Nigeria: Who is Stephen Steve Oronsaye and what’s the report about

Oronsaye report: Tinubu may stop Army varsity, NDA merger – Zulum

Stephen (Steve) Osagiede Oronsaye is a Nigeria n accountant and civil servant who was appointed Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in June 2009. He began an energetic program of reform immediately after his appointment. He retired on 16 November 2010 after reaching the statutory retirement age of 60.


Stephen Osagiede Oronsaye was born in Lagos on 16 November 1950. His parents were from Uhunmwonde and Oredo Local Council Areas in Edo State. Oronsaye trained with the firm of Peat Marwick Cassleton Elliot (1973–1978), and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1978. He became a Partner of the firm in 1989. He joined the Federal Ministry of Finance in December 1995, as Director, Special Duties. Oronsaye was responsible for the merger of the Administrative and Accounting functions of the offices of the State House, computerisation of processes and procedures of the State House, Personnel records, Accounts and Access controls for the offices.

Nigeria: Who is Steve Oronsaye and what's the report about

In 1999 he was appointed Principal Secretary to President Olusegun Obasanjo, a position equivalent to Federal Permanent Secretary. He was confirmed as Permanent Secretary, State House, an unusual appointment since he was not a civil servant. In 2006, Oronsaye headed the committee on the review of the Civil Service Rules and Financial Regulations. He was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance on 20 August 2008.


What is the Oronsaye Report and what to know?

The Oronsaye Report is a document that contains recommendations for restructuring and rationalising the Federal Government of Nigeria’s agencies, parastatals, and commissions.

In 2012, the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, set up the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.

The committee was headed by a retired federal civil servant and former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye.


After their painstaking assignment, the committee recommended the scrapping and merging of 220 out of the then existing 541 government agencies; If implemented, no fewer than 102 heads of agencies and parastatals will lose their jobs.


The committee’s 800-page report noted that the government’s parastatals and agencies’ functions are overlapping.

The committee recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161.

It also recommended the abolition of 38 agencies, the merger of 52 and the reversion of 14 to departments in ministries.

And the management audit of 89 agencies capturing biometric features of staff as well as the discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies/councils.


Steve Oronsaye said then that if the committee’s recommendation was implemented, the government would be saving over N862 billion between 2012 and 2015.

The breakdown showed that about N124.8 billion would be reduced from agencies proposed for abolition; about N100.6 billion from agencies proposed for mergers; about N6.6 billion from professional bodies; N489.9 billion from universities; N50.9 billion from polytechnics; N32.3 billion from colleges of education and N616 million from boards of federal medical centres.


If implemented, agencies that may be affected include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and Federal Road Safety Commission.

Other agencies cited doing overlapping functions are the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, the National Broadcasting Commission and the Nigeria Communications Commission in the area of frequency allocation.

Also, the Universal Basic Education Commission, Nomadic Education Commission, and National Mass Literacy Commission are performing overlapping functions and should be brought under one body.


The committee again believes NTA, FRCN, and VON should be under one management.


After the committee’s report, the White paper committee set up by Jonathan’s administration rejected most of the recommendations, while those accepted were not implemented.


In November 2021, the Federal Government inaugurated two committees; one of the committees was to review the Orosanye report and its white paper chaired by Goni Aji, a retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

The second committee was constituted to review agencies created from 2014 till date, chaired by Amal Pepple, also a retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Upon submission of their reports, the Federal Government in July 2022 set up another committee chaired by Ebele Okeke, a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to produce a white paper on the reports.


Speaking during the presentation of the white paper to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in Abuja, Okeke stressed that it is important to discuss with the leadership of the National Assembly to achieve the desired result, adding that most of the agencies created were products of bills from the National Assembly.

She said, “The committee observed that the legal framework/enabling Act of some of the PACs did not clearly define structure, management, and oversight. Most of the laws were used by agency, commission and board interchangeably. For instance, where the organisation is defined as a commission, the provisions of the law did not support the structure of a commission. In this regard, the committee recommended a change in status/name, and amendment of the Act/Law.

“The committee observed that most of the agencies created (especially under Education and Health) were Bills that emanated from the National Assembly. It is, therefore, important to engage and dialogue with the National Assembly to generate an understanding to streamline the creation of new PACs.

“It is noteworthy that some of the recommendations can be considered as low-hanging fruits that can be implemented immediately after approval of the white paper.”


So basically, the Oronsaye report was submitted in 2012 to the Jonathan administration. In 2014, the Jonathan government released a white paper on the report. The Buhari administration after re-examining the white paper also released a second white paper in August 2022, but none of them implemented the report. But the Tinubu administration has decided to implement elements of the report.

An eight-man committee has a 12-week deadline to ensure that the necessary legislative amendments and administrative restructuring needed to implement the reforms are effected in an efficient manner.


The committee comprises Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of the Civil Service, Attorney General and Justice Minister, Budget and Planning Minister, DG Bureau of Public Service Reform, Special Adviser to the President on Policy Coordination, Special assistant to the president on National Assembly. The Cabinet Affairs Office will serve as the secretariat.


Some of the key proposals are:

  • The reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161. This would involve the abolition of 38 agencies, the merger of 52, and the reversion of 14 departments in ministries.
  • The abolition of some controversial agencies, such as the Federal Character Commission, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, and the National Poverty Eradication Programme.
  • The rejection of some recommendations related to the National Youth Service Scheme, such as the extension of the service year to 18 months and the introduction of a compulsory military training component.
  • The changes in the status of some agencies, such as the Federal Civil Service Commission, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, and the National Human Rights Commission, to make them more independent and accountable.



Some of the benefits are:

  • The reduction of the cost of governance by about N862 billion per annum, which could be used for other developmental projects and programmes.
  • The elimination of overlaps, duplications, and redundancies in the functions and mandates of the government entities, would improve service delivery and performance.
  • The optimization of the human and material resources of the government would enhance productivity and efficiency.
  • The alignment of the government structure with the national development goals and priorities would foster coordination and synergy among the relevant stakeholders.


Some of the challenges are:

  • The resistance from the career civil servants, the National Assembly, and the politicians, may perceive the report as a threat to their interests, influence, and patronage.
  • The legal and constitutional hurdles may require amendments to the enabling Acts and laws of some of the affected agencies and entities.
  • The lack of political will and commitment may result in the selective or partial implementation of the report, depending on the convenience and preference of the executive and legislative arms of government.
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