The government had in November 2021, inaugurated two sub-committees on the implementation of the whitepaper on the restructuring of ministries, departments and agencies to reduce the cost of governance, chaired by former Heads of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji, Amal Pepple and Oladapo Afolabi.
The second committee was to review new parastatals, agencies and commissions created after the submission of the report on restructuring.
Speaking at the short ceremony on Friday in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the committee headed by the former Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Ebele Okeke, has six weeks to submit report so the process of implementation can begin after approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The SGF said that the federal government has been concerned with increasing costs of governance, especially with revenue challenges in the country, which led to a number of efforts to address the situation.
He said, “One of such efforts, was the constitution of the Committee on the restructuring and rationalization of federal government parastatals, commissions and agencies on the 18th of August 2011. Chaired by the former head of service, Mr. Steve Oransaye.
“The committee submitted its report on the 16th of April 2012, with various recommendations, such as a abolition, reduction, merger and reversion of some of the agencies to departments in ministries. Subsequently, the white paper on the report was issued in March of 2014, followed by an implementation committee that was inaugurated in May of 2014.
“However, the white paper rejecting most of the recommendations, merely noted, an equally greater number. Again, even those accepted, were not implemented.
“You will all agree with me that the inability to implement the report of the Committee on restructuring and rationalization of federal government, parastatals, agencies and commissions is costing the government highly. This cost grow higher, and the situation is further worsened by the fact that new agencies are being created on a daily basis,” Mustapha said.
He urged the committee to work to deliver the report in six weeks.
Chairman of the committee and former Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Ebele Okeke, commended the federal government for always inviting retired permanent secretaries and former head of service to give back to the country that has trained and given them so much.
She regretted that the Oransaye’s report was 11 years told at at this month, is yet to be implemented.
She said, “And since then, more and more agencies, commissions, parastatals are being set up, and this is actually defeating the purpose for which government set up the Oransaye report.
“And that is why now government wants us to take a good look, and make sure that we review the report on the new parastatal and agencies and come up with a good white paper for government so that it can be implemented. Because the report is about 11 years and child born in 2011 is in secondary school.
“I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of all the members of the committee, that we are ready to work. Like the SGF said, retired permanent secretaries and former heads of service, when he invites, come. Sir, most of us are still very interested in being active,” she said.