UPDATED: FG releases MDAs to scrap as Tinubu orders Oronsanye report’s implementation

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has approved the implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye report, which recommended scrapping and merging Federal Government agencies.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Monday, February 26.

One of the President’s media aides, Bayo Onanuga, also said in a post on X, shortly after the meeting that the directive aimed at a “leaner government.”

The directive came barely seven months after the President formed the biggest-ever cabinet in the country with 48 ministers and dozens of aides who are remunerated with the country’s lean resources.

The ICIR reports that fears had grown among workers because of possible job losses given the duplication of responsibilities by some Federal Government agencies since the Oronsaye team presented the report.

For instance, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) does almost the same jobs as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The two institutions have hundreds of workers.

The report recommended their merger.

Similarly, the report recommended that the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), and the Voice of Nigeria (VON) should be merged. These are in addition to several other agencies of the Federal Government that will be scrapped or merged.

If implemented,  the Federal Government’s 263 statutory agencies as of 2012 could be reduced to 161, making 102 heads of those agencies lose their jobs.

The report, submitted to the Federal Government in 2012, caught the attention of the three presidents that have led the nation between 2012 and now. They are former presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Mohammadu Buhari, and the incumbent Tinubu.

Jonathan and Buhari had at different times considered its implementation but failed.

The former set up the committee in 2012 and named it “The Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies”, with former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye heading it.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, while speaking to the State House correspondents said the decision by Tinubu to merge the MDAs was in the interest of Nigerians.

“So in a very bold move today, this administration, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, consistent again with his courage to take very far-reaching decisions in the interest of Nigeria, has taken a decision to implement the so-called Oronsaye Report.⁣

“Now, what that means is that a number of agencies, commissions, and some departments have actually been scrapped. Some have been modified, and marked while others have been subsumed. Others, of course, have also been moved from some ministries to others where the government feels they will operate better,” Idris said.

Similarly, Onanuga noted that the President and the Federal Executive Council had decided to implement the report.

“Twelve years after the Steve Oronsaye panel submitted its report on restructuring and rationalising 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.

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

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

According to Onanuga, 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 members include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Minister of Budget and Planning, Director-General Bureau of Public Service Reform, Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, and Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly. 

    The ICIR reports that the decision to implement the policy may not go down well with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) members who have scheduled two days of national protest for Tuesday and Wednesday, February 27 and 28 respectively to protest hardship in the country.

    The workers are demanding better wages as the country’s minimum wage stands at N30,000.

    Some MDAs listed for merger

    Here are some of the recommendations released by the presidency Monday night.

    1. 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.
    2. Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission to be merged with the Bureau of Public Enterprise and be rechristened as `Public Enterprises and Infrastructural Concession Commission.
    3. National Human Rights Commission to accommodate Public Complaints Commission.
    4. The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) is to be scrapped and its functions are to be taken over by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
    5. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Commission for Refugees to be fused to become National Emergency and Refugee Management Commission.
    6. Border Communities Development Agency to become a department under National Boundary Commission.
    7. National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to be merged.
    8. SERVICOM to become a department under the Bureau for Public Service Reform(BPSR)
    9. NALDA to return to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
    10. Federal Ministry of Science to supervise a new agency that combines NCAM, NASENI and PRODA.
    1. National Commission for Museums and Monuments and National Gallery of Arts to become one entity that will be known as the National Commission for Museums, Monuments and Gallery of Arts.
    2. National Theatre to be merged with National Troupe.
    3. Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa and Directorate of Technical Aid Corp to be merged under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    4. Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to become an agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    5. Federal Radio Corporation and Voice of Nigeria to be one entity to be known as Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria.
    6. 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).
    7. National Institute for Leather Science Technology and National Institute for Chemical Technology to become one agency.
    8. Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development to become one agency.
    9. The National Metallurgical Development Centre and National Metallurgical Training Institute will be merged.
    10. National Institute for Trypanosomiasis to be subsumed under the Institute of Veterinary Research in Vom, Jos.

     

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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