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Implementing Oronsaye report won’t solve any problem – Ex-minister

A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has said the plans by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to cut down the number of agencies may…

A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has said the plans by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to cut down the number of agencies may not solve Nigeria’s problems if other fundamental steps are not taken.

President Tinubu recently directed the implementation of the Steven Oronsaye report targeted at restructuring Federal Government parastatals, departments, commissions, and agencies as Nigeria grapples with a biting economy.

But speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps said the Federal Government should rather implement true federalism.

Although the Federal Government has assured of no job losses, Chidoka is worried about people who will be affected by the implementation of the report.

The PDP chieftain said: “What are we really shedding? What are the numbers? That is why some governments have think tanks and institutes that look at your policy and present evidence-based data.

“You’re saying there would be no job loss. How can that be? If people have to go, it is something we have to think through. What is important is: how much are we going to be saving with this process? Let’s put some numbers to it. And when we put those numbers, let’s also put the numbers of those who are transitioning out of these jobs. What are we going to do with them as we transition them out in the middle of an economic crisis?”

He argued that while planning to cut down the number of government agencies, the National Assembly is in the process of creating a new agency – the Nigeria Peace Corps.

Chidoka said the federal government should rather hand off most items on the concurrent list and concentrate on the exclusive list while regulating activities on the concurrent list.

He said: “This is an opportunity for the government to do a serious issue. The serious issue is that the Nigerian Federal Government has an exclusive list…but the Nigerian government has expanded greatly into the implementation of items on the concurrent list. The federal government has moved from regulating the concurrent list to implementing the concurrent list.

“That is why we have federal medical centres in all the state capitals, federal universities in all the states. So, the federal government should pull back. It’s not an Oronsanye’s report problem now. What is the philosophy of government in Nigeria? Should the federal government intervene in the concurrent list by way of implementation or should they pull back and face the exclusive list while creating the regulation for items in the concurrent list?

“Nigeria’s problem is that the Nigerian government, starting from the military in 1970 immediately after the war, they took over regional universities and made them federal universities instead of giving them to the states that came out of the regions. They took over state hospitals and made them federal. Since that time, the federal government has been expanding in the concurrent list.”

He called on President Tinubu to act what he was preaching when he was the governor of Lagos State by implementing true federalism and allowing the states to take charge of items in the concurrent list.

“Cutting down the agencies is not going to provide new services, it’s not going to work,” Chidoka said.

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