A committee set up to reform Nigerian government agencies has recommended the scrapping of some agencies and the merger of others, including the two main anti-corruption agencies.
According to the committee’s report, which was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan Monday, the anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are carrying out overlapping functions between them as well as with the Nigeria Police Force.
There have been earlier calls for the merger of the EFCC and the EFCC, both of which use personnel from the police for their investigations.
Overall, the committee has recommended the scrapping of 32 federal government agencies and merger of 53 others, in a move that will reduce the number of statutory agencies of government from 263 to 161.
The committee said the high number of the government agencies and the fact that many of them perform overlapping functions had contributed to making the average cost of governance in Nigeria to be among the highest in the world.
”For example, there are 541 Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies (statutory and non-statutory). Going by the recommendations of the Committee, the figure of statutory agencies is being proposed for reduction to 161 from the current figure of 263.
”The Committee believes that if the cost of governance must be brought down, then both the Legislature and Judiciary must make spirited efforts at reducing their running costs as well as restructuring and rationalising the agencies under them, since the three arms make up the government,’’ the local media Tuesday quoted the committee as saying.