By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
To address the challenge of rising cost of governance, the Federal Government is set to scrap some government parastatal agencies, commissions and merge others.
To this effect, the government has inaugurated two sub-committees to ensure the restructuring of the parastatal agencies and commissions.
The two committees were given six weeks within which to conclude their work and submit reports to the Federal Government.
The Steve Oronsaye report which was submitted in 2011, stated that there are 541 Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies; statutory and non-statutory, Persecondnews.com
Oronsaye is a former Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
The report recommended that 263 of the statutory agencies should be reduced to 161, 38 agencies should be abolished while 52 agencies should be merged.
It further recommended that 14 agencies should revert to departments in ministries.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who made the announcement on Thursday at the inauguration of the sub-committees in his office in Abuja, disclosed that the inability to implement the Steve Oransanye report on restructuring and rationalization of federal government institutions is “costing government highly.”
Mustapha, who was represented by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi- Esan, said the White Paper on the Oransanye report was issued and published in March 2014 and was followed by the White Paper implementation Committee inaugurated in May 2014.
He, however, said for several reasons, most of which were anchored on political expediency, the White paper not only rejected a large number of the recommendations, it also merely noted an equally greater number of others.
According to the SGF, Nigeria has continued to suffer under a daily increasing weight of a high cost of governance, underpinned by high personnel and overhead costs to the detriment of having adequate resources for development projects.
Mustapha stressed the need to make the federal government less of a cost center and more of a revenue generator.
He said: “For a long time now, the country has been struggling to make sure that at least 30% of its annual budget goes into capital projects.
“You would all agree with me that the inability to implement the report of the Committee on Restructuring and Rationalization of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions is costing government highly.
“This cost grows higher for every delay that the implementation suffers. This is further worsened by the fact that immediately after the report was released, parastatals and agencies billed for mergers or scrapping began developing means of further entrenching themselves as a major expenditure source to the government.
“Furthermore, new agencies were also created to compound the situation. At this juncture, permit me to say that besides the impropriety of government funding professional associations, the underlying principles for restructuring and rationalizing these government agencies remain more urgent now than when the initial committee was constituted in 2011.”