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“Merging ministries of works/housing with power would not allow for efficiency in the system”

Mr. Shehu Mallam Mikail has said that “ Merging ministries of works/housing with power, which requires enormous work, investments, supervision and regulation to enhance electricity generation would not allow for efficiency in the system. This type of merger would pave the way for conflict and contradiction in administrative procedures.”

He said this in a chat with Sunday Vanguard in Lagos, calling on the Federal Government to ensure immediate separation of power ministry from works and housing to allow effective supervision .

Mr. Shehu Mallam Mikail is the President of  Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria.  He also expressed displeasure about the formation of the ministerial portfolios by President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that combining departments and ministries that are not related in functions would create bureaucracy in the system.

Works/housing and power are not related in any way. At present, our economy is not doing well because power that is a major infrastructure is lacking. Beyond that, many industries are closing shop because of erratic power supply. Therefore, merging works/housing with power that needs urgent attention may not produce the desired result.

He went on, “Power ministry is in charge of ensuring constant electricity supply for domestic and industrial consumption. So, combining power, which is highly technical and problematic with works/housing means creating another bureaucracy in the system.

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This type of bureaucracy is already affecting our economy negative, because many investors complain about the bottlenecks in our business environment. So, creating more bottlenecks by merging of ministries that ought to play separate functions would discourage inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country. The President should as a matter of urgency separate power from works/housing to fast track development in the power sector”.

He continued, “Aside from power, Buhari should separate ministry of planning from budgeting, so that finance and budgeting can be merged together. How can you separate finance from budgeting? Now, ministry of planning is merged with budgeting, which is not appropriate for fiscal planning of a modern economy. For our economy to achieve greater growth, government must create an appropriate administrative structure capable of moving the citizens out of poverty. Nigeria has what it takes in terms of resources to be a viable economy, but government must create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. If not, we may begin to experience conflict between agencies that are not related in administrative structures and functions, but forcefully merged together.”

On if merging of ministries can bring positive outcome for the economy in the long-run, he explained, “We need short term intervention to reposition the economy, to prevent it from going into recession. There is uncertainty in the system now, as investors are not sure of government policies. This means we need efficient administrative structure to regulate the entire system for optimum growth now and in the long-run”.

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