Today, we have just concluded a brief, yet momentous ceremony ? the signing of Performance Contracts by Honourable Ministers, the first of its kind in the history of our democracy.There have been all kinds of speculations about this exercise. It is important to state what it is and what it is not. I want to assure every one of you who has taken part in the exercise that this is not meant to witch-hunt anybody. It is to remind all of us, from President to Directors General, to Advisers and other aides that we are representatives of the Nigerian people, and we are accountable to them at all times. I had stated clearly during the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council that Ministers are expected to be accountable, productive, transparent and focused. In the past two months, many of you have had to make detailed presentations on the Key Performance Indicators in your Ministries. Today?s exercise is yet a reminder of our commitment to service delivery for the common good of Nigerians.Our objectives are clear: This Administration is determined to ensure enhanced performance, transparency and accountability in governance.Though a relatively new concept in Nigeria, the Performance Contracting System is geared towards improving performance and delivering quality and timely services to the citizenry, improving productivity and instilling a greater sense of accountability for effective service delivery.The performance contract that has been signed by each Minister today is part of the process aimed at ensuring that we deliver on our mandate to Nigerian citizens. Already, we have spelt out the goals in the Government?s Transformation Agenda to which every Minister was given an opportunity to contribute.The citizenry expects Government to be more proactive and effective in its actions. Nigerians expect to be provided with the basic necessities of life to function more effectively in a competitive environment.The majority voted for us because they believe this Administration will ensure an improved standard of living. Since our assumption of office last year we have strived to ensure improved quality service delivery in all the key areas identified for putting our nation on a solid path of development.Beyond the periodic Ministerial Press briefings as witnessed prior to the last Democracy Day Celebrations, we must continue to set targets for ourselves by agreeing on outcomes to be achieved.The process leading to today?s agreement has been long and thorough, with each Minister and his/her Permanent Secretary and other Directors involved in identifying the key benefits to be delivered to the citizens ? the outcomes and the tangible projects that need to be put in place by their respective Ministries to bring about those benefits.I am aware that the teams from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies were also involved in determining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the various targets for 2012 and beyond.The process has also exposed the Ministers to the critical need for clear understanding of the mandate of their respective Ministries, strategic and operational planning and the need to focus on results delivery, rather than on inputs, activities and processes, for development to be of relevance and benefit to the citizens.The importance of a monitoring and evaluation system to track performance must now also be clear to all involved.I expect the process to be reproduced throughout the system, with the Ministers signing similar agreements with their Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies and Parastatals.? I am pleased to know that discussions have been initiated between the Honourable Minister of National Planning and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to work out the modalities for translating the process into the individual staff performance evaluation process.I expect the process will serve as an instrument towards the realization of the objectives of Government as enumerated in the Vision 20:2020 document as well as our Administration?s Transformation Agenda, which is targeted primarily at improving physical infrastructure, human capital, the real sector and good governance for Nigerians by the year 2015.It is my earnest expectation that this process will provide the missing link between planning and budgetary allocation to MDAs by providing a basis for performance ? based budgeting, that will tie their allocation to their capacity to deliver on the agreed mandate based on clear, concrete and objective results for the citizens of Nigeria.? It will also strongly support evidence-based decision making, by policy makers and implementers.I therefore charge all MDAs to develop clear, detailed and documented strategic and operational plans to guide their implementation between now and 2015.? They should also strengthen their Monitoring and Evaluation units to support the implementation of the plans and tracking and reporting performance on the agreed indicators.At the heart of our objective is the Nigerian citizen with whom we have a pact. Let me therefore reiterate this Administration?s commitment to delivering on those promises of a better present and a greater future.We have set for ourselves a tough task and there is no going back. Nigerians expect a better deal from Government and that is what they shall get, under my watch. And that is what each and every one of you must see as your primary goal.Thank you and God bless!

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

President of Nigeria

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