back to democracy.

I know the usual Nigerian Government practice of selecting Ministers - speak to entrenched interests, General Obasanjo, General Babangida, the PDP block, the Governor's forum, the ex-Governors forum, the National Assembly and the other powerful behind the scene lobbyists that we never know and come up with a draft list. then you check again whether one of the powerful blocs is not vehemently against one of the persons on the draft list. The list changes, additions here and there, caucus meetings, schemings, threats and promises and the President is stuck: what should i do? You send the 7th draft as the final list to the national Assembly for approval WITHOUT THEIR CORRESPONDING PORTFOLIOS while the lobbying for juicy posts and who gets what continues behind the scene.

Dear Goodluck, my message is short and simple,in less than 10 days from your announcemnt, announce your tentative ministerial lists and the corresponding portfolios that you intend to assign to them. This will save you a whole lot of trouble and headache and will even enrich debate at the National assembly and the people's parliament and newspaper stalls, on blogs, facebook and in TV stations across the country. Before any minister is rubber stamped by the national assembly, let him face the heat from the senators as regarding what he intends to achieve within the short time available.

Secondly, when you have your ministers, kindly write them a one page memo with a terms of reference and make this publicly available so that we can follow their actions and hold them accountable for being the custodians of tax payers cash and public trust.


t said...

I like the idea of publicly announcing the tentative lists asap. This uses people power to combat some of the behind-the-scenes scheming. The Prez should try it.

As for the job description aka terms of reference, even a three-sentence (three bullet point) outline would do, just as the Presidency has three things to focus on / accomplish, one of them being electoral reform aka improved elections for next year.

A lot depends on WHO the minister is. Some people, further to not having the interest in public service or in their job description, are INCAPABLE of accomplishing positive results atop any Ministry.

t said...

Jonathan probably did better than my fantasy team, at least in Finance (with Olusegun Aganga from Goldman Sachs, i.e. he knows modern finance and founder of NLI i.e. i trust him to have integrity and network excellently and know that he can grow a lean / efficient / intelligent institution) and in Power (with himself.)
I love that the prez is taking responsibility for Electric Power. If things fail, we know where to aim the coconuts, at his most reverend head. If things go well, great for Nigeria, and he would be greeted with kisses from hotties wherever he goes after. I'm offering to go first.

Good luck to Nigeria, lol. Also a moment to remember Yar'Adua, who we believe has been very ill for very long. (insert prayer here.)

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