Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The National Assembly has denied any receipt of the report of the draft white paper on the restructuring and rationalisation of Federal Government parastatals headed by Steve Oronsanye, which recommended the scrapping of some government agencies and corporations.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who made the disclosure on Tuesday, said succinctly that the report is not with the National Assembly.
During the debate on the consideration of the 2014 Appropriation Bill, Hon. Betty Apiafi had called for the scrapping of some agencies to reduce the public service wage bill.
She complained that there was an increasing public service wage bill, and said that there was need for the National Assembly to repeal the laws establishing some of the agencies to reduce the recurrent budge.
But in response, Tambuwal said that “the National Assembly is yet to see anything on the Oronsanye report. It is still within the precincts of the executive and there is nothing we can for now about that.”
The Oronsanye-led committee was set up in late 2011.
It recommended the scrapping of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and 217 Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies.
Other key parastatals recommended in the draft white paper for either consolidation or scrapping are the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), which shall be merged with Human Rights Commission; merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); and the axing of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Utilities Charges Commission (UCC), Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), and National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC).
The committee had recommended that 220 of the 541 parastatals, commissions and agencies be scrapped while 321 be retained, as part of measures to reduce the rising cost of governance.