Committee of Representatives Lists Parameters for Merging Government Agencies –

A House of Representatives ad hoc committee says research, revenue generation and service delivery are key requirements in the review process for merging or eliminating government agencies.

The chairman of the committee, Representative Victor Danzaria (PDP-Gombe), made this known during a hearing on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the committee had a mandate to investigate the duplication of functions and counterproductiveness of agencies in view of a possible merger.

Some of the agencies under consideration were the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission and the Nigerian Communications Satellite.

The others are the National Information Technology Development Agency, Galaxy Backbone, the National Border Commission, and the Border Community Development Agency, among others.

Danzaria said it was not about having many agencies with so many managing directors who do not provide the required services to Nigerians, but about productivity.

He said, “The ad hoc committee critically examines these agencies, their existence and examines possible synergies and mergers of these agencies to provide effective service to Nigerians.

“One area is research, second is revenue generation and third is regulatory functions and service delivery and ultimately that is what Nigerians want.

“It’s not about when you go to an agency, you see this man sitting there on a table and the services are not offered there.”

Earlier, the NCC’s executive vice-president, Professor Umar Danbata, told the committee that it had generated $500 million from the generation spectrum auction.

Danbatta said, “Recently, we successfully held a fifth-generation spectrum auction where we raised over half a billion dollars for the federal government.

“And of course we have gone through what we call an annual operating tax to manage our operations, pay salaries and allowances for our staff and even provide resources for intervention in various areas of information technology and communication in the different regions of the country.

“These interventions were verifiable.

“There is no state of the federation that we don’t provide interventions like training in the various areas of ICT.”

Danbata said that there is synergy between the NCC and other government agencies and this is an important aspect of the NCC’s vision plan.

He said the NCC will continue to do everything in its power to help ensure that all agencies like the NCC continue to play their expected roles in order to socially and economically transform the citizens of the country.

The professor, however, said it was not in his position to determine which agency should not exist or be merged.

Ashley C. Reynolds