Nigeria to save N241bn from implementing Oronsanye report – Investigation

2020-05-17
THE PUNCH Newspaper- Eniola Akinkuotu

The Federal Government of Nigeria could save over N241bn if the Stephen Oronsaye report on public sector reforms is implemented, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.

The Oronsaye report, which was submitted in 2011, states that there are 541 Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies (statutory and non-statutory). The report adds that 263 of the statutory agencies should be reduced to 161; 38 agencies should be abolished while 52 agencies should be merged.

It further recommends that 14 agencies should revert back to departments in ministries.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had last month ordered that a committee be set up to look into the report and implement it in order to reduce the cost of governance in the face of a looming economic crisis occasioned by the drop in global oil prices.

The Federal Government, however, said workers would not be sacked. This implies that the federal personnel budget which stands at N2.8tn will not be expected to drop after the report is implemented except in the event of privatisation or changing its method of funding.

However, the capital budget which stands at N2.6tn, as well as the N252bn in overheads (as amended), will be expected to drop significantly.

For instance, the report recommends the abolition of the Federal Character Commission. The PUNCH estimates that the government will save at least N604m in overheads and capital budget if this is implemented.

About N352m will be saved if the same action is taken on the Fiscal Responsibility Commission.

The report further recommended that the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission be repealed and its functions taken over by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission. This is expected to save the government N321m in overheads and capital.

The Oronsaye report advised the government to merge the nation’s top three anti-corruption agencies- the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The average the government is expected to save from capital and overheads after the merger amounts to at least N2.9bn.

The Infrastructure Concessionary and Regulatory Commission is expected to be subsumed under the Bureau of Public Enterprise, saving the government N408m.

The Border Communities Development Agency is to be brought under the National Boundary Commission, saving the government N4bn.

The government was advised to stop funding recurrent expenditure of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies but maintain its capital funding. This will save the government N1.55bn.

The report recommended that the National Emergency Management Agency and the National Refugees Commission be merged. This is expected to save the government N789m.

The Nigerian Institute of Social Economic Research is to stop receiving government funding but from a proposed National Research Development Fund. This is expected to save the government N1.1bn.

The National Directorate of Employment is expected to be amalgamated with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria to form the National Agency for Job Creation and Empowerment. This should save the government N6.4bn on average.

The law establishing the Federal Road Safety Corps is expected to be repealed and the agency reverting to the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works while the personnel are to be absorbed by the Police Service Commission and Vehicle Inspection Office. This would save the government N7.4bn based on budget estimates.

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS will no longer be a standalone agency but is expected to be subsumed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control. This will save the government N1.4bn.

The committee recommended that both the Hajj and Christian commissions be abolished and government should stop sponsoring pilgrimages. Also, the government was advised to stop granting concessionary foreign exchange to pilgrims.

This could save the government N1.8bn and another N7bn going by the cost incurred by the Federal Government through Forex concessions in 2016.

Nigeria is expected to save N347m if the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria are merged.

The committee recommended that the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Broadcasting Commission and Nigerian Postal Service be merged into one entity known as the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria.

These agencies, like many other revenue generating agencies, usually operate a dual budget. The first is the statutory federal budget, which is embedded in the ministry’s annual budget proposal and a second one which is the Internally Generated Revenue budget.

Sunday PUNCH could not immediately ascertain how much would be saved if these three agencies are merged since the NCC and NIPOST do not make their budgets public. However, at least N142m will be saved if the overhead and capital budgets of NBC alone are scrapped.

Similarly, the committee recommended that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency be merged into a body known as Federal Civil Aviation Authority.

However, of the three agencies, only the budget estimates of NIMET was made public. Should the capital and overhead budgets of NIMET be stopped, Nigeria will be expected to save at least N1.8bn.

The committee recommended that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria be fully privatised. This will save Nigeria of at least N101bn in recurrent and capital expenditure going by FAAN’s 2019 budget.

The Nigerian Communication Satellite is expected to be fully privatised, thereby saving the government N3.4bn.

National Examinations Council is expected to be brought under the West African Examination Council. NECO’s budget could not be immediately accessed by Sunday PUNCH.

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The committee recommended a merger between the National Universities Commission, the National Board for Technical Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education to form the Tertiary Education Commission. This should save the government N3.89bn.

The government was asked to stop bearing the recurrent cost of the National Open University of Nigeria. This ought to save the government N3.7bn but since the government insists on no job cuts, only N419m will be saved.

The National Council for Nomadic Education is expected to be abolished and the Universal Basic Education Commission takes over its responsibilities. This will save the government N545m.

Similarly, the law establishing the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education is expected to be repealed and its functions taken over by UBEC. This will save the government N1.1bn.

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency is expected to be scrapped and its functions taken over by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources. This is expected to reduce the cost of governance by N511.5m.

The committee recommended that the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency be scrapped and its duties transferred to the ministry of environment which could save the Federal Government N510m.

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution should be scrapped and its functions should be transferred to the Department of Strategic Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. This should save Nigeria of N365m.

The same recommendation was made for the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa. This should reduce the cost of governance by N180m based on budget estimates.

The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Voice of Nigeria and the Nigerian Television Authority are expected to merge to form the Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria. This is expected to reduce the capital and overhead budget by N1.9bn.

The committee advised the government to abolish the Civil Defence, Immigration, Prisons Services Board while its functions relating to appointment, promotion and discipline be transferred to a proposed Federal Public Service Commission. This is expected to save the government N462m in overheads and capital budgets.

The law establishing the Nigeria Copyright Commission is expected to be repealed and its functions taken over by the Commercial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment saving the government N188m in overheads and capital.

The committee recommended that the National Productivity Centre be scrapped. It will reduce the cost of governance by N7.3bn in overheads and capital.

The law establishing the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency is expected to be scrapped thereby saving the government N803m. The functions of the NSRMEA are expected to be taken over by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency.

The government was advised to scrap the National Metallurgical Development Centre, Jos, and Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha which would jointly reduce the cost of governance by N952m.

The committee recommended that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund be merged. Sunday PUNCH could not estimate how much could be saved since their budgets are not public.

Also recommended was the repeal of the law establishing the Petroleum Technology Development Fund while the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board is expected to take over its functions.

The Federal Ministry of Police Affairs is expected to be scrapped and its functions taken over by the Ministry of Special Duties. This is expected to save the government N500m in overheads.

The committee called for the scrapping of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria. This should save the country N549m in overheads based on the 2020 budget estimates.

Similarly, the government was advised to abolish the National Rural Electrification Agency. This should save the government N15.3bn.

The National Centre for Technology Management is expected to be abolished, saving the government N894m.

The National Council for Arts and Culture is expected to be merged with the National Troupe of Nigeria and the National Theatre. This would reduce the cost of governance by N189m.

The committee recommended that the National Commission for Museums and Monuments be merged with the National Gallery of Art to form the National Commission for Museums, Monuments and Arts. This will save the government N374m in overheads and capital.

The Nigeria Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies is to be abolished and its functions taken over by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation. About N207m is expected to be saved from this action.

The government was advised to close down all 774 offices of the National Orientation Agency and the functions of the NOA be taken over by the Public Communications Department in the Ministry of Information and Culture. This should reduce the cost of governance by at least N523m.

The National Institute for Cultural Orientation is to be abolished, saving the government N349m.

The committee recommended that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the Consumer Protection Council as well as the Department of Weights and Measures be merged into a new agency known as the Nigerian Standards and Consumer Protection Agency. This should reduce the cost of governance by N532m.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission are to be merged to form the Nigerian Import-Export Promotion Commission. This will save the government N446.6m.

The Centre for Automotive Design and Development Council is to be scrapped, saving the N5.2m in overheads and capital expenditure.

The Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority is expected to take over the functions of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, reducing the cost of governance by N926.5m.

The government was advised to stop funding the recurrent expenditure of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and limit itself to capital projects. This should save the government N1bn.

The committee asked the government to stop funding the Nigerian Football Federation as recommended by FIFA. This should save the government N1bn.

The committee recommended that the National Inland Waterways’ functions be taken over by the Nigerian Ports Authority. This should save the government N5.9bn in capital and overheads.

The committee recommended that 12 professional health bodies should stop receiving government funding but should rather depend on subscription from members.

Some of them include: the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Health Records Registration Board and Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. This should save tax payers N4.5bn.

Another 20 professional and regulatory agencies were asked to stop receiving government funding. They include: Council for Regulation of Engineers; Surveyors Registration Council; Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria.

Sunday PUNCH estimates that if this recommendation is implemented, the government will save approximately N8.6bn which was budgeted for some of them in the 2020 budget.

The report recommended that about 23 research institutes should draw funding from a proposed National Research and Development Fund and grants. This is expected to save the government at least N38bn.

 

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