Oronsaye report: Review panel to commence sitting this week

• EFCC to commence prosecution in 65,000 ghost workers’ case

A committee set up by the Federal Government to further review the 2014 White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals and Commissions otherwise known as Oronsaye Report will this week commence sitting.

Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reform, Dr Joe Abbah who gave this indication at an interview during the weekend also disclosed that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may soon commence prosecution of individuals found culpable in the 65,000 ghost names found on the payroll of the Federal Government.

The Oronsaye report, submitted in 2012, recommended scrapping and merging of 270 government agencies including many that have been approved for commercialisation and privatisation.

Abbah observed that the review committee became imperative because the report is already five years old and many of the issues overtaken by events.

Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Voice of Nigeria are some of the agencies already billed for commercialisation.

However, Abbah explained that the White Paper is still being reviewed because some of its decisions were not acceptable to the current administration.

Already, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had acted contrary to the White Paper by merging National Sports Commission with Ministry of Youth and Sports.

It has also rejected the acceptance to merge the trio of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency into a new body to be known as the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA).

According to Abbah, advice from some international bodies shows that it is against best practice norms to fuse service providers with regulators.

He disclosed that the 65,000 ghost workers were discovered through the introduction of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

While stating that EFCC operatives were already working on the files of culpable individuals with a view to charging culprits to court, Abbah said some of the incidences involved people collecting multiple salaries.