Oronsaye report: FG may scrap 220 agencies, others

By The Rainbow

About 220 Federal Government's parastatals, agencies and commissions may be scrapped after the Federal Executive Council  concludes discussion on the draft White Paper on the report of the Stephen Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, which it started on Wednesday.

Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the White Paper Drafting Committee accepted 321 of the 541 federal parastatals, commissions and agencies recommended by the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions.

The commission was headed by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steven Oronsaye.

Abati was joined at the post-FEC press briefing by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; and the Minister of Mines and Steel, Mr. Mohammed Sada.

The presidential spokesman said there was no cause for anxiety in the government's bid to restructure for efficiency.

He said, ''The Oronsaye Committee considered suggestions, recommendations from different quarters and in total, that committee looked at 541 federal parastatals, commissions and agencies. The white paper drafting committee, out of that, accepted 321; noted some recommendations and rejected some.'

According to him, the discussion by council members on the draft will continue during the next meeting.

He said the exercise was not aimed at pushing anybody out of employment but to restructure in such a way that would make the government more efficient.

Abati said, 'At the end of the day, FEC will take final decision on this recommendation and when that is done, the White Paper will be made public. I don't think we should jump the gun, the thing to note is that all of this is being done to ensure efficiency, to reduce the cost of government, to avoid leakages and wastages and to make government far more effective in delivering quality service to Nigerians.

'This is not targeted at pushing anybody out of work, this is not an exercise in making life difficult for anybody. This is just government restructuring for better level of efficiency. People should not be unduly anxious.

'You can be assured that now that it is at the level of the FEC, work will be completed on it very quickly, the White Paper will be released and it will be implemented accordingly.'

Adesina said FEC also approved a National Fertilizer Draft Bill, which is aimed at ensuring quality control in fertilizer production as the country continues to make progress in its bid to export the commodity to neighbouring countries.