LCCI STATEMENT ON COST OF GOVERNANCE

The decision by the Presidential Committee to implement the report on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies is quite commendable. This decision also comes at a time when Nigerians have been clamouring for a reduction in the cost of governance in the face of harsh economic conditions. The head of the committee then and a former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye said if the committee’s recommendations were implemented, the Government would save over N862 billion between 2012 and 2015.

Beyond the excitement that greeted this pronouncement by the government, there is a need to see a clear action plan for the implementation model that avoids an over-bloated structure, which worsens bureaucracy and reduces the chance of service inefficiency due to loss of expertise. This transformative journey calls for a deep commitment and a strong will on the part of the Federal Government to implement the report.

There are issues that can be addressed almost immediately, while issues bordering on regulatory and legislative frameworks can be taken through the legally required processes within the shortest time possible. It would be important for Nigerians to begin to see quick actions regarding implementation immediately. In the next few days, Nigerians would expect to see submissions to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for all necessary approvals and actions.

We present some recommendations to ensure this report is implemented in the best interest of all Nigerians.

  1. Establish a steering committee comprising some members of the Oronsaye’s committee, as much as it is feasible. This would ensure continuity.
  • Effective implementation requires the cooperation of all stakeholders. Therefore, there should be robust communication and publicity throughout the implementation process.  This will enhance transparency and accountability.
  • The emerging new structure and composition should have clear definitions of functions, protocols, and reporting lines. In addition to the clearly defined functions, inter-agency and inter-ministerial engagement should be encouraged.
  • As the new structure emerges, we recommend that the ministries return to their core function of policy formulation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting while the agencies under them do the implementation of such policies.
  • The National Assembly is a very critical stakeholder in this exercise and needs to be fully involved and interested in supporting the implementation. The laws that established the agencies would need to be reviewed, some would be repealed, and new ones formulated and signed into law.
  • Plan periodic reviews and build appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to keep implementation on track. Make necessary adjustments to the execution activities based on changing economic conditions, emerging challenges, and new data.
  • State Governors and Assemblies should implement similar programs for a much higher national impact.

The cost of governance is burdensome and unsustainable, particularly at a time when the government encourages Nigerians to make sacrifices. It is vital, therefore, to make concerted efforts to reduce the cost of governance and ensure a more efficient, agile, and technology-driven public service. The overall effectiveness of this effort would depend on the strength of the government’s will to carry out this exercise as announced.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA

Director-General

Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Thursday 29th February 2024

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