Don't Miss

Senators frown on new agencies’ N21billion running cost

By on April 19, 2013

Senators on Thursday raised concerns over the establishment of two federal agencies with a combined annual running cost of N21bn.

This followed the consideration of two bills for the establishment of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman and the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission for second reading.

According to the financial compendium attached to the bills, it will cost the government N3.728bn on a yearly average to run the NADRC, just as the NFO would gulp N18bn.

Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, while leading the debate for the two bills, noted that the NADRC was seeking to regulate through the process of accreditation all ADR bodies and institutions in the country.

He added that the NADRC was a House of Representatives bill, which merely sought the concurrence of the Senate.

On the other hand, Ndoma-Egba said the NFO would create an office that would inquire into and settle complaints between individuals, financial institutions and regulators in the services sector.

He said that the agencies would help speed up the administration of justice in the country and decongest the regular courts of cases that had been pending for a very long time.

Although most senators supported the bills, they, however, expressed concerns on the cost of running the agencies at a time when calls for reduction in government’s recurrent expenditure were becoming popular.

They suggested the merger of both bills to create a single organisation that would be cost-effective.

Senator Ayogu Eze, in his comments, said the NFO would be a drain on the finances of the Federal Government if it would need N18bn annually to run it.

He argued that with Nigeria running a mono product economy, coupled with the fact that the price of crude oil was dwindling in the international market, there was the need for the Senate to be cautious in creating money-guzzling agencies.

Senator Pius Ewerhido said the agencies were necessary for settling disputes but supported the merger of both to cut cost.