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Merge Senate, House of Reps instead of scrapping gov’t agencies – Falana

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Merge Senate, House of Reps instead of scrapping gov’t agencies – Falana

Femi Falana, a prominent human rights lawyer, has spoken out against the 12-year-old Steve Oronsaye Report, which recommended the merger, scrapping of some government agencies and commissions.

Falana urged the federal government to merge the two houses of the National Assembly and reduce the number of Ministers, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants instead of downsizing the public service.

In a statement, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria expressed his view that the report is no longer relevant and would not effectively reduce the high costs of governance in the country given the current state of the public service.

Despite the approval of the full implementation of the Oronsaye report by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Bola Tinubu, Falana argued that the report does not take into account the present realities within the public service and thus may not lead to significant reductions in the cost of governance.

The decision to proceed with the Oronsaye report was explained by the Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Hadiza Bala Usman, who stated that this move aligns with the government’s goal of cutting costs and enhancing efficiency throughout the governance processes.

READ ALSO: List: Government agencies to be scrapped, merged upon implementation of Oronsaye Report

However, 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.

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