Senior lawyers, civil society groups, and stakeholders have urged President Bola Tinubu to heed the recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies. The call comes in response to the perceived large number of ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
Critics argue that, in the current economic climate with dwindling fortunes and hardships following the removal of petrol subsidy, President Tinubu should lead by example and reduce the cost of governance, starting with downsizing the number of ministers and presidential aides.
While the Rule of Law and Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) defends the current government’s size, asserting that prudent resource management is the key, the group “Democracy Forever” advocates for the inclusion of young people in the cabinet to address the nation’s challenges effectively.
Notably, the Oronsaye committee, established by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, recommended the abolition and merger of 102 government agencies and parastatals to reduce government costs. However, the implementation of the committee’s recommendations has been sluggish over the years, leading to ongoing calls for a leaner government structure.
As President Tinubu’s supplementary ministerial list reaches 48 nominees, five more than the previous cabinet, analysts estimate the soon-to-be-formed cabinet could reach 68 when considering the 20 Special Advisers of cabinet rank. Critics argue that the appointment of former governors and politicians raises concerns about the administration’s commitment to change and austerity measures.
Legal experts, civil society organizations, and commentators emphasize the importance of leading by example and implementing the Oronsaye committee’s recommendations to achieve a more cost-effective and efficient government.