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Review Orosanye Report Before Implementation, Reps Tell Tinubu

The House of Representatives on Thursday urged President Bola Tinubu to consider reviewing the Stephen Orasanye Report and other allied reports before implementation.

This was the outcome of the adoption of a motion jointly sponsored by Hon. Kama Nkemkanma, Hon. Olumide Osoba, and Hon. Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi at plenary.

The House advised the president “To comprehensively review the 2012 Orosanye Report, the Goni Aji Report which reviewed Orosanye Report, the White Paper released by the President Jonathan administration, the Ama Pepple White Paper and the Ebele Okeke White Paper in line with current realities while considering implementable alternatives that are in tune with current realities, and which at the same time would have minimum unintended consequences, impacts, implications, and outcomes”

It also “Urged the executive arm of government to develop and implement policies that will reposition the agricultural sector, the solid mineral sector and the informal sectors which will serve as alternatives to those that may be laid off consequentially while at the same time spurring economic growth”.

Leading debate on the motion, Hon. Nkemkanma reminded his colleagues that in 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, set up the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government parastatals, commissions, and agencies, headed by Stephen Oronsaye, a retired federal civil servant and former Head of Service of the Federation.

He said that the Oronsaye Committee, after their painstaking assignment, recommended the scrapping and merging of 220 out of the then-existing 541 government agencies.

“Also aware that the Committee’s 800-page report noted that the government’s parastatals and agencies’ functions are overlapping and therefore recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161, the abolition of 38 agencies, the merger of 52 and the reversion of 14 to departments in ministries and the management audit of 89 agencies capturing biometric features of staff as well as the discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies/councils;

“Again, aware that the Oronsaye Report said then that if the committee’s recommendation was implemented, the government would be saving over N862 billion between 2012 and 2015 with a breakdown which showed that about N124.8 billion would be reduced from agencies proposed for abolition; about N100.6 billion from agencies proposed for mergers; about N6.6 billion from professional bodies; N489.9 billion from universities; N50.9 billion from polytechnics; N32.3 billion from colleges of education and N616 million from boards of federal medical centres.

“Further aware that after the committee’s report, the White Paper committee set up by Jonathan’s administration rejected most of the recommendations, while those accepted were not implemented”, he submitted.

According to Nkemkanma, in November 2021, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration inaugurated two committees; one of the committees by Goni Aji, a retired Head of Civil Service of the Federation, was to review the Orosanye report, and the second committee, chaired by Ama Pepple, also a retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, was constituted to review agencies created between 2014 and 2021.

He also noted that upon submission of their reports, the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in July 2022 set up another committee chaired by Ebele Okeke, a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to produce a white paper on the reports.

He expressed worry that the full implementation of a report 12 years after it was first made, which ordinarily may be described as outdated, especially because of how dynamic the society, economy, polity, technology, and all facets of our national life have been.

“Concerned that contrary to the assumption that the full implementation of the report would reduce the cost of governance, with the current realities, the full implementation of the report will not substantially reduce the cost of governance as it does not reflect the current situation in the Public Service of the Federation;

“Deeply worried that the full implementation of 2012 Oronsaye Report in 2024 will certainly throw up unintended consequences, implications and outcomes”.

The lawmaker assured that they were committed to supporting all positive actions and policies of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration, which have minimum unintended consequences impacts, implications, and outcomes.”

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