Reps panel mulls merger of ASCON, Public Service Institute over functions overlap



A house of representatives committee is considering recommending the merging of the Administrative State College of Nigeria (ASCON) and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN).


At its sitting on Wednesday, Victor Danzaria, chairman of the ad hoc committee investigating the duplication of functions by ministries, departments and agencies, said ASCON and PSIN perform similar functions.


The lawmaker said the government should not waste funds maintaining agencies that have similar responsibilities.


“This ad hoc committee is looking at the productivity and the service delivery of these agencies,” he said.


 “Another mandate of this committee is to ascertain the root cause analysis of the regular bickering, making established agencies of government keep spending money.


“These agencies of government don’t have an enabling act and yet the government still spends money on them. It is tough for this country to keep these agencies while we keep borrowing money to maintain them.


“Another mandate is to establish areas of mergers, synergies and justification of existence. The truth is even though you may have your enabling act, this ad hoc committee would determine whether it should be repealed, amended or taken away.


 “The justification of the existence of your agencies — we have to hear from you. If the service delivery is not there and Nigeria is not gaining from the agency, why are they existing? We cannot continue to keep borrowing money to maintain most of these agencies that we feel need to be merged or taken away.”


Cecilia Gayya, director-general of ASCON, admitted that her agency shares similar functions with PSIN in areas such as training, consultancy and research.


Gayya, however, said ASCON has an act, while PSIN does not, adding that the overlapping function is in practice not in law.

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