Tuesday, April 08, 2014 04:45/ Jaiyeola Andrews /thisdaylive
The federal government has agreed to scrap the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commission and Agencies.
Former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, chaired the committees, which submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan on April 16, 2012.
The federal government also accepted the recommendation to merge the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) into a new body to be known as the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA). Their respective enabling laws are to be amended accordingly to reflect their proposed new status.
The government in the White Paper on the committee report, released yesterday in Abuja, directed the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to perform the functions of the FRC.
The RMAFC enabling law, according to the White Paper, should be amended to accommodate the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission whose duties are also to be transferred to the RMAFC.
The 105-page report, submitted to Jonathan by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, accepted and rejected different proposals by the Oronsaye committee on the scrapping and merger of over 260 government parastatals.
Among others, it rejected the proposals to merge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau and renaming the Code of Conduct Tribunal as Anti-corruption Tribunal.
Besides, it also refused to approve the recommendation to abolish the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and its duties transferred to the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works.
In addition, it said it would not endorse the Oronsaye committee recommendations to scrap tuition fees in government universities and to scrap the National Examination Council (NECO).
The government also endorsed some of the recommendations for the commercialisation and privatisation of some agencies such as Nigerian Film Corporation, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
The government accepted the recommendation that the bill seeking for the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (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 the agency.
It endorsed the proposal to abolish the Utilities Charges Commission and directed that the process of repealing the enabling law of the commission should be initiated by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The federal government also accepted that the Veterinary Research Council of Nigeria should as a professional body be self-funding and that further budgetary allocation of the council should cease forthwith.
It agreed to sell off part of its shares in Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) and retain minority shares in it.
Based on the recommendation of the Oronsaye committee, the functions of NIGCOMSAT relating to space development will be reverted to the National Space Development Agency (NSDA).
The government, in addition, agreed to retain the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as the central body for conducting examinations for admissions to universities and directed that it must play its regulatory role to ensure that all students for undergraduate admissions, including those for direct entries, pass through the board.
It also accepted that the functions of the Nigerian Institute for Education Planners and Administrators (NIEPA) be merged with those of the National Teachers Institute (NTI).
The federal government also accepted that the National Council of Arts and Culture, the National Troupe and the National Theatre be merged into one agency called National Council of Arts and Culture.
It endorsed the proposal that government should stop funding the Nigerian Financial Reporting Council from 2015 and that the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) be self-funding from 2014.
The federal government however rejected the recommendation that the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) be fused with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for greater synergy.
It also rejected the recommendation for the merger of NTA, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Voice of Nigeria (VON) to form the Federal Corporation Broadcasting of Nigeria (FCBN).
It directed that NTA be fully commercialised by 2013.
While rejecting the recommendation for the abolition of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), it directed that the commission be strengthened to perform its constitutional roles and functions.
It declined the recommendation for an amendment to change the name and status of the Federal Civil Service Commission to the Federal Public Service Commission, but accepted the recommendation of a single term of five years for the chairman and members of the commission.
Other recommendations the federal government rejected include making the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission a parastatal of the Ministry of Power; abolition of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC); repealing the law establishing the Border Communities Development Agency so that its functions could revert to the National Boundary Commission and
merging 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.
The committee's recommendation that the Debt Management Office should become an extra ministerial department in the Federal Ministry of Finance and be delisted from the office of the vice-president was also rejected.
It equally rejected the recommendation to repeal the enabling law setting up the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS and for the abolition of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission so that their functions could be transferred to a department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The federal government also rejected the recommendation that it should stop sponsoring pilgrims and pilgrimages with effect from the 2012 fiscal year.
In also rejected the recommendation to privatise the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN ). The federal government said doing so could endanger the nation's security in view of the challenges the country is facing now.
It also declined that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ) and the regulatory functions of NIPOST be brought together under a unified management structure to be known as the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria.
Just as it rejected the recommendation to scrap NECO so that its functions could be taken over by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), it declined to disband the National Business and Technical Examinations Board.
The federal government also declined to scrap the Ministry of Police Affairs, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Energy Commission of Nigeria and that the National Sports Commission revert to the proposed Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as an agency.