FG, NIPSS disagree over creation of new agencies

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A proposal for the creation of new agencies to monitor and evaluate Federal Government Projects by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies has been met with disapproval from the Federal Government.

This was as the FG loathed the duplication of roles, saying too many agencies are pursuing the same tasks already.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, argued this at the opening session of the Dialogue on the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy and Women’s Economic Empowerment at the State House, Abuja.

She was responding to earlier remarks by Prof. Dung Pam Sha, representing the Director-General of the NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State, Prof. Ayo Omotayo.

Ahmed, who was represented by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, said, “A little while ago, when the representative of the DG NIPSS, Professor Don Pasha, was speaking, he made a recommendation for the setup of an agency to handle monitoring and evaluation.

“I do not support that. I do not think that we need more agencies. What we need now is to begin to reduce all our agencies.

“We have too many and they are playing competing roles. But what I do agree with him is what he talked about the use of technology. And as part of the current M&E framework, we have developed that.”

Ahmed said the Federal Government had upgraded its monitoring and evaluation framework by involving citizens in its projects by creating the EyeMark App launched last December by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Prof Pasha, who spoke to our correspondent on the event’s sideline, said his earlier proposal was premised on the need for autonomy for the departments tasked with monitoring the implementation of FG projects.


He said it does not conflict with the Oronsaye report, which recommends, among other things, the scraping and merging of at least 90 government agencies.

“Well, it’s not a clash of interests or goals because we think any new agency would have a function. But we are not insisting that agencies must be created.

“The departments currently running the programme and the projects and performing the role of M&E should be given some level of independence to perform their responsibilities.

“Subsuming them into a structure makes it very difficult for them to operate. That is the issue that we’re raising.

“So we need some kind of autonomy to be given to that department if it is not even going to be upgraded to an agency,” Sha said.

Submitted in 2012, the Oronsaye report on public sector reforms revealed that there were 541— statutory and non-statutory — Federal Government parastatals, commissions, and agencies.

The 800-page report recommended that 263 statutory agencies be slashed to 161, 38 agencies be scrapped, 52 be merged and 14 be reverted to departments in various ministries.

The report also recommended that the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission should be repealed and its functions transferred to the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.

It advised the Federal Government to merge the nation’s top three anti-corruption agencies—the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and the Code of Conduct Bureau.