What’s Oronsaye report all about? Key things you should know

 What’s Oronsaye report all about? Key things you should know

The Federal Government has approved the implementation of recommendations from the Stephen Oronsaye Report aimed at reducing governance costs, 12 years after receiving the report. 

This includes merging 29 government agencies and subsuming eight parastatals into others, relocating four agencies to different ministries, and considering the scrapping of one. The report, submitted in 2012, highlighted the existence of 541 government parastatals, commissions, and agencies, proposing various reforms such as slashing statutory agencies from 263 to 161, scrapping 38, merging 52, and reverting 14 to ministry departments. 

The government aims to save over N241bn if the report is fully implemented. Minister Mohammed Idris assured that the restructuring wouldn’t lead to job losses, as employees will be accommodated within the new structure. President Tinubu had hinted at these reforms before taking office, with specific mergers and subsumptions detailed, including merging anti-corruption agencies and relocating various bodies to different ministries. 

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Additionally, a committee has been constituted to oversee the restructuring and legislative amendments necessary for full implementation within 12 weeks. The committee comprises high-ranking government officials and aims to ensure a smooth transition in line with the approved reforms.

Here are things to know about the report

President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, in 2012, set up the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.

– The committee was headed by a retired federal civil servant and former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye.

– After their painstaking assignment, the committee recommended the scrapping and merging of 220 out of the then existing 541 government agencies.

– If implemented, no fewer than 102 heads of agencies and parastatals will lose their jobs.

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– The committee’s 800-page report noted that the government’s parastatals and agencies’ functions are overlapping.

– The committee recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161.

– The committee recommended the abolition of 38 agencies, the merger of 52 and the reversion of 14 to departments in ministries.

– The committee also recommended the management audit of 89 agencies capturing biometric features of staff as well as the discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies/councils.

– Oronsaye said then that if the committee’s recommendation was implemented, the government would be saving over N862 billion between 2012 and 2015.

– The breakdown 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.

– If implemented, agencies that may be affected include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and Federal Road Safety Commission.

– Other agencies cited doing overlapping functions are the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, the National Broadcasting Commission and the Nigeria Communications Commission in the area of frequency allocation.

– Also, the Universal Basic Education Commission, Nomadic Education Commission, and National Mass Literacy Commission are performing overlapping functions and should be brought under one body.

– The committee again believes NTA, FRCN, and VON should be under one management.

– 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.

– In November 2021, the Federal Government inaugurated two committees; one of the committees was to review the Orosanye report and its white paper chaired by Goni Aji, a retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

– The second committee was constituted to review agencies created from 2014 till date, chaired by Amal Pepple, also a retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

– Upon submission of their reports, the 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.

– Speaking during the presentation of the white paper to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in Abuja, Okeke stressed that it is important to discuss with the leadership of the National Assembly to achieve the desired result, adding that most of the agencies created were products of bills from the National Assembly.

– She said, “The committee observed that the legal framework/enabling Act of some of the PACs did not clearly define structure, management, and oversight. Most of the laws were used by agency, commission and board interchangeably. For instance, where the organisation is defined as a commission, the provisions of the law did not support the structure of a commission. In this regard, the committee recommended a change in status/name, and amendment of the Act/Law.

“The committee observed that most of the agencies created (especially under Education and Health) were Bills that emanated from the National Assembly. It is, therefore, important to engage and dialogue with the National Assembly to generate an understanding to streamline the creation of new PACs.

“It is noteworthy that some of the recommendations can be considered as low-hanging fruits that can be implemented immediately after approval of the white paper.”

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