Saturday, 29 July 2023

Tinubu to split education, works, housing, other ministries

Following the submission of the first set of ministerial nominees to the Senate, indications have emerged that President Bola Tinubu will restructure some 

of the ministries of the Federal Government by merging some, creating new ones and scrapping others.
Saturday PUNCH investigation revealed that the decision to restructure the ministries was in line with the recommendations of the Stephen Oronsaye report on the restructuring of the civil service as this paper had earlier reported that Tinubu would implement some of the recommendations in the report.
According to findings, the Federal ministries of Education, Youths and Sports Development, Agricultural and Rural Development, Solid Minerals, Works and Housing, Power; Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development are some of those being considered for restructuring. The restructuring of some of the ministries will also give birth to new ministries.
Findings by our correspondents on Friday indicated that there were plans underway to unbundle the Ministry of Education into two; the Ministry of Tertiary Education and the Ministry of Basic Education to be in charge of primary and secondary levels of education.
While it is not clear if the President will appoint two ministers to oversee the new ministries, sources in the civil service noted that the decision to create two ministries would improve the quality of service delivery in the two sectors.
The Ministry of Works and Housing will be unbundled with the Ministry of Works to focus on federal roads and highways, while the Ministry of Housing will be restructured and financed to stimulate economic growth.
It was also gathered that the Ministry of Humanitarian, Social Development and Disaster Management would be restructured into the Ministry of Human Development with social development as part of its functions.
Similarly, the Federal Ministry of Transportation will be unbundled to become the Ministry of Railways and Rail Transport and the Ministry of Waterways and Marine Transportation.
The Ministry of Information will now be known as the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, with the National Orientation Agency now playing a huge role in the dissemination of information to the public.
New ministries of Solid Minerals and Iron and Steel Development will also be created.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development may be unbundled with the Rural Development Department being transferred to the Ministry of Human Development.
Sources in the Presidency also told Saturday PUNCH that the Ministry of Budgeting and National Planning would be similarly restructured with the budgeting aspect merged with the Ministry of Finance, while national planning would be moved to the new Ministry of Statistics that would be created.
Under the current Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the commerce component may be moved to the Ministry of Trade and Investment, while the industry component will be moved to the new Ministry of Employment and Industry.
The Ministry of Solid Petroleum is to emerge from the current Ministry of Petroleum Resources and will be responsible for bitumen and tar sand, while the Ministry of Interior may be restructured to handle identity, birth and death registration as well as immigration issues. The National Population Commission may be moved to the new Ministry of Statistics, while the Ministry of Labour and Productivity will be renamed the Ministry of Employment and Industry.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, during an interaction with journalists on Thursday following the submission of the list of ministerial nominees hinted at the restructuring of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government.
Earlier, a committee set up by the President had recommended a speedy implementation of the Oronsaye report and the merger of some revenue-generating agencies such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency into the Nigerian Revenue Service in order to enable an efficient collection of all direct and indirect taxes, as well as levies on behalf of the Federal Government.
According to submissions made by a sub-committee of the National Economy Council, the policy will be aided by the passage of an Emergency Economic Reform Bill, which will grant the President special powers to drive the economic reform agenda and support the delivery of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
But the Oronsaye report established that there are 541 Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies (statutory and non-statutory) and recommended that 263 of the statutory agencies should be reduced to 161, while 38 agencies should be abolished and 52 should be merged.
The panel also recommended that 14 of the agencies should revert to departments in ministries.
The government later set up a White Paper Drafting Committee headed by the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, to study the recommendations and to produce a White Paper on the report.
While it is not quite clear that the Tinubu administration will scrap some ministries and agencies in line with the Oransanye report, experts and analysts are of the opinion that the restructuring process will favour some ministries and push toward steady implementation of government policies

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