By NBF News

The Federal Government yesterday stated that the newly introduced regime of measurement and evaluation of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, using key performance indicators (KPIs) would henceforth serve as a standard for assessing the performance of ministers.

It has also listed attitudinal change as key to improving the country's economic rating before international community. The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the National Planning Commission, stated this yesterday in Abuja at the validation meeting of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for evaluating Nigeria's vision 20:2020.

He stressed that the government was determined to ensure the realization of the goals set in the first national implementation plan covering 2011-2015.

He further noted that the recently released measurement and evaluation (M&E) 2010 report conducted by NPC showed that the nation's economy registered a modest improvement during 2010 with the overall real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate at 7.8 per cent.

It would be recalled that in the M&E report, only three sectors, namely -oil and gas, transportation as well as wholesale and retail trade were able to meet set growth targets while manufacturing sector, utilities (including electricity), and building and construction sectors performed very poorly, in relation to the targets set.

Sambo said, 'it is my belief that the change in attitude and commitment to national goals will facilitate improvement in the economic growth and development of our country,' stressing that 'it is my charge that we strive towards achieving our set objectives.'

He said that the meeting was significant, as it was just coming on the heels of the Presidential Retreat on the Transformation Agenda for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, observing that it would also enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to have 'in-depth knowledge on the direction of policies in the medium term, especially with regards to implementation of the Transformation Agenda from 2011 to 2015.'

Similarly, he noted that the session would give the MDAs the opportunity to be part of the process from the onset, which according to him will further facilitate the timely production of the 2011 mid-year report.

Sambo stated that, government placed high premium on the validation exercise, emphasising that the KPIs would not only form the basis for tracking the performance of the vision 20: 2020 blueprint and the Transformation Agenda but also that of 'Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and their respective staff during the period under review.'

Lamenting the failure of some MDAs to meet their sectoral targets as contained in the First National Monitoring and Evaluation Report covering January to December 2010, he charged them to take the exercise seriously.

The Vice President also used the opportunity to urge the MDAs to painstakingly study the Vision 20: 2020 and the National Transformation Agenda for effective implementation. He further enjoined Ministers to establish Monitoring and Evaluation units to facilitate the generation of requisite data for the production of the performance evaluation report from 'mid to end of 2011 and beyond.'

He disclosed that government hopes to extend the process to sub-national levels with effect from 2012, saying, 'our focus is to produce annual country reports that captured the Monitoring and Evaluation performance of all levels of government and critical private sector operations in the country.'

The Minister of National Planning and Deputy Chairman, of the National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, disclosed that the validation meeting was part of efforts at ensuring an improved quality of the 2011 Mid-year evaluation report, adding that some of the KPIs used in preparing the 2010 report would also be reviewed and a timeline for data collection agreed by all stakeholders. He further disclosed that the 2011 Mid-year report would be ready by September.

Usman emphasized that the country's ranking on the basis of nominal GDP edged up from 44th position in 2009 to 41st position in 2010, and clarified that the aim of vision 20:2020 was to see Nigeria emerge one of the world's top 20 economies using GDP as a benchmark.

The minister further noted that the mid year 2011 report, which would be extensive, would be ready in October 2011, adding that the report's coverage would be extended to the sub-national levels by 2012. Highlighting the impact of M&E in a nation's growth, Dr Usman said: 'we have to measure, if you are not measuring you are doing.'

He further made a case for effective co-ordination to avoid failure of the programme, stressing that lack of goal clarity constitutes a major reason why most programmes do not succeed.

'There is a need for we all to work together for better co-ordination. The weakest link in the chain can crash the initiative,' he stressed.