Cost of Governance: Tinubu Regurgitates, Implements Orosanye Reports

0
69

President Bola Tinubu on Monday announced the decision to regurgitate and implement the Steve Orosanye panel’s report. 

This came twelve years after the Oronsaye panel submitted its report on restructuring and rationalizing Federal government parastatals and agencies and a white paper issued two years after.

 

Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris announced the decision after the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) presided over by President Tinubu.

 

Many agencies will be scrapped and many others moved or  merged to pave the way to a leaner government.

 

They include the Nigerian Army University, located in Biu, Borno state. The institution is now merged with the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. 

 

The Minister explained that the institutions and agencies of government subsumed, scrapped, or merged, does not mean that the staff members will lose their jobs 

Nigeria has been battling with high cost of governance resulting from the overheads from the bogus ministries, Departments and  agencies. As of today Nigeria has 24 Federal Ministries with over 1000 Departments and Agencies.

Expectations were high when the present administration came on board in May 2023 that it will have the courage to implement the Orosanye Report to reduce the cost of governance in view of the lean revenue state of the country, but to the shock of all, the President not only maintained status quo, he announced the appointment of 45 ministers and the creation of new ministries.

Some of the new ministries include, Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Ministry of Tourism, carved out of former Ministry of culture and tourism,  Ministry of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Ministry of Gas Resources, Ministry of Steel Development, Ministry of Youth Development, while Ministries of Health has been expanded to include social welfare, that of Aviation was also expanded to include Aerospace Development.

These new ministries are in addition to the ones created by President Buhari,  like Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Disaster Management and Ministry of Special Duties

It is instructive to note that each of these Ministries has at least six agencies under it, further increasing the drain on government revenue.

In 2012, the then President Goodluck Jonathan set up the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Steve Oronsaye.

The Oronsaye Committee turned in an 800-page report to President Jonathan after eight weeks of its assignment.  It had far-reaching recommendations on MDAs that should be scrapped, those to be merged and those to become self-funding, thereby freeing funds for the much-needed capital projects across the country.

Another key recommendation of the committee was to discontinue government funding of professional bodies and councils.  

Ever since then, the government has not mustered the courage to  take action towards the implementation of the recommendations of the report. 

Based on the White Paper, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) would be abolished and its enabling law repealed as its functions are being performed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.  A similar fate awaits the Salaries and Wages Income Commission.

In the Aviation sector, the trio of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) were recommended to be merged into a new body to be known as the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) and their respective enabling laws amended accordingly to reflect the merger.

The report recommended that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) be privatised without further delay.  On the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), the Committee recommended that it be merged with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to synergize for management and utilization of resources.  The government noted this recommendation.

It also recommended that NAPEP should be scrapped and its functions transferred to the new body that will emerge from the merger of the NDE and SMEDAN. NAPEP has already been scraped.

The committee recommended that the Utilities Charges Commission (UCC) be  scrapped.  It also recommended that the Passed Bill on the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service should not be assented to by the President.

The Committee recommended that the enabling law of the National Commission for Nomadic Education be repealed and the Commission’s activities taken over by the Universal Basic Education Commission. This is also in line with Government’s earlier decision as contained in the Report of the Ahmed Joda Panel on the Review, Harmonization and rationalisation of Federal Parastatals, Institutions and Agencies. The government noted the recommendation.

National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and their functions are performed in the Ministry of Environment.  

One of the key impediments has been the fact that most of the affected agencies were creations of legislation.  Consequently, the enabling laws had to be repealed before they cease to exist

Reacting to the news of the decision by the President to finally implement the report, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, Executive Director Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said the move is a welcome development,  noting that Nigerians have been clamouring for the reduction in the cost of governance. 

According to him, “As long as the government is willing to sincerely implement the report to reduce costs of governance, I am in support. But it should not weaken the drive to fight corruption.”

He further said that since most of the agencies were a creation of the law, the legislature must be carried along to do the needful. In his words, “The president cannot just scrap any agency or merge agencies when the laws establishing them have not been amended.”

 

The Full gist

 👇 

Highlights of Federal Executive Council decisions on Monday 26 February

 

Here are some of the highlights of the far reaching decisions taken today at the Federal Executive Council meeting, chaired by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

 

  1. FEC approved construction of Lagos-Port Harcourt-Calabar Coastal Superhighway to Messrs Hitech Construction Africa. The First phase made up of 47 kms will begin in Lagos.
  2. Social security payments to the vulnerable households to begin immediately. Recipients will be those with NIN and BVN.

 

  1. Social security payments to be extended to graduates from NCE and upwards

 

  1. Consumer Credit to be established very urgently. Chief of Staff to lead a committee that includes Budget Minister, Attorney-General, Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance, to make the scheme a reality.

 

  1. The Council in order to enhance efficiency in the Federal service, and reduce the cost of governance, decided to implement the recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye panel on the restructuring and rationalisation of Federal agencies, parastatals and commissions.

 

The implementation involves merging, subsuming and scrapping agencies with similar functions.

 

The Oronsaye report was submitted in 2012 to the Jonathan administration. In 2014, the Jonathan government released a white paper on the report. The Buhari administration after re-examining the white paper also released a second white paper in August 2022, but did not implement the report.

 

However, the Tinubu administration has decided to confront the monster of high governance cost by implementing elements of the report.

 

An eight-man committee has a 12-week deadline to ensure that the necessary legislative amendments and administrative restructuring needed to implement the reforms are effected in an efficient manner.

 

The committee comprises Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Justice Minister, Budget and Planning Minister, DG Bureau of Public Service Reform, Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Special assistant to the president on National Assembly. The Cabinet Affairs Office will serve as the secretariat.

 

Key recommendations for implementation:

 

National Salaries, Income and wages Commission to be subsumed under Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission. The National Assembly will need to amend the constitution as RMAFC was established by the constitution.

 

Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission to be merged with Bureau of Public Enterprise and be rechristened as `Public Enterprises and Infrastructural Concession Commission

 

National Human Rights Commission to swallow Public Complaints Commission

 

Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate(PTAD) to be scrapped and functions to be taken over by Federal Ministry of Finance

 

NEMA and National Commission for Refugees to be fused to become National Emergency and Refugee Management Commission

 

Border Communities Development Agency to become a department under National Boundary Commission

 

NACA and NCDC to be merged

 

SERVICOM to become a department under the Bureau for Public Service Reform(BPSR)

 

NALDA to return to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

 

 Federal Ministry of Science to supervise a new agency that combines NCAM, NASENI and PRODA

 

 National Commission for Museums and Monuments and National Gallery of Arts to become one entity that will be known as National Commission for Museums, Monuments and Gallery of Arts.

 

National Theatre to be merged with National Troupe.

  1. Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa and Directorate of Technical Aid Corp to be merged under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

 Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to become an agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

 Federal Radio Corporation and Voice of Nigeria to be one entity to be known as Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria

 

 National Biotechnology Development Agency(NABDA) and National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology to be emerged into an agency to be known as National Biotechnology Research and Development Agency(NBRDA).

 

National Institute for Leather Science Technology and National Institute for Chemical Technology to become one agency.

 

 Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development to become one agency.

 

The National Metallurgical Development Centre and National Metallurgical Training Institute will be merged.

 

 National Institute for Trypanosomiasis to be subsumed under Institute of Veterinary Research in Vom, Jos.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here