The Nigerian government appears set to scrap at least eight federal agencies, commissions, and parastatals out of about 220 recommended for abolition in the report of the Stephen Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
As part of the rationalisation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission are to be merged into a single entity.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that a White Paper on the Orosanye-committee report was extensively discussed in at least three meetings of the Executive Council of the Federation, otherwise known as FEC.
As part of the deliberations on the report, a review committee on the draft White Paper, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, approved that some agencies be either scrapped completely or merged with those performing similar functions.
PREMIUM TIMES findings reveal eight of those agencies.
The agencies to be scrapped completely include the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC); Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC); National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC); National Poverty Eradication programme (NAPEP); Utilities Charges Commission (UCC); the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) and the Public Complaints Commission (PCC).
Bureau of Public Enterprises
The BPE was established with the mandate of implementing the Nigerian government policy on privatization and commercialization and preparing public enterprises for privatization and commercialization.
The government has already “directed that a “Sunset Clause” should be introduced to the BPE to conclude its assignment and wound down,” according to the review committee’s conclusion.
This implies that the BPE would wind up once it concludes its assignment of privatization of public enterprises.
Fiscal Responsibility Commission
Another agency that has been recommended to be scrapped is the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC, which was established to help monitor government financial activities and enthrone a regime of prudent, ethical and effective management of public monies and resources by the tiers of government.
Already, the Jonathan-headed review committee has directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to initiate the necessary actions to give effect to the decision to abolish the FRC.
A third agency that could be scrapped is the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) established in 1977 to help minimize the bureaucratic bottlenecks and increase autonomy in dealing with members of the organised private sector to promote the export of Nigerian goods and commodities.
The fourth agency that may be scrapped is the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), which was established by Act 99 of 1993 charged with the responsibility of managing all issues pertaining to compensation and renumeration in the the public service.
National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), which the committee said might be scrapped, was conceived in 2001 by the Federal Government to help address poverty in the country and related issues, while the Utilities Charges Commission (UCC) was established to help evaluate trends in tariff charged to provide the government with information relating to the scheduled utilities and their tariff charges.
The other agencies that might be affected include National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), which was established to serve as a vehicle for effective monitoring of the implementation of government’s national economic policies and programmes for the overall development of the country, while the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) was established to help bridge the gap between the elite and the down-trodden in the society.
Under the new arrangement, the NEPC will merge with the Nigerian Investment Promotions Commission (NIPC), which is currently domiciled in the Presidency, while the new organization will relocate to the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment for effective synergy and utilization of resources.
Similarly, the PCC is to merge with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC, which is currently performing the PCC functions, while the enabling Act establishing the PCC is to be removed from the Constitution of the Federal Republic through the amendment of sections 153 and 315.
The law establishing the NSIWC is to be repealed to give effect to the transfer of the agency to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), while the functions of NAPEP are to be merged with the National directorate of Employment (NDE).
Civil servants on the staff of the UCC, which is to be scrapped, have been directed to be redeployed to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
On the other hand, parastatals, commissions and agencies the presidential review committee accepted should be retained include the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB); Council of States (COS); Federal Character Commission FCC); Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC); Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC); Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); National Defence Council (NDC); National Economic Council (NEC); National Judicial Council (NJC), National Population Commission (NPC); National Security Council (NSC); Nigeria Police Council (NPC) and the Police Service Commission PSC), whose law is to be amended to make the Minister of Police Affairs its head.
Other agencies and parastatals to be retained include Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP); the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT); Infrastructure Concessionary & Regulatory Commission (ICRC); National Pension Commission (PENCOM); Ministry of Special Duties; National Sports Commission (NSC); National Institute for Sports (NIS); Nigeria Football Federation /Nigeria Football Association (NFA), whose enabling law is to be amended to reflect the directive by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) that the organization should be named a federation.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is to be retained, but with a new structure to reflect a framework to cover critical areas of national socio-economic development that corps members should be deployed for their primary assignments, while the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre would focus on the promotion of moral values and ethical re-orientation among Nigerians.
The Council for Registered Engineers (COREN) and the Surveyors Registration Council (SRC) are to be retained, although they would henceforth not receive budgetary allocations from government from the 2015 fiscal year, while the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Federal Highway department of the Federal Ministry of Works are to be transformed into an inter-ministerial department after the amendment of their enabling laws.
The Committee also approved the retention of the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF); National Boundaries Commission (NBC); Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) which is to be relocated to the Presidency; National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS); National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); National Commission for refugees (NCR); Debt Management Office (DMO); Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), National Planning Commission (NPC); National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); Centre for Management Development (CMD); National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The committee also resolved to retain the Nigeria National Merit Award (NNMA); the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA); Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC); National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC); National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF); Service Compact with all Nigerians (SERVICOM), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI); National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
The government had earlier announced that some unproductive research institutes would be scrapped while some others would be merged with relevant research units in universities.
Read our earlier report on the research institutes to be scrapped here.