Obaseki restructures, rationalizes civil, public service, reduces MDAs to 72, ministries now 18 …warns head teachers against extortion of students in public schools, reads riot act

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has approved the restructuring of the state’s civil and public service to cut waste in government and eliminate duplication of functions.

The Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Andrew Emwanta, disclosed this while briefing journalists after the weekly Executive Council (EXCO) meeting chaired by Governor Obaseki, at the Government House in Benin City.

The Commissioner said with the new development, ministries in the state have now been cut down from 22 to 18, while Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been reduced from 105 to 72.

He noted, “At today’s EXCO meeting, the Council received a memo from the office of the Secretary to the State Government which was presented by the Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq., for the restructuring and rationalization of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Edo and was graciously approved by the Council.

“The details of this memo include the reduction of ministries from 22 to 18 and the reduction of MDAs from 105 to 72. The idea behind this is to reduce wastages and avoid duplication of functions especially when we have an economic situation that requires prudence on the part of the government.”

“So, if at the federal level there is this talk of reducing its bureaucracy and MDAs, Edo State is now blazing a trail in walking the talk. Towards this end, a new office has been created, the office of Special Duties to be headed by a commissioner.”

On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Oviavwe warned head teachers in public schools against extortion by imposing illegal levies on students.

She noted that public schools in the state are free and compulsory, warning that defaulting head teachers will be prosecuted accordingly.

The Commissioner stated, “The Ministry of Education has been mandated that on no condition should any child be driven out of school for their inability to pay whatever fees. The EXCO further reiterated, particularly the Chairman-in-Council, His Excellency, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, that public education in Edo remains free and compulsory.

“The Ministry has therefore been mandated to go back and review the current levies for school fees and other auxiliary costs that school heads are currently charging students and ensure that we reduce it to the barest minimum and let our school heads, including headmasters and principals, know that after this week any school head that is found to be extorting parents will not only face disciplinary actions in line with civil service rules but will also be prosecuted.”

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