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Economy

FG may merge NIWA with NPA, stop funding recurrent expenditure of MAN, ORON in a public service reform

 

—–as FG ready to implement Orosanye  report
The Eyewitness reporter
In a major civil service restructuring exercise that is expected to be implemented in 2023, the federal government may merge the functions and duties of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Similarly, the government will stop funding the recurrent expenditures of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), ORON, but still retains the funding for capital projects of the school.
The reform is part of the recommendations of the Orosanye report on the merger and scrapping of some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs).
In 2011, Stephen Oronsaye submitted a report to downsize the federal service commission and eliminate the duplication of duties by the 541 Fed Govt parastatals, commissions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
According to the report, Nigeria stands to save over N300bn if  Federal Government should implement the white of Orosanye report which recommended the scrapping or merger of 400 out of the 541 MDAs next year.
Our reporter gathered from the report that the functions and duties of NIWA would be subsumed under the NPA to cost costs.
The committee said that there is a duplication of some of the duties and functions of the two agencies which should be undertaken by the NPA.
It could be recalled that the core duties of NIWA include overseeing the waterways transportation and dredging some of the channels of the waterways for safe navigation of water crafts, which overlap with the functions of the NPA.
On the activities of MAN, ORON, the committee suggested that the government should stop funding the recurrent expenditures of the school like staff salaries which the report suggested could be funded by the school through the fees and other levies placed on students.
The government will, however, continue to fund the significant capital projects in the school for enhanced efficiency.
Before becoming the Head of the Civil Service, Orosanye had a rich stint in the private sector and brought his experience of judiciously managing resources to bear on the Civil Service.
 Members of the committee included: Japh CT Nwosu; Rabiu D. Abubakar, Salman Mann; Hamza A. Tahir; Adetunji Adesunkanmi; and Umar Mohammed.

Recommendations were made for 263 of the statutory agencies to collapse into 161, a merger of 52 agencies, and the outright expungement of 38 redundant agencies while returning 14 as sub-units In ministries.

And in 2014, a white paper was issued by Fed Govt to act upon the report.
From all indications, the Buhari government is poised to implement the white paper issued in 2014 on the report.
The following statutory and non-statutory agencies are up for merger or out-and-out expulsion.
 Their previous budgetary allocations gleaned from open-source materials suggests what could be saved when the NASS completes the repealing of some of the agencies.
The CBN, NNPC and many other agencies won’t be getting budgetary allocations in 2023.
Merge the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Broadcasting Commission, and Nigerian Postal Service into one single commission called the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria.
The National Examinations Council (NECO) goes under the roof of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
A merger of  The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Voice of Nigeria and the Nigerian Television Authority to form the Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria.
Scrap the Federal Road Safety Corps while putting the agency under the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works, and their staffers should be sent to the Police Service Commission and Vehicle Inspection Office.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission( ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau become a single entity.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria became privatised.
National Inland Waterways goes under the roof of the Nigerian Ports Authority. The report says to abolish the National Rural Electrification Agency.
Pull the plug on 23 research institutes and fund them through the National Research and Development Fund and research grants.
The National Directorate of Employment and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria merge to become the National Agency for Job Creation and Empowerment.
Privatise Nigerian Communication Satellite.
Hajj and Christian Pilgrims Commissions funding from Govt should discontinue. Merge Administrative Staff College of Nigeria and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria.
Repeal the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission and transfer its functions to the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission goes under the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
The Border Communities Development Agency is to be absorbed by the National Boundary Commission.
Cut recurrent expenditure funding of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies while maintaining the capital expenditure.
Merge the National Emergency Management Agency and the National Commission for Refugees.
The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research is to be funded by a proposed National Research Development Fund.
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS goes under the roof of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Privatise The Nigerian Communication Satellite.
National Board for Technical Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education to morph into the Tertiary Education Commission.
Quit approving concurrent expenditure for the National Open University of Nigeria.
The Nomadic Education Commission and Mass Literacy Council go under the wing of the Universal Basic Education Commission.

The Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources take over the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.

The Ministry of Environment assumes the functions of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.
Scrap the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and transfer its functions to the Department of Strategic Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
Cut the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa.
Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment to take over the functions of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) after repealing the law establishing NCC.
Scrap the National Productivity Centre.
Abolish the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency and transfer its functions to the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency.
Scrap National Metallurgical Development Centre, Jos, and Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha.
Merge the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund.
 The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to accommodate the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
Scrap the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs and saddle its functions with the Ministry of Special Duties.
Merger the National Council of Arts and Culture with the National Troupe of Nigeria and the National Theatre.
Scrap The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.
Discard The National Centre for Technology Management.
A proposed National Commission for Museums to be formed from the merger between the National Commission for Museums and Monuments with the National Gallery of Arts.

Abolish The Nigeria Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Development Studies, and its functions were taken over by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation.
Shut Down all 774 field offices of the National Orientation Agency and give the duties to the Public Communications Department in the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Close down the duplicating National Institute for Cultural Orientation.
Nigerian Import-Export Promotion Commission would be formed after merging the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.
Discard the National Centre for Automotive Design and Development Council.
Do away with the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority while transferring its functions to the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority.
Stop funding the recurrent expenditure of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron but maintain the capital expenditure.
Stop funding Nigeria Football Federation as advised by FIFA.
Abolish Federal Character Commission and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
However, the Federal Government is not prepared to sack workers, even though the President would decide what to reject and adopt out of the list.

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Economy

News Alert! CBN revokes operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators for breach of regulatory guidelines

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

The Eyewitness Reporter

In its continuous efforts to sanitize the foreign exchange market and halt the frightening slide of the naira in exchange for the dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the operational licenses of 1,173 Bureau De Change operators.

In a press release issued Friday, March 1st, 2024 and signed by Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank said the axed BDCs failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions which include payment of all necessary fees, including license renewal within the stipulated period in line with the Guidelines, rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines, compliance with guideline, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering(AML), countering the Financing of Terrorism(CFT)and Counter-Proliferation Financing(CPF) regulations.

The apex bank said it relied on the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act(BOFIA)2020, Act n0.5 and Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015(the Guidelines).

“The CBN is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria. Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective.

‘Members of the Public are hereby advised to take note and be guided accordingly”, the statement concluded.

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Economy

Anxiety in public service over massive job loss as Tinubu set to implement Steve Oronsaye panel on civil service reform

The Eyewitness reporter
There is palpable tension among the public service workers as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the full implementation of Steve Oronsaye’s public service reform.
Their anxiety stems from massive job loss that will result from the implementation of the recommendations of the report which seeks the scrapping, subsuming and merging of some Ministries, Departments, and the Agencies of government whose functions are overlapping.
The report also seeks to enhance efficiency in the Federal civil service and reduce the cost of governance.
The Oronsaye report was submitted in 2012 to the Jonathan administration.

In 2014, the Jonathan government released a white paper on the report. The Buhari administration after re-examining the white paper also released a second white paper in August 2022, but did not implement the report.

According to Bayo Onanuga,Special Adviser Information and Strategy to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the  Tinubu administration has decided to confront the monster of high governance cost by implementing elements of the report.

According to him, an eight-man committee has a 12-week deadline to ensure that the necessary legislative amendments and administrative restructuring needed to implement the reforms are effected efficiently.The committee comprises the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Justice Minister, Budget and Planning Minister, DG Bureau of Public Service Reform, Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Special assistant to the president on National Assembly. The Cabinet Affairs Office will serve as the secretariat.

Some of the key recommendations of the report for implementation include the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to be subsumed under the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission.

The National Assembly will need to amend the constitution as RMAFC was established by the constitution.
Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission to be merged with Bureau of Public Enterprise and be rechristened as `Public Enterprises and Infrastructural Concession CommissionNational Human Rights Commission to swallow Public Complaints Commission

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate(PTAD) is to be scrapped and functions to be taken over by the Federal Ministry of Finance

NEMA and National Commission for Refugees to be fused to become the National Emergency and Refugee Management Commission

Border Communities Development Agency to become a department under National Boundary Commission

NACA and NCDC to be merged

SERVICOM to become a department under the Bureau for Public Service Reform(BPSR)

NALDA to return to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Federal Ministry of Science to supervise a new agency that combines NCAM, NASENI and PRODA

National Commission for Museums and Monuments and National Gallery of Arts to become one entity that will be known as the National Commission for Museums, Monuments and Gallery of Arts.

National Theatre to be merged with National Troupe.

Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa and Directorate of Technical Aid Corp to be merged under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to become an agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Federal Radio Corporation and Voice of Nigeria to be one entity to be known as Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria

National Biotechnology Development Agency(NABDA) and National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology to be emerged into an agency to be known as National Biotechnology Research and Development Agency(NBRDA).

National Institute for Leather Science Technology and National Institute for Chemical Technology to become one agency.

 Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development to become one agency.

The National Metallurgical Development Centre and National Metallurgical Training Institute will be merged.

National Institute for Trypanosomiasis to be subsumed under the Institute of Veterinary Research in Vom, Jos.

The list is inexhaustive.
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Business

“You lied” – FG lambasts cement manufacturers over hike in product price

Ahmed Dangiwa
The Eyewitness reporter 
The Federal Government has picked holes in the reasons proffered by the cement manufacturers for the sudden jump in the price of the product.
It could be recalled that a few days ago, cement recorded an astronomical increase in price as the 50kg of the essential building materials climbed from  N5000 to between N10,000 to N15,000, depending on the location in the country.
Concerned by the sudden hike, which has elicited uproar among already depressed Nigerians, the Federal government summoned the major cement manufacturers and other merchants of building materials in the country such as Dangote Cement, BUA and Lafarge, to an emergency meeting.
Addressing the manufacturers at the meeting, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, dismissed the reasons given by the cement manufacturers, describing them as untenable.
Whereas the manufacturers blamed the cost of gas and mining equipment for the hike, Dangiwa said key input materials for cement production such as limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum, sourced within the nation’s borders, should not be dollar-rated.
He said the price of gas that manufacturers are using as an excuse was not tenable because gas is a raw material found within the country.

The minister further declared that the excuse of an increase in mining equipment should not come up because equipment bought by the manufacturers has been used for decades and not purchased every day.

He however threatened that the federal government may be forced to throw open the borders and allow importation of cement to flood the Nigerian market in a bid to crash the prices of the community should the manufacturers refuse to reduce their prices.
He warned that the cement manufacturers should not push the government into taking this decision which he believed would push them out of business.
The minister said the border was closed to the importation of cement to help local manufacturers.

However, he noted that if the government decides to open the border for mass importation, prices of cement would crash and local manufacturers would be gravely affected.

The minister, who called on the manufacturers to be more patriotic, said BUA Cement, for instance, has been willing and is still willing as at the last time he spoke with them, to crash the price of their cement, lower than the N7000, N8000 agreed by the manufacturers and he sees no reason why the others should not do same.

“The challenges you speak of, many countries are facing the same challenges and some even worse than that but as patriotic citizens, we have to rally around whenever there is a crisis to change the situation.

“The gas price you spoke of, we know that we produce gas in the country. The only thing you can say is that maybe it is not enough.

“Even if you say about 50 percent of your production cost is spent on gas prices, we still produce gas in Nigeria. It’s just that some of the manufacturers take advantage of the situation.

“As for the mining equipment that you mentioned, you buy equipment and it takes years and you are still using it,” he said.

Earlier, Group Chief Commercial Officer of Dangote Cement, Rabiu Umar blamed the high cost of gas and mining equipment for the hike in cement price.

He said: “It is safe to say we are all Nigerians and we are all facing the current head weight that is happening.  I would like to speak on the popular belief that most of the raw materials to produce cement are available locally.

“While we have limestone and in some cases, we have gypsum and some cases coal, the reality is that it takes a lot of forex-related items to produce cement.

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