President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday kick-started the process of cutting down the cost of administration in the country with the setting up of the Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies which is expected to prune the number of agencies by restructuring and rationalising them for efficiency.
The committee, which has the immediate past Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Orasanye, as chairman, was set up sequel to the recommendations of the defunct Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) that there was need to prune and rationalise parastatals and agencies whose functions were overlapping.
Other members of the committee are John Nwosu, Rabiu Abubakar representing the office of the Head of Service, Hamza Aminu Tahir from Ministry of Justice, Comrade A. Tijani of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Mallam Nasir Adamu, Femi Olaifemi, Mamman Kata and Aminu Ibrahim from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Jonathan noted that government in the past had kept creating the parastatals and agencies to help implement government projects and programmes without being tied down by bureaucracy but regretted that there was continuous creation of such bodies without due diligence, leading to the overlapping of functions.
“However, over the years, government has set up too many of such parastatals with overlapping functions, thereby leading to inefficiencies and wastages," he said. "Government has in effect decided to establish this committee with the following terms of reference.
•To study and review all previous reports/records on the restructuring of Federal Government parastatals and advise on whether they are still relevant or not;
•To examine critically the mandates of the existing federal agencies, parastatals and commissions and determine areas of overlap or duplication of functions and make appropriate recommendations in order to eliminate such overlaps, duplications and redundancies;
•To examine the enabling Acts of all the federal agencies, parastatals and commissions and classify them into various sectors and make appropriate recommendations for the review of the extant laws in line with the recommendations; and
•To advise on any other matters that are incidental to the foregoing, which may be relevant to the desire of the government to prune down the cost of governance.”
The president harped on the importance of the committee to his administration, saying: “Government attaches great importance to this committee’s assignment in view of the financial implications of maintaining a federal bureaucracy with over 400 parastatals and agencies.
The need to reduce the cost of government cannot be overemphasised. You are expected to commence your assignment immediately and submit your report within eight weeks from today.”
He said he hoped that the recommendations of the committee would help his administration to transform the parastatals and agencies to make for greater efficiency and productivity which his administration craves.