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Peter Obi opens up on scraping, merging over 100 MDAs

By Frank Ulom

The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi has opened up on the scraping, merging and fusion of 104 Ministries, Development and Agencies, MDAs, as proposed by Stephen Oronsaye’s report.

The Oronsaye report established that there are 541 Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies (statutory and non-statutory) and recommended that 263 of the statutory agencies should be reduced to 161, while 38 agencies should be abolished and 52 should be merged. It also recommended that 14 of the agencies should revert to departments in ministries.

Out of the 104 MDAs, some of those to be scrapped, fused and merged include the EFCC, ICPC, NTA, NCC, PPPRA, COREN, PTAD, VON, NAHCON, NCPC, etc.

Reacting to the decision by President Bola Tinubu to fully implement the report, Obi on Wednesday morning said if he’d been president, he would have done the same.

Obi said he had received several text messages concerning the matter, adding that it was part of his manifesto to implement the Oronsaye Report but not in the matter at which Tinubu had implemented.

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“I have received several text messages from people wanting to know if I would have implemented the Oronsaye Report, which full implementation has just been directed by the President.

“In response to their questions, I would like to refer everyone to my Manifesto and my response to similar questions during my campaigns. On the 5th of October, 2022 at Havard University, I was asked: ‘Will you implement the Oronsaye Report?’ and I responded in the affirmative.

“I went further to explain that implementing the report is one of the best ways to make governance efficient, cost-effective, and productive. Being in opposition does not warrant blind and thoughtless criticism. Whenever the government takes the right decision, we should agree and if need be, propose related or even better ideas to move the nation forward.

“I have always been an advocate of the 3 critical components of the Oronsaye Report, which are: i) drastically cutting the cost of governance; ii) eliminating the overlapping of responsibilities to ensure that responsibilities are appropriately domiciled; and iii) increasing efficiency and effectiveness, which will increase productivity.

“Although the implementation of the report is long overdue, its implementation is a welcome development so long as the decision is informed by these principles. Beyond implementing the Oronsaye Report, the government should go further and cut the cost of governance across board.

“Having found it imperative to implement the Report, the government should now do away with the bogus and needless wastages of our scarce resources on frivolous issues, and deploy such funds to the critical areas of Education, Health, and pulling people out of poverty.

“However, we must not rush to implement the Oronsaye Report just because those that will be directly affected are mostly civil servants. A very deep understanding of the workings of the Federal bureaucracy will be required to effectively implement the Report.

“Grasping the symmetries between the federal and the other tiers of government will be imperative as Federal agencies have branches and outreaches in all the 36 states. We the political leaders, should be ready to back up such implementation with our sacrifices from comfort and selfishness, for the overall development of the nation. In implementing this Report, conscious effort must be made to cushion the effects of such a major overhaul on the workers, to avoid driving more people into hardship, in these very challenging times.

“Also Nigerians are yet to be informed about the extant White Paper pertinent to the report’s implementation. Moreover, you cannot ask those who are likely to be affected by the downsizing to manage the process.

“More importantly, the implementation needs to be accompanied by a template to avoid a future bloating of government. By doing the right things and implementing the right policies, we will build the New Nigeria of our dreams,” Obi’s statement read.

Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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