National Assembly to create 25 new federal agencies
Posted by News Express | 30 January 2017 | 2,596 times
National Assembly Complex.
The National Assembly is planning to create about 25 additional federal agencies in the face of an over-bloated bureaucracy and the current economic recession, investigation has shown.
Already, about N2.98 trillion or 40.1 percent of N7.28 trillion 2017 federal budget is allocated to 541 federal agencies, departments, commissions, institutes, bureaux and other bodies.
The plan to create additional agencies is coming at a time when the government is working to merge some existing agencies as part of cost cutting measures.
Only N2.4 trillion or 30 percent of the federal budget is allocated to capital projects like roads, rail and power – which are already replete with decayed infrastructure.
Data obtained from the official website of the National Assembly shows that the Senate had started the process of creating 25 additional agencies within last year alone. The bills are at various stages of legislation at the upper chamber.
Most of the federal agencies that are annually guzzling trillions have duplicated roles; dozens hardly do anything apart from keeping the red tape long, while a large number of them overstayed their statutory duties.
In August 18, 2011, the federal government raised a Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies headed by former Head of Service of the Federation, Steven Oronsaye, to merge or trim government agencies and commissions.
The panel recommended the reduction of statutory agencies of government from 263 to 161, scrapping of 38 agencies, merger of 52 and conversion of 14 to departments in ministries as well as the removal of all professional bodies/councils from the national budget in order to slash the exorbitant cost of governance.
A White Paper was released by President Goodluck Jonathan on the Oronsaye report.
Though the White Paper implementation committee was reconstituted last year by President Muhammadu Buhari, the recommendations of the report are yet to be implemented.
Despite this, the lawmakers are still seeking to create more bureaucratic red tapes.
Already, the National Assembly has approved the creation of North East Development Commission (NEDC), a body charged with the reconstruction efforts of the insurgency ravaged region.
The lawmakers are seeking to establish a Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as well as Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal.
Apparently to address the bloody herders/farmers clashes in the country, the National Assembly is planning to create two bodies: Grazing Areas Management Agency and the National Ranches Commission.
They are also in the process of creating additional research bodies despite the dozens spread across the country that have outlived their usefulness but still gulping public funds.
The new research bodies in the pipeline are the National Council for Research and Development, National Research and Innovation Foundation, National Research and Innovation Council and the Federal Entrepreneurship Centre.
There are two new agencies for the federal capital thus: FCT Traffic Management and Enforcement Authority (TMEA) and the FCT Resettlement, Integration and Development Commission.
Others include the National Transport Commission, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport of Nigeria, National Council on Occupational Safety and Health, and National Marine Insurance Bureau.
The lawmakers are also seeking to establish the Institute of Chartered Biochemists and Molecular Biologists of Nigeria, Nigerian Independent Warehouse Regulatory Agency, National Agency for Ethics and Values and Chartered Institute for Trade and Investment of Nigeria.
There are also bills for the Unemployed Youths, Elderly and Indigent Sustainability Allowances Trust Fund, the Nigerian Assets Management Agency, Private Security Regulatory Agency of Nigeria and the Border Patrol Agents.
After these bills are passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly, the president has to assent to them before they become law.
The National Economic Council (NEC), agreed in their meeting last month to begin the implementation of the Oronsaye report.
Speaking after the meeting, Kaduna State Governor Nasiru el-Rufai said: “At the federal level, we are suggesting looking at the Oronsaye report that suggested merger and reduce duplications of agencies.”
He said “there is a need to look at those that are duplicating and merge them. We are spending too much on running the government than on goods and services in serving the population.”