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Government moves to implement Oronsaye report on rationalisation of federal agencies

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
05 November 2021   |   3:44 am
Seven years after, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has begun moves to implement the White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commission...

Former Head of Service of Federation, Stephen Oronsaye PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo<br />

• Raises two sub-committees to review document

Seven years after, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has begun moves to implement the White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commission, as it inaugurated two sub-committees to review the main report and the document proper.

Both panels were given six weeks to conclude their work and submit reports. A rationalisation committee, constituted in 2011 and headed by former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, had, in its report submitted on April 16, 2012, recommended a reduction in the number of federal agencies from 263 to 161 to reduce cost of governance in the country.

However, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, in April 2014, ordered the establishment of a white paper implementation committee on the report of the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.

Speaking yesterday at the inauguration of the sub-committees in Abuja, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, noted that the inability to implement the report was costing government highly.

Represented by Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, the SGF lamented that Nigeria had continued to suffer under increasing weight of high cost of governance underpinned by high personnel and overhead costs at the detriment of developmental projects.

His words: “As you are aware, various administrations have been concerned with different aspects of governance of the public service, and one of these areas has always been the increasing cost of governance without seeming concurrent productivity in the quality of service delivery.

This had led to a number of reforms, some of which achieved their objectives, others did not, while some were either truncated or not implemented at all. It was in a bid to address this, among others, that the Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies was constituted on August 18, 2011 and submitted its report on April 16, 2012.”

Mustapha continued: “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, 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, for a number of 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. But again even those accepted were not implemented.”