By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara State Government has pruned the ministries in the state civil service to 16, down from the 19 ministries inherited from the past administration, saying the measure was to cut cost and strengthen efficiency in service delivery to the people.
The State’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, who disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing journalists at Government House, Ilorin, the state capital, said the state executive council ratified the merger of some ministries and creation of one other at its maiden meeting held just before the budget presentation by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
Afolabi-Oshatimehin was joined at the briefing by her colleagues from Health Ministry Dr Raji Razaq and Tertiary Education Mrs Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu.
“Today, 18th Dec., 2019, the inaugural council meeting of the state executive council took place. Council deliberated on the proposed 2020 appropriation bill. It was adopted for His Excellency’s presentation at the Kwara State House of Assembly. The second thing that was deliberated upon was the restructuring (merger) of some ministries and the creation of a new ministry,” Afolabi-Oshatimehin stated..
She said the old Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been collapsed into the Ministry of Information and Communications to form a wholesome Ministry of Communications, while the Ministry of Industry and Solid Mineral and the one of Commerce and Cooperative have been merged to become Ministry of Enterprise.
The old Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Finance are now Ministry of Finance and Planning, while the former Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has been collapsed into the Ministry of Works and Transport, she added.
Afolabi-Oshatimehin said the council also ratified the creation of the new Ministry of Special Duties.
The old Ministry of Environment and Forestry is now known simply as Ministry of Environment, while the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is now to be known as Ministry of Social Development, she added, commending the Governor for walking his talk on women inclusion in governance.
She said the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Justice, Energy, Water Resources, Education and Human Capital Development, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Sports and Youths Development, Health, and Tertiary Education remain as they were before the new administration.
“What we are trying to do here is to ensure efficient service delivery and judicious allocation of resources to ensure that at the end of the day we are able to improve the welfare of Kwarans. Now how do we go about this? Council agreed on the need to cut cost because a lot has to be done with limited resources,” she said.