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Gbajabiamila tasks committee with tackling overlapping functions of govt. agencies

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has mandated an Ad-hoc committee of the house, to find solutions to overlapping functions in agencies of government.

Gbajabiamila issued the mandate on Wednesday in Abuja, while inaugurating the House Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate Duplication of Functions of Agencies of Federal Government.

The speaker said that an organisation’s vision and mission must be of necessity, be derived from the mandate and functions enunciated by its establishment act, or any instrument that established it.

According to him, uncertainty usually sets in when multiple agencies are carrying out the same functions, leading to bickering, suspicion, and eventually duplication of efforts and waste of hard-earned government resources and time.

Gbajabiamila said that governments in the past had put in place measures to ensure effective and efficient service delivery by agencies of government like SERVICOM, but had not achieved much.

“In the coming days, this committee will investigate duplication of duties, overlapping functions and counter-productivity of established agencies of government in the country.

“It will ascertain the root cause of regular bickering among some established Departments, Agencies, Boards and Parastatals in the country.

“Will also establish areas of mergers, synergies, and justification of the existence of some of the established government agencies,” he said.

The speaker, however, assured Nigerians that the green chambers was not out to witch-hunt any individual or organisation, but  propelled by the desire to ensure good governance.

He said that the committee was expected to come up with solutions to the apparent continuous conflict of functions in such established agencies, resulting in ineffectiveness, inefficiency and redundancy in the workforce.

“The committee is therefore expected to engage relevant stakeholders and members of the public with a view to resolving the areas of conflict among agencies which may require amending some laws and or outright repeal, as the case may be.

“I would encourage the committee to use the cordial and productive working relationship between the Executive and the 9th National Assembly to carry out the task.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Victor Danzaria (APC- Gombe), recalled that the assignment arose from a motion moved and adopted by the house at plenary on March 2.

Danzaria said that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, empowers the National Assembly to repeal obsolete laws and enact new ones where required, to institute good governance in the country.

He said that the house had resolved to review the duplication of functions and clash of interest among agencies of the Federal Government that had the potentials of reducing productivity and effective discharge of government business.

“The subject-matter has been a thorn in the flesh of previous governments. This concern came to a peak in 2011 with the establishment of the Orosanye Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Departments and Agencies.

“It is important to note however that, our task is different from that of Orosanye Committee. Whereas their major concern was to  reduce the cost of governance, ours is to streamline, merge and, if need be, scrap some in order to bring about efficiency.

“Mandate overlaps and duplication of functions of government agencies has led to policy incoherence, breeds inefficiency and redundancy as well as inter-agency conflicts,” he said.

The rep said that a study commissioned by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in 2020, revealed that inter-agency rivalry negates the main reason why security agencies were established in the first instance.

According to him, inter-agency rivalry are multifaceted and have far reaching implications on national security as it weakens security systems, and is unable to respond to security challenges.

“By showing deep concern to the performance of the public service, the legislature is only demonstrating its sensitivity as a crucial stakeholder

“I want to assure Nigerians that that the committee will conduct detailed investigation into the activities of some agencies and at the end, lay a report that would have far-reaching decisions, which will go a long way in strengthening identified agencies of the Federal Government by ending bickering and duplication of duties and responsibilities.

“For Nigeria to succeed, we need a well-motivated, focused and result oriented public service, which is devoid of bickering and duplication of duties, so as be accountable and deliver prompt and efficient services,” he said.

The chairman said that in the coming days, the committee would invite memoranda from the public and will conduct interactive sessions with selected agencies of the government, to collate their views which would enable the committee do the job.

Danzaria appealed to agencies of government, as well as the general public, for their maximum co-operation and resourceful contributions towards a more efficient, goal-driven and productive government.

Some agencies of government present at the ceremony, applauded the initiative, saying that it would cut cost of governance and resolve inefficiency, resulting from overlapping functions.

The agencies include; Voice of Nigeria, the Federal Character Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Vehicle Inspection Office, Nigerian Police Police, Public Service Institute, and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, among others.

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