In an apparent move to calm rising tempers and try to reassure citizens that the administration is also in belt-tightening mode amid widespread hardship, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved the implementation of the Oronsaye Report. Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this while briefing reporters at the end of the FEC meeting at State House, Abuja, chaired by President Bola Tinubu.

The Oronsaye report principally recommends strategies for cutting down the cost of governance.

Idris said the adoption of the report, which was submitted to federal government in 2012, meant that some agencies, commissions, and departments of government would be scrapped or merged, and some would be moved to new ministries for better performance.

Equally briefing newsmen, Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, said Tinubu had set up a committee headed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, to ensure that the approved mergers were concluded within 12 weeks.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, disclosed that the president had directed the design of a social security scheme for unemployed youths.

Idris said the latest action on the Oronsaye report was consistent with Tinubu’s courage to do the right thing for Nigeria.

The minister stated, “There is a landmark decision that was taken by FEC today. Recall that in 2012, the administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan instituted the so-called Oronsaye Report. It is aimed at rationalising the federal government parastatals, agencies, and commissions.

“Now, a paper was turned in in 2012, but the implementation got stalled. Again, in 2021, almost seven years after that, the former President Muhammadu Buhari also initiated a process to consider the 2014 white paper on the Oronsaye Report. Again, the implementation of that also got stalled.

“Now, instead of the rationalisation, that the Oronsaye Report was aimed to achieve, many other agencies and commissions were established.

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

Idris explained the implication of the decision to implement the report, saying, “Now, what that means is that a number of agencies, commissions, and some departments have actually been scrapped, some have been merged, while others have been subsumed. Others, of course, have also been moved from some ministries to others where government feels they will operate better.

“Like I said, those scrapped include the Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate, the National Senior Secondary School Education Commission is also being looked at with the aim to modify some of its processes and a final decision on that will be taken.

“Now, at the end of this exercise, we’re going to give you a clean copy of all those agencies that have been scrapped, modified, subsumed or moved to other ministries.

“Like I said, this is a very far-reaching decision. It is aimed, one, to fine-tune and to restructure government operations as a whole. Second, in line also with the vision of President Bola Tinubu to reduce the cost of governance, some of these agencies, you will discover and as you know, are performing almost very similar functions. So government thought it wise that there is the need, since this committee had already been set up, white paper already been produced, to take a bold decision to visit that. That has been done fully today.”

Speaking also, Usman said, “Mr. President constituted a committee that will work within a 12-week period to ensure that the necessary restructuring and legislative amendments that are needed to ensure that full actualisation of these approvals was granted. He tasked this committee with an immediate terms of reference to proceed and ensure all of these are done within a period of 12 weeks.