Over 700 FG agencies risk merger, scrap — NASS
Senate on Thursday said that it will scrap and merge some of the federal agencies considered to be not only productive, but solely depend on the national budget allocations for survival every year.
There are over 700 of such agencies in the country which the upper legislative chamber alleged are just draining the national budget.
The Senate further explained while considering the report of its ad-hoc Committee on Legislative Agenda that some of the agencies were not adding value to the nation economy.
The agenda, which is the working document of the 9th Senate, is encompassing and it covers areas of interest the upper legislative chamber expected to elevate the country to the next level.
All the senators, including the President of Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who contributed on the report, expressed their views, with the mindset of making the nation work for the citizens.
They also expressed concern over non-assent to the bills critical to the fight against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari as passed by the 8th National Assembly.
Lawan in his remarks noted that contributions of his colleagues show their focus on how to make Nigeria work, adding that “the issues on our agenda are issues that will create those positive changes that will make life better for Nigerians.
He said: I believe that the current number of agencies of government is simply too much and unnecessary.
“We have close to 700 agencies of government and many of them only live on budgetary provision. They have nothing to contribute to the coffers of government. We’ll either merge or simply eliminate many of them and beside we don’t have money. We don’t have the resources.
“Instead of allowing agencies that have no value to contribute (to the national economy), we should simply eliminate them or merge them and then save the money for capital budget.
“So, the Committee on Establishment and all of us should do something. We are going to engage with the Executive on this, we have to have a review of the number of agencies that we have and not only the number, but the functionality because we need to create some because we need them today due the challenges we face.”
The Senate President also vowed that the legislature would do something about the electoral reform, pointing out that it supposed to be a continuous exercise “because of what we witnessed in the last elections.”
Speaking on the consumer reform, Lawan said that it is not ideal to pay for good especially car and house at once as such action encourages corruption.
He said: “I think it will be better that when you are buying a car or a house, you should not pay at once, because it encourages corruption.”
Earlier in his contribution, Senator Dino Melaye spoke on issues that need urgent intervention.
He said: “There is a need to review our curriculum, to carry subjects like civic education, nationalism, moral philosophy that will bind us together as a people.
“In the form you are asked to fill in the hopsital there is a column for religion, there is a column for tribe, there is a column language. What has that got to do with your recovery? We have become too ethnic conscious as a people. So there must be a deliberate effort by the 9th Assembly to unite us a people.
“In terms of oversight function. Today, Ghana just built National Cardiac Interactive Centre. A country with a population of less than 25 million people. We do not have one cardiac interactive centre in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Our hospitals are mere consulting units. As a Senate we need to check this.”
Melaye further alleged: “95% of corruption is this country is through procurement. The committee on public account must be strengthened and must show the political will to carry out very strong ameliorative measures on the issue of procurement in this country.”
Also speaking, Senator Rochas Okorocha urged the Senate to introduce the principle of sacrifice, adding, “we must cut our coat according to the materials available.”
He said that the Senate must be bold enough to ask President Buhari what he wants so that the lawmakers will know what to do.
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