… the aim was only to cut costs and not to throw Nigerians into the labour market.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The federal government has resolved to implement the Stephen Oronsaye report that called for a leaner government by merging some agencies and scrapping some others.

The president’s decision was announced by a presidential spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga, in a post on X.

“Twelve years after the Steve Oronsaye panel submitted its report on restructuring and rationalizing Federal government parastatals and agencies and a white paper issued two years after, President Tinubu and the Federal Executive Council today decided to implement the report,” Mr Onanuga wrote.

Also, briefing State House correspondents after Monday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would be scrapped, merged or subsumed into relevant organisations of government.


He said the aim was only to cut costs and not to throw Nigerians into the labour market.

Idris said the details of the affected MDAs would be made known soon, adding that a committee had been set up for the implementation of the report.

In 2011, former President Goodluck Jonathan set up the presidential committee on the reformation of government agencies chaired by Steven Oronsaye, a former Head of Service of the Federation.

Its terms of reference included, among others, examining the enabling Acts and mandates of all the federal agencies, parastatals, and commissions to determine areas of overlap or duplication of functions.

The committee, in its report, recommended that of the 541 Statutory and Non-Statutory Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions, 263 statutory agencies should be reduced to 161, 38 agencies should be abolished, 52 agencies should be merged, and 14 should revert to departments in ministries.

A white paper committee, headed by the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, reviewed the report and rejected most of the recommendations of the committee when it submitted its report in 2014.

However, even the accepted recommendations were not implemented until the Jonathan administration left office in 2015.

It will be recalled that in 2021, the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated two committees to implement the report. One of the committees, headed by a former Head of Service, Bukar Aji, was mandated to review the Oronsaye Report and the government white paper. The other committee, chaired by Amal Pepple, was mandated to review MDAs created between 2014 and 2021.

The then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in July 2022, set up another white paper committee, headed by Ebele Okeke, to review the report of the Pepple committee. However, the Buhari administration failed to implement the report.

While the discourse on the implementation of the report was ongoing, the National Assembly and successive governments have been creating agencies and institutions, therefore, increasing the cost of governance in the process.

The consequence of the bloated government has been the steady increase in the recurrent expenditure of the federal government.