The federal government yesterday inaugurated a 12-man Implementation Committee of the White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, commissions and agencies.
President Goodluck Jonathan had inaugurated a Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of federal government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies on August 18, 2011, chaired by Mr. Stephen Oronsaye.
The committee was mandated to review previous efforts at restructuring federal parastatals, look into the mandates of existing agencies and parastatals and make appropriate recommendations to eliminate overlaps, duplications and redundancies.
The committee was also mandated to classify agencies, parastatals and commissions into sectors, and advise on ways to reduce the cost of governance.
The committee submitted its report in April 2012.
Following the recommendations of the Orosanye's-chaired committee, the federal government set up a White Paper Drafting Committee headed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Bello Adoke, to study the findings and produce a draft white paper for government's consideration.
The white paper on the report of the presidential committee was gazetted and issued in March this year.
After the white paper had been gazetted, Jonathan assured Nigerians that his administration was fully committed to implementing decisions contained in it.
His promise that his government would implement the decisions contained in the white paper, informed yesterday's inauguration of the implementation committee.
The Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, inaugurated the committee at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
Sambo disclosed that the Chairman of the 12-man implementation committee is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, while the Vice-Chairman is Adoke.
Members of the committee are the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Ministers of Aviation, Education, Finance, Health, Industry, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology, Tourism, Culture and National. Orientation.
Other members of the committee are the Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, who is the Secretary
The terms of reference of the implementation committee, according to the vice-president, include exercising overall responsibility for the implementation of the white paper on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions, design guidelines, ensure effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation process.
It is to also supervise, consider and decide on the recommendations of the four (4) Sub-Committees on the implementation of the White Paper, and advise government on any other matter(s) that would further facilitate the achievement of the key objectives for the restructuring and rationalsation of federal government agencies, parastatals and commissions.
Speaking further, Sambo noted that: "Apart from reducing the cost of governance, government’s ultimate objective is to ensure that parastatals, commissions and agencies are performing optimally and delivering effective and efficient services to Nigerians, in line with the president’s Transformation Agenda.
"I am therefore pleased to learn that the Bureau of Public Service Reforms is currently conducting a study on some of our world-class parastatals and agencies, such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Debt Management Office, the Bureau of Public Procurement, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others, to ascertain the reasons for their successes, in order to pass on the lessons to other parastatals and agencies.
"This work is very worthwhile and government looks forward to its completion within the shortest possible time.
"The work of the Implementation Committee of the White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions is urgent and important."
He urged members of the committee to pursue the terms of reference with the vigour, urgency and patriotism that the task requires.