Oronsanye Report: Falana Kicks, amid Tinubu’s approval to implement 12 years committee report

President Bola Tinubu’s decision to fully implement the 12-year-old Steve Oronsanye-led committee’s report has garnered widespread applause, with many applauding the move as a step towards reducing the cost of governance, and enhancing efficiency in the government.

However, human rights lawyer Femi Falana(SAN) has expressed a contrary opinion, describing the report as outdated, citing inability of the report to reducing cost of governance.

Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by President Tinubu, recently approved the full implementation of the Oronsanye report.

Hadiza Bala Usman, the Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, cited the need to reduce the cost of governance and streamline efficiency across the governance value chain as the rationale behind the decision.

While the decision has received positive feedbacks from many quarters, Falana has voiced skepticism regarding the efficacy of the Oronsanye report in achieving its intended goals.

He argued that the report’s recommendations may no longer be relevant or effective in the current socio-political and economic context.

Falana’s dissenting perspective highlights the complexity of governance reform initiatives and the diversity of opinions surrounding them.

The debate over the implementation of the Oronsanye report underscores the challenges inherent in reforming government structures and processes to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. It also underscores the importance of engaging in robust dialogue and critical analysis to ensure that reform efforts are grounded in contemporary realities which effectively address the needs of society.

Reacting to the decision 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”.

“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 Oronsanye 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 Oronsanye 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 effect, the Steve Oronsanye Report is completely outdated” he said.

Adding, “However, in implementing the Oronsanye 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.”