By MURTALA ADOGI MOHAMMED
“Understand the potential drivers of change (and base your plan on them) prepare a plan to implement your strategy that is good enough to get started (and don’t make concessions for a quiet life) strengthen the delivery chain (don’t think you can get away without doing so” – Michael Barber, in his book – How to Run A Government: So that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy
As the new Nigerian Ministers take their positions, they are faced with the pressing challenge of delivering tangible results and fulfilling the promises made during the election campaign.
The first few months in office are crucial, and the decisions made during this period can set the tone for the rest of their tenure. To achieve quick wins and make an immediate impact, the new ministers should focus on five low hanging fruits that can pave the way for effective governance and positive change.
1. Assembling an Eggheaded Technical Team: One of the key priorities for the new ministers should be to assemble a highly competent and experienced technical team to support their vision. By bringing together experts from diverse backgrounds, the ministers can tap into a wealth of knowledge and insights. An eggheaded technical team will be instrumental in crafting evidence-based policies and implementing pragmatic solutions to address pressing challenges. As a Minister you can as well explore an opportunity of getting funds from donor partners and international organizations to handle the bills of your technical aides.
2. Working with Strategic Documents. The new Ministers in Nigeria should be familiar with African Agenda 2063, Nigeria Agenda 2050, and National Development Plan 2021-2025. Most ministries have well-defined strategic documents, such as Sector Development Plans and sector-specific blueprints. The new ministers should thoroughly study these documents to align their policies with the larger national vision. By leveraging existing strategies, ministers can avoid duplicating efforts and fast-track progress in priority areas.
3. Results Delivery Unit. To ensure effective implementation and timely delivery of promises, setting up a Results Delivery Unit (RDU) within each ministry is imperative. RDUs will act as the driving force behind monitoring and evaluating project progress, identifying bottlenecks, and providing timely solutions. By establishing RDUs, the new ministers can demonstrate a commitment to transparency and accountability.
4. Communicate Results. Effective communication is vital to garner public support and build trust in the government’s efforts. The new ministers should invest in robust communication strategies to keep the citizens informed about the progress made in various sectors. Regular updates, town hall meetings, and engagement through social media platforms can help bridge the gap between the government and the people. And media team in the Minister’s office should be able to communicate not just activities but results
5. Managing Civil Servants. The success of any government initiative depends on the competence and commitment of the civil servants. The new ministers should prioritize understanding the Nigerian civil service landscape, studying the terrain, studying and understanding their languages the training and capacity building of civil servants to enhance their skills and optimize service delivery. Recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance will also boost morale and foster a culture of excellence within the civil service.
As the new Nigerian Ministers embark on their journey to deliver on the promises of Mr. President and drive positive change, focusing on these five low-hanging fruits can yield quick wins and lay a solid foundation for effective governance.
By assembling a good technical team, working with strategic documents, setting up Results Delivery Units, communicating results, and managing civil servants, the new ministers can demonstrate their dedication to transforming Nigeria into a prosperous and equitable nation for all. With careful planning and decisive actions, they can make a lasting impact on the lives of the Nigerian people.
Murtala Adogi Mohammed PhD.
is the Founder and CEO – System Strategy & Policy Lab
ABUJA, Nigeria. He can be reached via email@example.com