The Federal Government has inaugurated a 16-member committee to review the structure of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) following the recent merger of some key ministries. Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Acting Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), while inaugurating the committee on Tuesday in Abuja, said the action was critical to achieving the desired results.
She said that it was appropriate to ensure seamless transition in operations of the affected ministries and agencies. “In this regard, there is need to establish effective structures for the ministries including proper absorption of their existing personnel as well as ensuring that they get running without much delay.
“Accordingly, government has constituted this committee comprising knowledgeable retired and serving public officers to review the structure of the merged ministries. “It is a very sensitive assignment which calls for your time and commitment; this is another opportunity for us to re-set the public service to meet the present government`s change objective,’’ she said.
According to the HOS, the committee is to carry out a review of each ministry`s functions and responsibilities and determine the appropriate functions to avoid overlap. She said the committee was also to assess the current organisational structure of each ministry and recommend improved structure for efficient and effective service delivery.
Oyo-Ita said that the committee was also expected to examine the nominal rolls of the MDAs and make appropriate recommendations for effective deployment of staff. She said that it was also to identify and align mandates of the 25 existing MDAs in line with government’s priority and change agenda.
The HOS said the committee was also to examine and recommend the distribution of the existing assets and liabilities of the MDAs and advise government on other matters. She maintained that the current government’s primary objective was the effectiveness and efficiency of its institutions for delivering public service to meet the needs of the people.
Oyo-Ita said that the merger of the MDAs by the Federal Government was to ensure better coordination, improved service delivery and improved implementation of sectoral programme. She said that there was no doubt that the functions of some ministries and their agencies were expanded, while others were required to realign their focus.
She, therefore, implored the committee members to bring their experience to bear on the assignment and work to ensure proper restructuring and merger of the affected MDAs.
The committee, headed by Mrs Ebele Okeke, a former HOS, is comprised of a former HOS, retired and serving permanent secretaries. Okeke, who spoke on behalf of the committee members, said although merger was usually meant to save costs for government, but putting the right persons together might come with challenges.
She, however, thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity to serve and promised that the committee would ensure that it delivered on its mandate. The committee, which has Mr Ochapa Ogenyi as secretary, has two weeks to complete its assignment and submit its report to government.
Other members of the committee include Alhaji Isa Sali, Alhaji Bukar Goni, Dr. Hakeem Ahmed, Mr Sylvester Arikawe, Alhaji Tukur Ingawa, Dr Habiba Lawal, Alhaji Mohammed Bukar and Dr Jeo Abba. Others are Mr Innocent Ogbonnaya and Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, among others The HOS said that the committee`s tenure might be extended if the need arose.
Following the restructuring of the ministries on Nov. 11, the number of ministries has been reduced from 31 to 25, while the number of permanent secretaries was streamlined from 42 to 36.