Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) make up the pivot of what is the civil or public service and are therefore, the engine room of good governance. MDAs are central and inevitable to any government and good governance especially because they are important both in policy formulation and implementation.
The Special Joint Report on MDAs and Ranking by IT Edge News and Baobab Africa focuses on how much of good governance can be derived from MDAs in the last seven years as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari winds down on its eight years after a two term constitutional mandate.
Good governance implies accountability to the citizens of a democratic polity and their involvement in decision making, implementation, and assessment.
Experts also agreed that “good governance entails effective and efficient services to the people and the use of public resources to secure the maximum welfare for the greatest number of the people. It is the provision of essential social amenities and infrastructure to enable the people realize their potentialities.”
As this Joint Special Report discovered, MDAs have several issues that weaken their capacity to deliver on their statutory mandates and by implication, good governance.
The Special Joint Report on MDAs and Ranking sought to find out how much of digital presence exists in the MDAs to speed up and create efficiency in the delivery of good governance; the number/depth of projects or initiatives executed within the development goals of President Buhari; how MDA’s KPIs/ milestones have measured up to their Mission, Mandate, Vision, & Goals (MMVG); and what has been the impact of all these to the people and environment. The results were outstanding as well as shocking. We will speak in the language of the Presidential Committees set up to scrutiny the MDAs.
Yes! Many MDAs need to be reworked, merged or scrapped. There are over 800 MDAs and nearly 60% of them are a waste of public resource; a financial drain on the nation.
In terms of digital presence, many of the MDAs’ websites are lacklustre billboards. In fact, they do more damage than any good to the corporate identity of the MDAs. Many of these government-owned websites are no better than promotional desks of their CEOs and not the institutions they represent as engine rooms of development held in trust for the citizens.
Indeed, only few MDAs have effective websites that strengthen “institutional credibility and brand, improve user satisfaction, and save time and money in terms of speed, download and navigation.
But there are praise-worthy models. The websites of NCC (https://www.ncc.gov.ng/); the newly reworked NADDC (https://naddc.gov.ng/); NIMC (https://nimc.gov.ng/); NDPB (https://ndpb.gov.ng/); NITDA (https://nitda.gov.ng/); NEPC (https://nepc.gov.ng/); and NIPC (https://www.nipc.gov.ng/) were notably exciting with loads of information/content; good aesthetic outlays with robust security; and very active in terms of responding to query.
Many MDAs are not so forthcoming on projects or initiatives that could be identifiable with their development goals under President Buhari. In over two months of repeatedly seeking information from these MDAs, these government entities were not forthcoming with responses.
Many MDAs complain of lack of fund to execute their projects. They cannot do more than to just pay staff salaries and are far from achieving even 10% of their mandates. Many of these agencies are duplicitous and therefore, cannot create any impact.
The Special Joint Report on MDAs and Ranking is the start of a thought-provoking journey to use identifiable tools allowing citizens to adjudge if MDAs are functional entities or clogs to the core meaning of good governance.
MDAs are part of the “public bureaucracy whose primary function is to translate government policy into measurable outcomes. These institutions therefore cannot be ignored when the process of governance is being considered as they form the conduit as it were for the concretization of the intentions of people who legitimately hold state power.” The Special Joint Report on MDAs and Ranking will remain a continuous exercise.