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Jonathan warns ministers on laxity

President Goodluck Jonathan

By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA—MINISTERS and other cabinet members who have hitherto been relaxing or simply not delivery on their mandates, since ailing President Yar’Adua left for medical treatment, have been warned by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to either resume serious work or be shown the way out.

The Acting President put the cabinet members on their toes even as he has increased his working hours and days, to make maximum impact on the Seven-Point Agenda of his boss, President Umaru Yar’Adua, given the short period of time remaining for the administration before the April 2011 presidential election.

Our source, a Minister, told Vanguard that Jonathan handed down the warning to cabinet members during the last Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting; saying that “the time has come that the general attitude to work of the some of the Ministers and other Presidential aides can no longer be condoned.”

He was said to have told the Council members that anyone who failed to appreciate the time limit for the government would be believed to have fired himself, as no time would be spared in doing just that.

Investigations by Vanguard revealed that Jonathan has included both Saturdays and Sundays in his work schedules while he has also increased his working hours from 7:30 am to 11: 40 pm, performing official duties from both his residence and office.

While he received the leadership of the Senate led by Senator David Mark on Thursday last week in his official residence at about 8:30 a.m, the Acting President also scheduled the receipt of the Ambassador of the Republic of Niger, at his residence on Saturday.

All these, it was learnt, was to ensure that no single hour was lost unnecessarily between now and April 2011, to make up for the time lost while President Yar’Adua was away in Saudi Arabia. As a result of the new order, Vanguard observed that most Ministers and other cabinet members now report to work earlier than before.

Vows to sanction ministers

It would be recalled that on 12 June, 2009, Jonathan, then Vice President, read a riot act to Ministers with a vow to hold them responsible for the failure of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, to meet up with the Federal Government’s target on the project so far.

Jonathan spoke at a two-day retreat on the Mid-Term Review of the National Technical Working Groups of the Vision 2020 Strategic Development in Abuja, staged for members of the National Steering Committee and the National Technical Working Groups of the Vision under the supervision of the National Planning Commission, NPC.

Expressing disappointment at the inability of the MDAs to work at the same pace with the national technical working groups, Jonathan declared that the Federal Government was prepared to sanction any MDA that would frustrate ongoing efforts to achieve the set objectives.

He said: “I have been informed that despite widespread enthusiasm being shown by all stakeholders in general, there are still some Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, that have either not yet set up their Stakeholders Development Committees or have, so far not yet set up their committees and to work immediately. I expect that all those that fall within this category will set their committees and get to work immediately.

“Henceforth, I will be receiving periodic updates from the National Planning Commission and the Project Management Office of Vision 2020 about the progress made in this regard by the MDAs and I intend to hold the Ministers responsible for the success or failure of their ministries towards contributing to this honorable initiative.”


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