02 July 2013, Abuja – The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, with Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to form one anti-corruption agency.
It also approved the scrapping of Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE; National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP; National Economic Intelligence Committee; Fiscal Responsibility Commission; Utilities Charges Commission and National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NSIWC.
The council took the decision at its meeting last Wednesday, while considering the White Paper prepared by the Stephen Oronsanye-led Committee on the restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.
A presidency source said FEC had been reviewing the report and took a decision on it on June 26. The source explained that government had directed that a Sunset Clause should be introduced to BPE to conclude its assignment and wind down.
FEC also directed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to initiate the necessary action for the abolition of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission.Staff of the Utilities Charges Commission, which will also suffer similar fate.
Affected staff are to be redeployed to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, provided they are civil servants.
National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NSIWC, will also cease to exist as the government will repeal its law, while its functions are to be transferred to Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.
The National Economic Intelligence Committee, which was meant to be the economic think-tank for the President is also to be scrapped.
NAPEP is to be scrapped for failing to deliver on its mandate. According to the source, “government accepts the scrapping of NAPEP and directs that the functions of NAPEP be merged with National Directorate of Employment, NDE.”
It was gathered that the restructuring and rationalisation of parastatals, commissions and agencies of the Federal Government are part of measures to reduce its high recurrent budget profile.
Merged EFCC and ICPC are to be consolidated into one anti-corruption agency. Government has, therefore, directed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to initiate the necessary action in respect of the proposed merger.
Similarly, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council have been merged “to synergise for management and utilisation of resources.”
The Public Complaints Commission, PCC, is to be merged with the Human Rights Commission, which has the capacity to perform the functions of the PCC.
Government further directed that the PCC Act be removed from the Constitution by amending Sections 153 and 315.
The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, is also to be restructured with a view to developing a framework to cover critical areas of national socio-economic development to which NYSC members would be deployed for their primary assignments.The government, however, rejected the committe’s recommendation that the committee merge National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, with Refugee Commission.
The final report on the recommendations said: “The government rejects the recommendation that NEMA be merged with National Refugees Commission into one agency to be known as the National Emergency Management and Refugees Commission.”
Government further decided that as from 2015 fiscal year, Council for Registered Engineers, COREN, which is a professional body, will no longer receive budgetary allocations from the federal Government.
A similar fate awaits the Surveyors Registration Council, SRC. The source explained that the process of scrapping and merging the affected agencies could take several years, especially as the laws establishing them have to be repealed or amended.
– Emma Ujah, Vanguard