….as White Paper Committee submits report, recommends dialogue with NASS …Says legal framework/enabling Act of some of the PACs defective
The Federal government on Thursday received a report from the Ebele Okeke Committee that was constituted to draft a White Paper on the Amal Pepple Committee report on new Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions created between 2012 and 2021.
With the submission of the report, it is expected that the SGF will now forward the recommendations to the Federal Executives Council (FEC) for approval before implementation
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, while receiving the report, described the report as “a demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to repositioning the Public Service for effective service delivery”.
He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration desires to restructure the public service in order to ensure efficiency.
He recalled various efforts of the Government to address the structural issues within the MDAs with the setting up of the Bukar Aji, Committee to review the Mohammed Adoke White Paper on the Steve Oronsaye Report on Restructuring and Rationalization of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commission.
He also cited the Amal Pepple, Committee to review new Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions (PAC) created between 2012 to October, 2021; and the Ebele Okeke, Committee to Draft a White Paper on the Amal Pepple Committee Report on new Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions created between 2012 and 2021.
Mustapha pointed out that the high cost of governance, in Nigeria and revenue challenges being experienced in the midst of competing societal demands are of serious concern to the Federal Government, has made restructuring in the public service indispensable.
Chairman of the Committee and former Head of Service of the Federation, Ebele Okeke, in her remarks, stated that the Committee had “carried out content analysis of the legal framework setting up the PAS under review, analysis of the budgetary provisions of the PACs for the period under consideration.
“The potential for the PACS to be self-funding over a reasonable period of time as well as access to International sources of funding technology to build up capacity and technical expertise to be self sustaining were also considered.
The Committee said it “observed that the legal framework/enabling Act of some of the PACs did not clearly define structure, management and oversight, adding that “ Most of the laws used Agency, Commission and Board inter-changeably.
“For instance, where the organization is defined as a Commission, the provisions of the law did not support the structure of a Commission. In this regard, where the Committee recommended change in status/name, amendment of the Act/Law 1s also recommended, accordingly.
The Committee also observed that most of the agencies created (especially under Education and Health) were Bills that emanated from the National Assembly, and recommended that, “ it is important to engage and dialogue with the NASS to generate an understanding to streamline the creation of new PACs”.
The committee stated that some of the recommendations can be considered as low hanging fruits that can be implemented immediately after approval of the White Paper.
The Draft White Paper is made up of three parts, with Part 1 dealing with introduction and Purpose, Part II shows the PACs, the Recommendations and Remarks of the Review Committee, Comments and Recommendations by this Committee for consideration of the Federal Government. Part III is the Implementation Plan and Key Performance Indicators.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation had inaugurated the 8-member Committee on Friday 1 July, 2022 to produce a Draft White Paper the 2022 Report of the Committee on the Review of New Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions (PACs) created since 2012 after the submission of the Report on the Restructuring and Rationalization of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions.
Okeke noted that in carrying out the assignment, the White Paper Drafting Committee considered the current economic challenges and the requirement for and the requirement for Government to utilize resources more efficiently in order to reduce cost of governance
Others include the need to develop diverse sources of revenue for Government as well as encourage some Agencies of Government to be self-funding, as well as the principle of building strong institutions to guarantee service delivery to the populace and the imperative to grow the economy, create employment and stay on the critical path to achieve development objective.
The National Directorate of Employment is expected to be amalgamated with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria to form the National Agency for Job Creation and Empowerment.
This should save the government N15.4bn on the average.
The law establishing the Federal Road Safety Corps is expected to be repealed and the agency reverting to the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works while the personnel are to be absorbed by the Police Service Commission and Vehicle Inspection Office. This would save the government N50.8bn based on budget estimates.
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS will no longer be a stand alone agency but is expected to be subsumed into the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. This will save the government N5.4bn.
The committee recommended that both the Hajj and Christian commissions should be abolished and government should stop sponsoring pilgrimages. Also, the government was advised to stop granting concessionary foreign exchange to pilgrims. This could save the government N2.6bn.
Nigeria is expected to save N1bn if the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria are merged.
The committee recommended that the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Broadcasting Commission and Nigerian Postal Service be merged into one entity known as the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria.
This could save the government N149.2bn.
Similarly, the committee recommended that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency be merged into a body known as Federal Civil Aviation Authority. This could save the government N97.9bn.
The committee recommended that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria be fully privatised. This will save Nigeria at least N93.5bn in recurrent and capital expenditure going by FAAN’s 2022 budget.
The Nigerian Communication Satellite is expected to be fully privatised, thereby saving the government N9.2bn.
The National Examinations Council is expected to be brought under the West African Examination Council. This will save Nigeria of at least N16.1bn in recurrent and capital expenditure going by NECO’s 2022 budget.
The committee recommended a merger between the National Universities Commission, the National Board for Technical Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education to form the Tertiary Education Commission. This should save the government N13bn.
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