by Lekan Olanrewaju
Just a few weeks ago it was reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, (ICPC) might be scrapped as part of a cost-cutting scheme which would involve the axing of 38 government agencies, merger of 52 and reversion of 14 agencies to departments in the relevant ministries.
“Indeed, it is a fundamental breach of acceptable practice of good public sector governance to create a new agency or institution as a response to the seeming failure or poor performance of an existing agency in order to suit political or individual interests,” said Stephen Oronsaye, stating that the EFCC and ICPC were simply performing the duties of the Nigerian Police Force.
The proposed move, which is projected to potentially save over N862bn between 2012 and 2015, has apparently now seen support from several state governors. Most of the governors, who chose to speak under the condition of anonymity to correspondents of The Punch, seem to believe that the two agencies are inefficient and have not made any real achievements despite the huge amounts being spent on them, and that they were simply tools against any enemies of government.
“A governor from the North-West said, “Our views have not been sought. But I know Nigerians would view our support for scrapping the two agencies from the position that governors are corrupt, and therefore, would not want the agencies to exist.
“But the charges against us are mere allegations. How many former governors have the two agencies convicted so far?
“Apart from the EFCC that made the arrest and prosecution of some former governors a showbiz, tell me, what has the ICPC done?
“Even the EFCC, which some would say, has done better, the majority of the prosecutions are done on the pages of newspapers.
“If the scrapping will lead to efficiency of the Police, which are primarily saddled with such responsibilities, why not (support it)?”
But another governor from the North-Central, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that scrapping the two agencies would not serve any purpose for the governors.
He said Nigerians had been brainwashed to the extent that they “believe that all governors are corrupt and will naturally support the scrapping of the two agencies.
“So, if I say support it, they would say, don’t mind him, it is expected. They are all corrupt.
“But can Nigerians say in all honesty that these two agencies have done well, considering the amount of money that has been invested in them?
“Well, it is the duty of the Federal Government to decide either to scrap or not, after all, we were not consulted before they were created.”