Oronsaye report outdated, can’t guarantee reduction in governance cost — Falana



Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has described the Steve Oronsaye Report recommending the merger of government agencies and commissions as outdated, saying the recommendations of the report will not guarantee a reduction in the cost of governance.

 

Falana made this assertion in a statement on Tuesday.

 

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said, contrary to the belief in official circles, the report won’t “substantially reduce the enormous costs of governance in the country as it does not reflect the current situation in the public service.”

 

Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by President Bola Tinubu had on Monday approved the full implementation of the Oronsaye report.

 

According to the Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, the move was in line with the need to reduce the cost of governance and streamline efficiency across the governance value chain.

 

But Falana said, “No doubt, the implementation of some of the recommendations of the Panel will take appreciable time as the merger of certain bodies require constitutional amendments or repeal of a number of statutes.

 

“The 800-page report of the Steve Oronsaye Panel recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161, scrapping 38 agencies, merging 52, and reverting 14 to departments in different ministries.

 

“Since the Goodluck Jonathan administration produced a White Paper on the Steve Oronsaye Report in 2014, the Federal Government has created more ministries, departments and agencies.

 

“Whereas the Report recommended the reduction of 263 agencies to 151, the number of ministries, departments and agencies has increased to 1316. Even the current administration has increased the number of ministries and created new agencies. To that extent, the Steve Oronsaye Report is completely outdated.

 

“However, in implementing the Oronsaye Report the Federal Government should ensure that the crisis of insecurity is not compounded through the retrenchment of hundreds of thousands of workers.

 

“Instead of downsizing the public service the Federal Government should ensure that the two houses of the National Assembly are merged while the number of Ministers, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants is significantly reduced.”

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