By Dada Olusegun
Cabinet retreats are not unusual for new administrations trying to set the tone for governance. However the just concluded 3-day Cabinet Retreat organised for ministers, presidential aides and other government functionaries is in a league of its own. From the opening speech of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the first day, I could feel the deliberate intent of a visionary president determined to bring all his team members to align with his general vision.
Failure to plan is an intentional plan to fail they say. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has shown he is not ready to fail, therefore he decided to plan and organise his administration in such a way as to move with a synergy towards achieving clear deliverables in all focus areas the government has prioritised. The President did not mince words when he emphasised that performance evaluation of ministers and other government appointees would be tied to key performance indicators (KPIs), which is attached performance bond they signed.
Crucially, the President listed the priority areas of his administration to include: reforming the economy to deliver sustained inclusive growth; strengthening national security for peace and prosperity; boosting agriculture to achieve food security; unlocking energy and natural resources for sustainable development; and enhancing infrastructure and transportation as enablers of growth.
Others focus areas include education, health, and social investment as essential pillars of development; to accelerate diversification through industrialisation, digitisation, creative arts, manufacturing and innovation as well as improving governance for effective service delivery.
In the course of the retreat, I got to appreciate the enormous confidence and inspiration a great and visionary Coach can bring to his team. In fact, every participant in the retreat got the clear message from the President that non-performance will earn you a sack sooner than later. The President reminded everyone that Nigerians are not interested in excuses, political games, or procrastination, neither is he. Tangible results is the only language he understands!
With the creation of the Delivery Unit headed by Hadiza Bala Usman to serve as the coordination, monitoring and evaluation unit for the President on policies across MDAs, it is a pointer that President Bola Tinubu not just wants to have a firm grip on the implementation of all the policies he promised Nigerians but to ensure they are implemented within a specific time-frame.
The President inspired the ministers, permanent secretaries and other appointees to think out of the box for practical solutions to Nigeria’s problems across multiple sectors, which seem to have defied solutions for long. He demanded greater synergy from all ministries, departments and agencies. Synergy is one critical factor lacking among so many MDAs for so long, President Bola Tinubu envisages a very flexible government where seemless cooperation between government bodies will become a routine.
What this Cabinet Retreat has succeeded in achieving is providing clarity to every Minister and permanent Secretary on the goals they are meant to pursue and achieve within a stipulated time frame. The cabinet retreat has also demonstrated the readiness and commitment of President Bola Tinubu to faithfully implement the goals in his Renewed Hope vision with the end product being to create general prosperity for the citizens in an atmosphere of peace and equity.
This much is evident in the President’s closing remarks on Day 3 of the retreat where he said: “I want to reiterate that the Renewed Hope Agenda is about more than just economic growth. It is also about building a more just and equitable society for all Nigerians. It is about creating jobs, improving education and healthcare, and reducing poverty. It is about ensuring that all Nigerians have the opportunity to succeed.”
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is clearly in a hurry to deliver. Exciting times are in the horizon, let us embark on this journey together!
-Dada is Special Assistant to the President on Digital Media