After Creating 10 More Ministries, Totaling 45, Tinubu Orders Implementation of Oronsaye Report to Cut Down Cost of Governance

Nigerians are confused as to what Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s plan was regarding the implementation of the Oronsanya report before establishing new ministries like Marine and Blue Economy, Tourism, Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Gas Resources, Steel Development, Finance and Coordinating Economy, Health and Social Welfare, Aviation and Aerospace Development, Youth Development, Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation

It’s worth noting that past presidents such as Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan have previously implemented aspects of the report at various times but without significant impact.

Bola Tinubu resolved to execute the recommendations of the Stephen Oronsaye report, aiming to streamline the government by consolidating certain agencies and eliminating others.

His spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed the decision in a post on X.

“Twelve years after the Steve Oronsaye panel submitted its report on restructuring and rationalizing Federal government parastatals and agencies and a white paper issued two years after, President Tinubu and the Federal Executive Council today decided to implement the report,” Mr Onanuga wrote.

“Many agencies will be scrapped and many others will be merged, to pave the way to a leaner government,” he said.

Following Monday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, briefed State House correspondents. He disclosed plans to streamline Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) through scrapping, merging, or integrating them into relevant government bodies.

Emphasizing that the objective is cost reduction without adding to unemployment, Idris assured that affected MDAs would be revealed soon. Additionally, he noted the establishment of a committee to execute the report.

In 2011, a presidential committee chaired by Steven Oronsaye was tasked by former President Goodluck Jonathan to reform government agencies.

Recommendations included reducing 263 statutory agencies to 161, abolishing 38, merging 52, and converting 14 to departments.

Despite a subsequent white paper review led by Mohammed Adoke, most recommendations were unheeded until 2015.

READ ALSO: Economic Hardship: Nigerians United by Hunger, Starvation Under Tinubu’s Govt — Obi

In 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated two committees to enforce the report. One, led by Bukar Aji, aimed to review the Oronsaye Report and the government white paper. The other, chaired by Amal Pepple, focused on MDAs created between 2014 and 2021. Despite these efforts, the Buhari administration did not act on the report.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly and successive governments continued establishing agencies, inflating governance costs and recurrent expenditures.

Critics, including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, accuse President Tinubu of reluctance to reform the civil service, citing the appointment of 50 ministers. Abubakar referenced Argentine President Javier Milei’s downsizing as a contrasting example.

“He (Milei) started off cutting government expenditure by reducing the size of government and wastage; blocked stealing of government funds, and attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through concessions, tax holidays, and improved ease of doing business,” Atiku said.

In the meantime, organized labor unions are anticipated to oppose President Tinubu’s recent decision as it could result in job losses.

Nigerian workers are already struggling with the escalating cost of living, exacerbated by certain policies of the present government, including the removal of fuel subsidies and the unification of foreign exchange rates.

The country’s primary labor unions, namely the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), are preparing for nationwide demonstrations to protest against the prevailing economic difficulties.