Perform well or leave my cabinet, Tinubu talks hard on ministers

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President Bola Tinubu, during the three-day 2023 Cabinet Retreat for Ministers, Presidential Aides, Permanent Secretaries, and Top Government Functionaries, emphasized the importance of achieving the mandates of their ministries. The retreat, held in Abuja, centered around the theme, “Delivering on the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Tinubu reminded the ministers of their duty to serve the Nigerian people, who entrusted their mandates to him. He reiterated his administration’s commitment to lifting 50 million Nigerians out of poverty, stating that poverty is unacceptable, though not shameful.

Addressing the gathered officials, the President urged them to focus on the progress of their respective ministries and to propose bold initiatives. He emphasized that his administration was determined to transform the nation’s population into an asset.

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“We established Results Delivery Units. At the end of this retreat, you are going to sign a Bond of Understanding between the ministers, the Permanent Secretaries, and myself,” President Tinubu announced. “If you are performing, there is nothing to fear. If you missed the objective, we review; if no performance, you leave us. No one is an island, and the buck stops on my desk.”

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Tinubu assured his cabinet members that they would have a free hand but encouraged them to be intellectually inquisitive and question the “how, why, when, and why it must be immediate.” He also introduced Hadiza Usman to head the Results Delivery Unit and invited feedback about her performance.

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The President acknowledged that Nigeria faced challenges, such as those in the Sahel region and climate change, but he emphasized the country’s immense potential. He described Nigeria as the most intellectually sound country in Africa and urged his officials to take pride in their nation and its capabilities.

Tinubu encouraged ministers and government officials to make decisions without fear but cautioned against being antagonistic to their superiors. He acknowledged the possibility of making mistakes and welcomed constructive debate to rectify errors, noting that perfection was reserved for the Almighty.

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The President concluded by reiterating his commitment to reforms and addressing various challenges in Nigeria. He urged his cabinet members not to hinder the country’s progress and emphasized the importance of achieving better living wages for workers, transforming the economy, improving healthcare, and investing in education and infrastructure.

“We can only spend the money. We will find it, we cannot spend the people,” President Tinubu said, emphasizing the need to invest in the country’s development. He stressed that borrowing was not a crime when used wisely to drive progress.


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