• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Implementation of Oronsaye report will cost money; there’s a need to develop budget for it – Joe Abah 

Tinubu approves policy for system-wide data on education

Joe Abah, the former director-general of the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR), said that the implementation of the Oronsaye report will cost money and that there is a need to develop a budget for the purpose.

 

Abah said this in a piece published by Agora Policy on Tuesday. The piece is titled “Practical Steps for Effective Implementation of the Oronsaye Report.”

 

President Bola Tinubu in February approved the full implementation of the Oronsaye report, which is aimed at reducing the cost of governance by merging, scrapping, and relocating some ministries, departments, and agencies of the federal government.

 

In the piece, Abah highlighted the practical steps that needed to be taken for the implementation of the report.

He noted that the merger of government institutions aimed at reducing expenses will also cost money.

 

“Mergers cost money, and there is a need to develop a budget and ensure the release of funds. For instance, it was announced that the ates ENI), located in Abuja, is to be merged with the National Centre for Agriculutral Mechanisation (NCAM), located in Ilorin, Kwara State, and the Projects Development Institute (PRODA), located in Enugu,” he said.

The former director-general of the BPSR asked the federal government to develop a budget for the implementation of the report if there’s none already.

“How does one even begin to take an independent inventory of assets or a confirmation of staffing numbers without an allowance for travel between the three organisations? It is not clear whether budgetary provision was made for this limited implementation of the Oronsaye Report. If no budgetary provision was made, it may be necessary to seek a virement to repurpose the 2024 budget of each agency to be merged or to submit a supplementary budget. Alternatively, it is possible to approach donors,” Abah said.

 

He emphasised the importance of conducting independent audits of assets and staff in agencies to be merged, warning of the risk of asset flight if assets are not verified independently.

 

The audits would involve assessing buildings, vehicles, computers, bank balances, and staff numbers to ensure accuracy and prevent inflated figures. According to Abah’s recommendation, the procedure might necessitate hiring outside accounting firms or employees from the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation.

 

He also highlighted the need to verify personnel figures, including those of permanent employees, contract staff, and interns, especially those not on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

 

The piece highlighted the importance of reviewing the mandates of agencies to be merged and developing a consolidated mandate for the new entity. It discussed the need to address duplications in functions and excess personnel resulting from mergers.

 

The process of repealing existing acts and enacting new legislation is outlined, emphasising alignment with government ambitions. Post-merger implementation tasks such as systems integration, staff integration, and public communication are also mentioned by Abah.