Posted by News Express | 8 April 2014 | 4,693 times
Two government agencies – the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) – have been scrapped.
Three aviation agencies have been merged into one in the Federal Government’s efforts to streamline its finances. The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) are now to be known as the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA). Their enabling laws will be amended to reflect the merger.
These are the highlights of the Federal Government’s White Paper on the report of the Steve Oronsaye Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.
The 105-page document dated March, 2014 was made public yesterday.
Oronsaye, a former Head of Service of the Federation, submitted the report of his panel to the government on April 16, 2012. It was referred to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, before the White Paper was released yesterday.
In all, the panel recommended the scrapping or merger of 270 government agencies. Some of the agencies have been approved for commercialisation and privatisation.
The government rejected the the merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). The government also rejected the renaming of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
But, it accepted that “the trio of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, 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 (FCAA) and their respective enabling laws be amended accordingly to reflect the merger.”
It also accepted that the enabling law of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology be amended and the college restructured.
While maintaining that JAMB should continue to exist as the central examination body for admissions into Nigerian universities, it directs that JAMB must play its regulatory role to ensure that all students for undergraduate admissions into Nigerian universities, including direct entries, must pass through JAMB.
The government accepted the recommendation that the Bill seeking for the establishment of NEPAD as an agency of the Federal Government be withdrawn from the National Assembly as there are already laws relating to most of the activities being performed by NEPAD.
Accepting that the Utilities Charges Commission be abolished and its enabling law repealed, it directed that the process be initiated by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
It accepted the recommendation that the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation be fully commercialised and also accepted the recommendation that the passed bill on the Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service should not be assented to by the President.
The government also accepted that the practice whereby certain categories of retirees are opting out of contributory pension scheme be stopped, stating that only the military may withdraw from the scheme.
The Veterinary Research Council of Nigeria is to be self-funding. Further budgetary allocation to the council should cease forthwith, the government said. It also accepted partial commercialisation of the Nigerian Postal Agency (NIPOST).
Government shares in NIGCOMSAT are to be sold. The government will retain minority shares. The government also accepted that the functions of NIGCOMSAT that relates to space development be reverted to the National Space Development Agency.
The Nigerian Institute for Education Planners and Administrators (NIEPA) will be merged with the National Teachers Institute (NTI).
The Nigerian Film Corporation will be commercialised from the 2013 fiscal year – with the government seed funding. The government accepted that all offices of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies outside Lagos and Abuja be closed down immediately to ensure judicious use of available resources in line with government policy.
The government accepted that the National Council of Arts and Culture be merged with the National Troupe and the National Theatre into one agency called National Council of Arts and Culture.
The Federal Government also accepted that the Nigerian Financial Reporting Council ceases to be funded by the government from 2015. It also accepted that the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) be self-funding from 2014.
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 demarcation will be properly investigated.
The government accepted the management audit of the National Institute for Sports (NIS).
But it rejected the recommendation for an amendment in name and status of the Federal Civil Service Commission to the Federal Public Service Commission. The recommendation for a single term of five years for the chairman and members of the commission was accepted.
Accepting the recommendation for the scrapping of Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), the government also directed the AGF to initiate action for the abolition.
It directed that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) should perform the function of the FRC.
The government accepted the recommendation that the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission’s enabling law be repealed and the functions of the commission subsumed under the RMAFC.
But the recommendation that Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) be subsumed under the Bureau of Public Enterprises for greater synergy, was rejected.
Also rejected is the recommendation of the merger of NTA, FRCN and VON into one body to be known as Federal Corporation Broadcasting of Nigeria (FCBN).
But NTA will be fully commercialised.
Rejecting the recommendation for the abolition of the Federal Character Commission, the government said that the commission should be strengthened to perform its constitutional role and functions.
It rejected the recommendation that the law establishing the Border Communities Development Agency be repealed and its functions reverted to the National Boundary Commission.
The government rejected the recommendation that it should stop funding current expenditure of National Institute on Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) from the 2015 and limit itself to certain essential capital requirement of the institute.
The merger of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Refugees Commission into one agency to be known as the National Emergency Management and Refugees Commission, was rejected. The government also rejected the recommendation for the Debt Management Office (DMO) to become an extra ministerial department in the Federal Ministry of Finance and delisted from the office of the Vice President.
It rejected the recommendation that the Act setting up the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) be repealed and also rejected that the Road Safety Commission (FRSC) be reverted to the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works.
The government also shunned the recommendation that the enabling law of the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS be repealed just as it disagree 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.
Besides, the government will not stop sponsoring pilgrims and pilgrimages.
It also rejected the privatisation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN) – in view of the security situation.
“Government rejects that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the regulatory functions of Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST)) be brought together under a unified management structure to be known as the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria,” the white paper said.
Also rejected is the recommendation that the Act establishing the National Examinations Council (NECO) be repealed and the Council’s activities returned to the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NEDRC) will not be scrapped. Besides, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) will not be merged to form a single agency for wealth creation.
The government disagreed that the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council be scrapped.
It rejected the scrapping of the Energy Commission of Nigeria and also the recommendation that that the National Sports Commission (NSC) should revert to the proposed Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as an agency.
•Text courtesy of The Nation. Photo shows President Jonathan.
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