It used to be a common belief that working for the government was one of the safest and most secure jobs to have in the country, so when phrases like 220 parastatals to be scrapped hits the headlines, it calls for serious concern. The Federal Executive Council yesterday began a review on the report submitted by the Presidential Committee on the rationalisation and restructuring of Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies, with a possibility of scrapping 220 parastatals.
The committee, led by former head of civil service, Steve Oransanye, had recommended the reduction of the existing 263 government’s statutory agencies in the country to 161, the abolition of 38 agencies, merger of 52 and reversion of 14 agencies to departments in the relevant ministries.
The committee had also recommended the management audit of 89 agencies capturing biometric features of staff as well as the discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies/councils.
President Jonathan had set up a 10-member White Paper Drafting Committee to study the Oransanye report and recommendations. The committee had then come up with a draft white paper that out of the 541 parastatals, 321 were accepted.
Briefing state House correspondents at the end of council meeting, Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said council deliberated on the draft white paper submitted by the committee and would complete the discussions next week.
Abati, who briefed alongside the ministers of Mines and Steel, Musa Sada, Water Resources, Stella Ochepke and Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina, said the committee looked at 541 federal parastatals, commissions and agencies and accepted 321 and rejected some.
The Council also consider a proposed fertilizer bill that set seven years jail term for fertilizer adulteration in the country.
According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, the bill when it becomes law, is expected to sanitize the production of fertilizers in the country and reduce the adulteration of fertilizers.
He said the bill is being proposed to reposition Nigeria as a major fertilizer hub in the west Africa sub region as the Economic Community of West African States plan to ensure unrestricted flow of fertilizer across the region.