Tinubu: Idris clears air on Orosanye report amidst cheering news


Idris speaking at the Ministerial press briefing

By Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Inaugurated on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, the Ministerial Press Briefing Series, MPBS, an initiative of Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has become a key avenue through which Nigerians and even, non-Nigerians with a keen interest in the affairs of the country are getting deep peeps into efforts and ongoing plans of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to turn around each sector of national life under the administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

So far, the MPBS has featured two ministers- the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari and the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite. The briefings were fruitful as the two ministers gave comprehensive briefings of the plans of the administration to turn around both sectors with many ongoing innovative steps that have not gained traction in the media unveiled.

Even, more important was the fact that journalists present at the meeting were able to seek clarifications and at the end of the events, go away with so much information indicating that the Renewed Hope Agenda of the less-than-a-year-old administration is very much on course.

Of course, the Minister of Information and National Orientation has been playing good host to his colleagues even as he also usually used his opening address at the form to highlight the successes of Tinubu’s administration while appealing to the media to give adequate reportage to not just the challenges, but the successes and the strides being recorded by the Tinubu administration in the various sectors of national life.

Last Wednesday, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate took the podium at the National President Centre, Radio House, Abuja to unveil the agenda as well as achievements of the Tinubu administration in the health sector.

Orosanye Report

But the Information Minister had as usual opened the floor with some clarifications and ‘good news’ indicating that the painful reforms of Tinubu’s administration are beginning to yield fruits.

First, Idris dismissed insinuations that approval of the implementation of the Oronsaye report will lead to losses of jobs in the agencies, ministries and parastatals of the Federal Government.

The President had just two days before the press briefing approved the implementation of the report at the Federal Executive Council meeting.

The Orosanye report has been gathering dust with successive governments tinkering with it at one time or the other since it was submitted 12 years ago. The report had in a comprehensive manner recommended the scrapping, merger and restructuring of government agencies and huge bureaucracy to cut cost of governance in Nigeria.
The resuscitation of the report, Idris said, was a revolutionary approach towards reducing the cost of governance by President Bola Tinubu. “This is a clear demonstration of Mr. President’s unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence and responsible governance by championing a comprehensive review of the government‘s commissions, agencies, and parastatals.

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In recognition of the need to rationalise the size and scope of government, the President has taken decisive action to merge certain agencies and scrap others that are redundant or have outlived their usefulness,” Idris told journalists.

He added that the implementation of the Orosanye report is part a broader strategy to reform and modernize government institutions by leveraging technology, promoting innovation, and fostering a culture of performance and accountability across all sectors even as he solicited support of all stakeholders, including public officials, civil servants, the media, civil society, and the general public for the success of the initiative.

“Through the implementation of Oronsaye’s Report, President Tinubu aims to achieve significant cost savings by eliminating duplication of functions, streamlining administrative processes, and optimizing resource allocation. This proactive approach will enable the government to operate more efficiently while maintaining the quality and delivery of services to the Nigerian people,” the Minister said.

But he added that the President will not implement the report willy-nilly as being speculated by some commentators. “The merger of some agencies and parastatals and the scrapping of others are not decisions taken lightly. It followed careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure that essential services are not compromised and that the needs of our citizens are adequately addressed while putting the interests of the nation first and foremost,” said Idris.

Reforms Yielding Fruits

Aside the report, Idris also highlighted recent reports indicating that some of the reforms of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration are beginning to yield fruits. These include report indicating that Nigeria recorded a GDP growth of 3.46% in the fourth quarter of 2023 as against 2.54% recorded in the third quarter of 2023 and the rise in capital importation from 66% in the fourth quarter of 2023, a reverse of the 6% decline recorded in the third quarter of the year.

He also noted that the “Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index crossed the 100,000 mark – its highest ever, mainly due to the pragmatic reforms initiated by the President, which inspired investor confidence in the Nigerian economy.” The Minister also added that that oil production has risen from 1.22 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2023 to 1.55 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Minister also gave updates on the plan by the Tinubu’s administration to give succour to the vulnerable Nigerians to alleviate some of the challenges in the country. For one, he told journalists that Tinubu has given a directive for the design of a Social Security Unemployment Programme to cater for the unemployed graduates.

He said this was in addition to setting up of a Social Consumer Credit Scheme to boost the purchasing power of Nigerians, as they make adjustments in view of the temporary economic hardship and rejig of the National Social Investment Programme. Idris added that Tinubu has already directed that payments of N25,000 to 15 million households should resume immediately.

“The government is equally tackling insecurity headlong and more success stories are coming in on daily basis. Without any doubt, we are winning the war against insecurity. These are indeed testament to the bold initiatives taken by Mr. President to reflate the Nigerian economy and return it to the path of growth and sustainable development,” the Minister concluded.

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