FCS: Former President Jonathan Endorses Implementation Of Oronsaye Report By  President Tinubu; Some CEOs May  Go

By Lateef Adegbite And Suleiman Umaaru

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had expected Muhammed Buhari, his successor, in 2015, to adopt and implement the 2012, Stephen Oronsaye, Presidential Committee report on Gesturing and Rationalization of the Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies including that  of the 2014 CONFAB report for Restructuring  of Nigeria since he could not implement it before he left office in May 29, 2015.

 The former Nigerian President was said to have appealed to then President  Buhari to take the implementation of the reports serious to make for a leaner Federal Civil Service, FCS, and reduce the cost of governance at the Federal level  and a better country but that was how far he could go.

  Recall that Oronsaye who had headed the Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalization of the FCS, was incidentally a former Head of FCS, during the Jonathan’s Administration. The Committee was said to have recommended that the 263 of the statutory agencies funded by the government be reduced to 161.

 It was said to have recommended that 38 of the government agencies be scrapped, 52 others merged with other existing agencies and 14 reverted to departments in the various Federal ministries to save cost. The Committee had declared that the implementation of the report to its logical conclusion would save the country a whopping N261 billion which could be channeled to other areas of the economy like provision of health, educational and infrastructural facilities.

The  Oronsaye led Presidential Committee  had recommended  that the Law  establishing the National Salaries  and Wages Commission  should be repealed  as the agency was a drain pipe and its functions transferred  to the Revenue Mobilization  and Fiscal Responsibility Commission, RMFRC. The Committee had said that for the new RMAFC to be fully implemented without any legal hiccups, the National Assembly will need to amend the 199 Constitution.

 The Committee did not stop there. It was said to have also recommended to the government to merge the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission with Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, to be christened as Public Enterprises and Infrastructural Concession Commission.    

Other key recommendations of the Oronsaye Committee was the merger of the three top anti-corruption agencies: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences   Commission, ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau, into one agency for optimum performance.

This is in addition to the recommendations that ‘’the Public Complaints Commission should take over the functions of the National Human Rights Commission while Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate  , PTAD, be scrapped and functions taken over by the Federal ministry of Finance’’ , which currently has Wale Wale Edun as the minister and Coordinating minister  of the economy. Many beliebbe that Former Presidnt Jonathan would have implemente the Oronsaye report if he was relected into office in the 2015, Presidential election but Muhammadu Buhari, of then Opposition All Progressive Congress won, APC, won.

Former President Jonathan: Happy that President Tinubu is going ahead with the implementation of Oronsaye’s report

Until the Katsina state born Nigerian President handed over to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state, the closest he came to sighting the 800 page   had served   report was to set up another  Committee to review both the Oronsaye report and the white paper that had been produced . The Committee was said to have been chaired by Goni Aji, a retired former Head of the FSC. Another Committee was said to have been set up by then Buhari Administration to review the agencies created under Jonathan’s Administration between 2014 and 2023. The second Committee was said to have been chaired by Ms Amal People, who was said to have also headed the FSC

Informed sources told The Value News that after the former President Committees had submitted their reports, Buhari, who appears to be marking time not to implement the report before the February 25, 2023 election, had set up another committee, in July 2022, headed by one Ebele Okeke, who was a formerHead of FCS, to produce a white paper on the two previous reports which was said to have been   submitted to Boss Mustapha, then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, meaning dead on arrival.

It was therefore not very surprising why Former President Jonathan had asked whether any Nigerian President would ever implement the Osronsaye report? Unknown to him, President Tinubu has prepared the ground to implement the report which Buhari could not do in eight years of his Administration.

As  a prelude to the implementation   of the Oronsaye’s report, on Monday, February 26, 2024,  Tinubu had set up an eight-man  committee to confront  the monster of high cost of governance and ensure that the necessary  Legislative  amendments  and administrative  restructuring  needed  to implement  the reforms  are effected  in an efficient manner without  hiccups.

Theeight-man  Committee, mandated to facilitate the implementation of  the Oronsaye’s 12 year-old report according to Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to the President, includes George Akume, a former governor of Benue state and now   Secretary to Government of the Federation, Folasade  Yemi-Esan, incumbent  Head of the FSC,   Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice, minister of Budget and Planning,  Director General, Bureau  of Public Service Reforms, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, a former Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA,  and now  Special Adviser  to the President  on Policy Coordination and the Special Assistant to the President  on National Assembly.

Hajia Usman, Former MD, NPA and member of President Tinubu’s 8-Committee to implement Oronsaye’s report

Signs that President Tinubu ‘s government would  implement the 12 year –old Orosaye report emerged  when  he directed a maximum of four  staff  in all  official delegations outside the country  while the  Chief Executive Officers, CEOs,  of agencies can only  travel  with only  two staff  members on international trips.

The implications of the directive, according to Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential spokesperson was that even the President   could only travel with 20 officials unlike before when he could travel with 50 staff, the Vice President could only travel with five officials, the First Lady and the Vice President’s wife, going     On international trips are also to be accompanied by five officials each. For Local trips, the number of the President’s entourage was said to have been reduced to 25, Vice President,15,  First Lady and wife of Vice President , 10 each.

Ngelale, Presidential spokesperson had said that the measures were taken ‘’to reduce cost of governance, ensure sanity and prudence in the management of the country’s resources’’. He was emphatic that  President  Tinubu has approved the   massive   cost cutting  exercise  that will  touch  the entire Federal Government,  meaning the FCS, parastatals and agencies including  offices of the President , Vic President  and the First Lady.   This may have informed why the implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye’S Committee report did not come to many as a surprise.

Obi: G gives kudos toPresident Tinubu for going ahead to implement the Oronsaye’s Report, says he would have done same

Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state and Presidential Candidate of the Opposition Labour Paty, LP, in the February 25, 2023, election, had said that he would have also implemented the Oronsaye report if he was he was elected Nigeria’s President in the February 25, 2023, general elections   as Tinubu has planned to do, describing it as ‘’the best ways to make governance efficient, cost –effective and productive’’.

There are fears in both official and unofficial circles  that some Director Generals of the government owned parastatals, agencies and Commissions that will be scraped , subsumed or merged  with other existing agencies  carrying out the same functions   will go with the planned implementation of the Oronsaye’s report by the Tinubu’s Administration to save Administrative costs .

Despite that some Director Generals would lose their jobs with the implementation of Orosaye’s report, President Tinubu has continued to make fresh appointments. The most recent of such appointments was that of Mansur Kabir as   the Chairman of   Board and Prof. Ifedayo Adetifa, as the  CEO,  of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration, NAFDAC, an agency that had been listed in the Oronsaye’report   should be scrapped .

 He was said to have also appointed one  Hajia Hafsat Bakari,  as the Director and CEO of Nigerian  Financial  Intelligence  Unit, NUIU, pending her  confirmation by Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state led Senate.   

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