In the face of shrinking allocation from the Federation Account, Edo State Government says the ongoing restructuring of the civil service especially as it affects Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) would reduce cost of governance by at least 25 per cent.
Anthony Okungbowa, state Head of Service, HOS, who stood in for the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, at a press conference on Thursday to shed more light on the rationalisation, explained that it had become expedient to run a leaner government due to paucity of fund occasioned by perpetual drop in allocation from the federation account.
According to him, “The whole essence of this rationalisation was to ensure efficiency, and then reduction in cost of governance. You know that right now, it is increasingly difficult in term of funding of activities of government.
“Mr. Governor normally says we used to, as a state government, go and collect salary (allocation) from Abuja. But this is increasingly becoming non-existent because the money we used to go and collect is no longer there anymore.
“We have to begin to look inward now because we cannot afford to have a bogus government with a bogus structure”.
Okungbowa disclosed that the number of the MDAs in the state had now reduced from 105 to 72, more than 25 per cent. This, he said, was expected to translate to the same percentage in reduction of cost of governance.
Okungbowa stated that the realignment in the public service has led to the reduction of ministries to 22 to 18. He, however, ruled out any possibility of poaching or retrenchment as a result of the new restructuring.
The rationalisation led to merger of some ministries, which now birthed Ministries of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning; Mining and Energy; Youth and Gender; Social Development and Humanitarian; Local Government, Community and Chieftancy Affairs; and Business, Trade and Cooperative. Others are Ministries of Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, and Development; and Digital Economy, Science and Technology