8th April, 2014
The Federal Government on Monday released the White Paper on the report of the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.
In the white paper, the Federal Government rejected most of the recommendations made by the committee, headed by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsanye while it approved a few others.
The Committee which was set up by federal government as part of its moves to reduce the amount spent on recurrent expenditure had in its report submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan on April 16, 2012 recommended the reduction of the existing 263 government’s statutory agencies in the country to 161.
The Committee had advised that to reduce cost of governance, government should abolish 38 agencies, merge 52 others and revert 14 agencies to the status of departments in the relevant ministries.
But in the white paper released on Monday, the government agreed to the recommendation of the Committee to scrap the National Poverty Eradication Programme and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, among others.
As recommended, the White Paper directed that the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission should perform the function of Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
Government also accepted the Committee’s recommendation that the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission’s enabling law be repealed and the functions of the Commission be subsumed under Revenue Mobilisation And Fiscal Commission and that RMAFC enabling laws be amended to accommodate the functions of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
The recommendations accepted included:
That the Bill seeking for the establishment of NEPAD as an agency of the Federal Government be withdrawn from the National Assembly as there are already laws relating to most of their activities being performed by NEPAD.
The government accepted that the trio of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency be merged into a new body to be known as the Federal Civil Aviation Authority and their respective enabling laws be amended accordingly to reflect the merger.
It also accepted that the Nigerian Financial Reporting Council should cease to be funded by the government from 2015 as well as the Industrial Training Fund to be self funding from 2014.
It accepted that the allegation made by the National Boundaries Commission against the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation over the funding of two non-existent boundary demarcations be properly investigated.
Government however rejected the recommendation of the Committee for the merger of anti corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices, the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Government also rejected the renaming of Code of Conduct Tribunal to Anti Corruption Tribunal.
Also, government rejected the recommendation that the Nigeria Television Authority, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and the Voice of Nigeria be merged into one body to be known as Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria.
But it accepted the recommendation the that NTA must be fully commercialised.
Also,the recommendation that the National Emergency Management Agency and the National Refugees Commission be merged into one agency to be known as the National Emergency Management and Refugees Commission was rejected.
Also, the recommendation that the Debt Management Office, that is under the Office of Vice President, should become an extra-ministerial department in the Federal Ministry of Finance, was turned down.
The government rejected the recommendation that the Act setting up the Federal Road Safety Commission be repealed and also that the road safety functions of the FRSC be reverted to the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works as well as the recommendation that the enabling law of the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS be repealed.
It rejected that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission be abolished and their functions transferred to a department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the recommendation that government stops sponsoring pilgrims and pilgrimages, with effect from 2012 fiscal year
Government rejected the privatisation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian in view of the security situation of the country.
Government rejected that the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Nigerian Broadcasting commission and the regulatory functions of Nigerian Postal Service be brought together under a unified management structure to be known as the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria.
Government rejected the recommendation that the Act establishing the National Examinations Council be repealed and Council’s activities be returned to the West African Examinations Council, but directed the Minister of Education to streamline the two bodies to ensure standards and integrity.
It rejected that the Act of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board be repealed and the Boards activities be returned to WAEC.
The government also rejected that the National Sports Commission revert to the proposed Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as an agency but approved the management audit of the National Institute for Sports.