Senate damns Oronsaye Report, set to establish University of Education 

Sharon EboesomiMarch 6, 20245 min

Despite Oronsaye’s report seeking to cut down the number of government agencies to reduce unnecessary wastage in the country’s expenditure, the Senate is keen on ignoring these recommendations.

The Senate is set to establish a University of Education in Adamawa State as against the Oronsaye report which seeks to scrap and merge some government agencies to reduce unnecessary wastage in the country’s expenditure.

This revelation was made in a bill titled, “A bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Education Numan, Adamawa State and for other related matters connected therewith, 2024,” sponsored by Senator Binos Yaroe (PDP, Adamawa South).

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  • The Oronsaye report 

Under the chairmanship of Stephen Oronsaye, former president Goodluck Jonathan established the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies in 2011.

The committee discovered intense competition between multiple overlapping agencies in its 800-page report, which it turned in on April 16, 2012.

The Oronsaye report amongst other things recommended that the government stop funding professional bodies and councils to free up money for capital projects.

541 Federal Government commissions, agencies, and parastatals (both statutory and non-statutory) were identified by the Oronsaye report.

The proposal suggested reducing 263 statutory agencies to 161, eliminating 38 agencies, and merging 52 agencies.

The panel further suggested that fourteen of the agencies be converted back into ministry departments.

  • Some of the objectives of the Establishment Bill

In his lead debate, Yaroe stressed that the need for the establishment of the institution was due to the mass failure of students in West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations which is largely due to the absence of good, qualified and well-trained teachers in Nigeria.

According to him, the realisation that universities are tools for National development has led to an unbridled quest for a vigorous expansion of the University of Education in Nigeria.

He said the bill aims “To encourage the advancement of learning to all persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction.

“To develop and offer academic and professional programmes leading to the award of certificates, first degrees, post-graduate research, diploma and higher degrees with emphasis on planning, developmental and adaptive skills in Education, technology, applied science, agriculture, commerce, arts, social science, humanities, management and allied professional disciplines.

“To further seek to produce socially mature educational men and women with capabilities not only to understand the educational needs of Nigeria as a nation but also to exploit existing educational infrastructure and improve on it to develop new ones.”

  • Senators drum support for the Bill

Supporting the bill, Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central), stated that there could be no better moment than now for the upper legislative Chamber to approve the University.

He stressed that should it be established, it will further provide labour resources to Northeastern Nigeria.

He said: “It weakened me when I learnt that there was no federal presence in Numan despite having very strong and top military officers who contributed to the unity of the nation in times past. Mr Senate President, I plead for approval of this bill.”

On his part, Godiya Akwashiki (SDP, Nasarawa North), maintained that it was a tradition of the Senate that a bill which is represented for consideration due to non-assent due to the lack of time shouldn’t have issues.

This bill is appearing for the second time. It appeared in the 9th Senate. He convinced us, and we passed the bill and sent it to the committee. I’m a member of that committee, we worked on it and sent it to the Executive arm for assent but the President declined its assent.

“It won’t be wise for us to pass an important bill like this, send it to the executive arm and then they decline its assent. When we keep doing this, we keep bringing Nigeria backwards. I want to urge the leadership of the Senate, especially the Senate leader, to help push important bills like this to see the light of day.”

Shortly after contributions were made from Senators in favour of the bill, the bill was passed for a second reading and referred to the Committee on Education and Tertiary Institutions.

Meanwhile, after the second reading of the bill, OrderPaper tried to reach the sponsor, Yaroe, for some additional information as to why the Senate has taken this keen decision to damn the Oronsaye’s report. However, Yaroe declined to grant an audience.

Sharon Eboesomi

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