By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the review of the Federal Government White Paper on Rationalisation of Government Parastatals and Agencies to reduce the cost of governance in the country.
The president, who made this known during a broadcast to mark this year’s Democracy Day in Abuja on Friday, said the review had become imperative in view of the nation’s dwindling resources and rising cost of governance.
He said: “In the face of dwindling resources and rising cost of governance, I have authorised that the White Paper on the Rationalisation of Government Parastatals and Agencies be reviewed for implementation.’’
Buhari, however, promised to continue to give all necessary support for ongoing reforms, designed to restore discipline, integrity and patriotism in the public service.
According to him, the public service of Nigeria remains the bedrock for the formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the country.
“This accounts for why it continues to evolve especially its new socio-economic challenges to emerge for government to address.
“I will continue to give all necessary support for the ongoing reforms designed to restore discipline, integrity and patriotism — the hallmark of the public service,’’ he said.
The president observed that his administration had continued to implement accountability and transparent policies through the Open Government Partnership and the transparency portal on financial transactions.
He said the government had also strengthened auditing and accountability mechanisms so as to ensure that rules and regulations were followed strictly.
He revealed that government’s anti-corruption agencies, including the EFCC and ICPC, had so far secured more than 1,400 convictions and recovered funds in excess of N800 billion.
“These monies are being ploughed into development and infrastructure projects,’’ he disclosed.
The Nigerian leader also pledged that his administration would continue to execute programmes and projects meant to uplift the quality of life of Nigerian youths.
He said: “Our youth population remains a source of strength in achieving development objectives.
“In this regard, we would continue to concentrate on developing their skills, providing them with opportunities to express their entrepreneurial research and industrial capacities as well as opportunities to take leadership positions in the service of the nation.”
He also reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to the well being of people living with disabilities, saying that government’s concern for their welfare remained unwavering.
“Government recognises their contributions to development.
“I have directed that all relevant government agencies should pay sufficient attention to the peculiarities of persons with disabilities in the formulation and implementation of their policies and programmes, and are suitable to their employment,’’ he added.