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FG To Stop Funding Of Professional Associations

Ebuka Daniel

The Federal Government has constituted two sub-committees to review the Stephen Orasanye Committee report on high costs of governance.

While the first sub-committee is to review the implementation of Government White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions, the second sub-committee is to review new Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions created after the submission of the report on restructuring.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha constituted the sub-committees on Thursday in Abuja.

He said it is improper for government to continue to fund professional bodies, as such funding increases the cost of governance.

Mustapha who was represented by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation HOS, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, declared that there is futility in creating another body to perform the functions of an already existing statutory entity.

He noted that the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of an existing institution does not justify the creation of a new one.

He said; “Nigeria has continued to suffer under a daily increasing weight of a high cost of governance under-pinned by high personnel and overhead costs to the detriment of having adequate resources for development projects.

“For a long time now, the country has been struggling to make sure that at least 30 per cent of its annual budget goes into capital projects.

“The inability to implement the report of the Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation 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 government. Furthermore, new agencies were also created to compound the situation.

“Besides the impropriety of Government funding professional associations, the underlying principles for restructuring and rationalising these government agencies remain more urgent now than when the initial committee was constituted in 2011.”

He said the two subcommittees “are to review the main report and White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions; and review New Agencies created after the Submission of the above report from 2014 to date.”

He said the review will provide government with action plan and roadmap for implementing the recommendations contained therein.

While the sub-committee on the main report is chaired by a former Head of Service, Mr Goni Bukar Aji and has other members including eight federal permanent secretaries, the subcommittee on the review of new Agencies/Parastatals that were created after the main report in 2014 is also chaired by a former Head of Service, Ms Amal Pepple.

Membership of her committee includes a retired Head of Service, Prof. Sunday Afolabi and nine serving and retired federal permanent secretaries. Both subcommittees have six weeks within which to turn in their reports.

The Federal Government had on 18th August, 2011 as part of measures to reduce the cost of governance, set up a Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.

The Committee had submitted its report on 16th April, 2012.

While the report recommended that of the 541 Statutory and Non-Statutory Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions, 263 statutory agencies should be reduced to 161, it added that 38 agencies should be abolished, 52 agencies should be merged, and 14 should revert back to Departments in Ministries.

Subsequently, the White Paper on the Report was issued and published in March, 2014 and was followed by the White Paper implementation Committee inaugurated in May, 2014.

However, while the White paper not only rejected a large number of the recommendations, it also merely noted an equally greater number of others, with some agencies created since then. 

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