Says the agencies, and the FRSC, were established to perform same functions as previously existing bodies

If the recommendations contained in the report submitted to the Presidency on Monday by the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies are followed, the Federal Government may scrap some of its agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, and the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC).

The committee, which was headed by former Head of Service, Stephen Oronsaye, recommended that the number of federal agencies in the country be streamlined from the current 263 to 161, to save the country up to N 62 billion.

According to the report, the EFCC and ICPC are performing the traditional functions of the police and should thus be scrapped.

On the FRSC, Oronsaye said: “One case that stands out clearly in this regard is that of the Federal Road Safety Commission, which should not be in existence in its present form.

“While acknowledging that the body has been quite active, the committee observed that what the FRSC was set up to do is a replication of the mandates of two existing bodies namely: the Highway Department of the Federal Ministry of Works, with respect to the maintenance of safety and orderliness on our highways, and the role of the Nigeria Police Force in ensuring law and order on our roads.”

According to him, it is a fundamental breach of acceptable practice of good public sector governance to create a new agency or institution as a response to the seeming failure or poor performance of an existing agency in order to suit political or individual interests.

“Such a practice has proved eventually to precipitate systemic conflicts, crises and even collapse at a substantial but avoidably high financial cost to government,” he said.

“Meanwhile, on the one hand, other bodies have their mandates intact as the relevant provisions of their enabling laws have not been repealed. On the other hand, the same provisions have been imported into the FRSC Act, making it appear as if the intention of government is to make the FRSC have the same mandate as the bodies referred to.”

Speaking on the EFCC and ICPC, Oronsaye said the functions of the EFCC and the ICPC are the traditional functions of the Nigeria Police.

“The Committee observed that even though the two commissions were established separately to address corruption, which the Police appeared to have failed to do, successive administrations have ironically continued to appoint the Chairman of the EFCC from the Police Force, while the methodology adopted by the ICPC in conducting
investigations as well as the training of its personnel in investigation procedure is carried out by the Police,” he said.

“One wonders if it was really expedient to dismember the Nigeria Police rather than allow it to evolve as a vibrant and effective agency.”

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