Today report stated the president was taking his time to study the Ahmed Joda Transition Committee and Steve Oronsaye reports in order to harmonise their recommendations with the aim of restructuring the public sector that is free of waste, corruption and inefficiencies.
In the Oronsaye report and the summary exclusively obtained by THISDAY, the committee identified 541 parastatals, commissions and agencies in all sectors of the public sector at the commencement of its exercise in 2011, of which 427 were recommended for reduction.
“You would recall that Joda had recommended the consolidation of ministries to 19 to create a leaner structure in government. This is not far removed from the Oronsaye report of 2012, which also recommended the consolidation of parastatals and agencies of the federal government”, a source told the newspaper.
“So what the president wants to do is to put a structure in place that cuts waste, reduces or eliminates corruption and introduces efficiency in the system.”
The source said the rationalision, restructuring and reform of the public sector could save the current administration under Buhari as much as N2 trillion as personnel and overhead costs, which have risen between 2012 and 2015 form the bulk of public sector expenditure as evidenced in past budgets of the federal government.
A breakdown of existing parastatals, commissions and agencies in 2011 showed that Education/Training had 236 parastatals, Social Development – 104, Governance – 50, Economy – 47, Research – 41, Science, Technology and Infrastructure – 26, Professional Bodies – 26, and Transport – 11.
Of the 541 parastatals, commissions and agencies, 263 were identified as core parastatals; 50 agencies had no laws to back their establishment; three agencies were being wound up; and 49 agencies had overlapping functions with other agencies.
Among its recommendations, the Oronsaye committee recommended the abolition of 38 agencies of government; consolidation of 52; reversion of 14 agencies to departments in their relevant ministries; a management audit of 89 agencies to capture the biometric features of personnel; full implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS); and discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies and councils.
Had the federal government commenced the implementation of the report, by 2012 it would have saved N124.8 billion from the abolition of 38 agencies; N100.6 billion from the merger of 52 agenices; N6.55 billion from the discontinuation of funding of professional bodies and councils; N490 billion from universities; N50.8 billion from polytechnics; N32.2 billion from colleges of education; and N616 million from the boards of Federal Medical Centres (FMCs), making a total of N862 billion.
However, sources said aside from the lack of political will to implement the report, the Jonathan administration was hamstrung by labour unions that were resistant to the rationalisation of the public sector; turf wars among the agencies and corrupt heads of parastatals and management teams that did not want to lose their jobs; and an uncooperative National Assembly whose members, for self-serving reasons, refused to repeal and/or amend the laws that established the parastatals.