Impending Job Loss Concerns as Tinubu Orders Implementation – Oronsaye

Impending Job Loss Concerns as Tinubu Orders Implementation – Oronsaye

President Bola Tinubu has issued a directive for the complete implementation of the report by the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies.

The committee, led by retired accountant Stephen Oronsaye, had submitted the report twelve years ago. The decision has raised concerns among federal government workers, who fear job losses and unemployment. The timing of the order, amidst economic difficulties, suggests that organized labor may strongly oppose its implementation.

Tinubu’s administration has expressed its intention to streamline the government by merging certain agencies and abolishing others. Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, announced the decision, stating that the move towards a leaner government was discussed at the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the President.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, further explained that the aim was to reduce costs, not to contribute to unemployment. The details of the affected Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) will be disclosed soon, and a committee has been established to oversee the implementation of the report.

However, some Nigerians question the sincerity of the order, considering that the administration recently created new federal ministries, which critics argue contradict the government’s commitment to reducing the cost of governance.

Uche Nwosu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, praised Tinubu’s decision, stating that it demonstrates his leadership qualities and commitment to revitalising Nigeria by cutting the cost of governance. On the other hand, Professor Pat Utomi highlighted the irony of the largest cabinet in Nigerian history voting for the full implementation of the Oronsaye report, suggesting that starting with trimming the cabinet would be more appropriate.

Former Kaduna lawmaker Shehu Sani cautioned Tinubu to be careful about the potential job losses resulting from the implementation of the Oronsaye report, while also acknowledging the benefits of reducing the cost of governance and harmonizing federal MDAs.

The Oronsaye report, which has been a subject of discussion for years, recommends the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161, abolishing 38 agencies, merging 52, and converting 14 to departments. However, previous administrations did not act on the report’s recommendations.

Public reaction to the President’s directive has been mixed, with some praising the move to reduce the cost of governance, while others point out the contradiction of appointing numerous ministers and aides in a time of economic hardship. Skepticism remains regarding the honest implementation of the report and the government’s commitment to its policies. 

In addition, it seems that our leaders do not believe in setting an example. The Oronsaye report focuses on streamlining the workforce. I wonder, is the President willing to start by reducing the number of his ministers, personal assistants, special advisors, and senior special assistants?

Alternatively, will the implementation only affect civil servants and those earning minimum wages?

Do you remember when they implemented the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS)? It did not affect lawmakers, executives, and judges.

Will the implementation of the Oronsaye report be similar?

I always say that the quality of life that is good for the President, senators, and governors should also be good for every Nigerian.

Meanwhile, there are already protests against an alleged attempt to implement a modified version of the report.

Just yesterday, on Tuesday, some Igbo leaders warned against deviating from the recommendations of the Oronsaye report.

According to them, the committee recommended merging certain agencies under the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Technology, but the Projects Development Institute, PRODA, in Enugu, was recommended to remain independent.

However, they claim that certain high-ranking government officials want to merge PRODA with other agencies, contrary to the committee’s recommendation.

In response to the alleged attempt to modify the committee’s recommendation for PRODA, an Igbo leader and former presidential candidate of the United Nigeria Peoples Party, Chief Chekwas Okorie, told journalists on Tuesday that such action would be counterproductive.

Okorie advised that the correct course of action should be taken.

He insisted on implementing the recommendations as they were outlined, noting that PRODA has not received the necessary attention since its establishment.

The Igbo leader argued that with the appropriate support, PRODA would be beneficial to the country, as it would advance the nation’s technological capabilities.

Okorie urged the implementing committee not to succumb to any pressure to modify the document, emphasizing that PRODA is an agency deserving of adequate attention.

Similarly, former spokesperson of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Chuks Ibegbu, stated that while the implementation of the report was long overdue, it should not be politicized by merging PRODA with any other agency.

“PRODA is an esteemed agency with great potential; what it needs is more attention from the government,” he said.


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