OrderPaperToday – The presidential directive to merge and abolish some existing federal commissions, parastatals and agencies mainly to reduce cost the governance, raises the question- what lies the fate of 96 establishment bills currently in the Senate?
The approval of the report is premised on crashing oil prices in global markets and the global pandemic which has resulted to a slash of the country’s 2020 budget.
The report was made by a committee led by former Head of Service, Steven Oronsaye and six others as members, who were inaugurated by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 to restructure and rationalize federal government parastatals, commissions and agencies.
The committee submitted an 800-page report in 2012 recommending the abolishment and merger of 102 government agencies and parastatals. The Jonathan administration shelved the report for reasons not unconnected with inadequate political will.
Following the current economic realities, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the implementation of the report on the 30th of April, 2020. He asked the office of the secretary of government and the head of civil service of the federation to take on the task.
However, while the executive arm is making moves to adjust the size and cost of governance, the legislature on the other hand, keeps sponsoring several establishment bills that seek to create more agencies across sectors.
Prominent among these bills in the Senate are: Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, North Central Development Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, Electoral Offences Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, North West Development Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, National Sports Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, Social Intervention Programmes Agency (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, National Food Reserve Agency (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, Police Academy (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, North Central Development Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, and South West Development Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019.
Others are: South East Development Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, Fiscal Responsibility Commission (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, National Road Fund (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, National Assembly Budget and Research Office (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, National Commission for the Eradication Of Child Destitution (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, Dormant Account Funds Management (Est., etc) Bill, 2019, and Constituency Development Fund (Est., etc) Bill, 2019.
In a previous report, personal prestige over cost of governance was highlighted as one of the reasons for the creation of more establishment bills in spite of the existing redundant ones.
An examination into the bills introduced in the 9th Senate as of December 2019, show that 54 Senators sponsored bills to create more agencies.
Senators Ndume Mohammed Ali (APC, Borno), Musa Muhammed Sani (APC, Niger), Ubah Ifeanyi Patrick (YPP, Anambra) and Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra) hold the lion-share with five establishment bills each. Next is Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano) with four.
Senators Bassey Gershom (PDP, Cross River), Yusuf Abubakar yusuf (APC, Taraba), Amosun Ibikunle Oyelaja (APC, Ogun) and Ogba Joseph Obinna (PDP, Ebonyi) individually introduced three establishment bills.
15 Senators sponsored two establishment bills each. They are Senators: Buhari Abdulfatai(APC, Oyo), Mpigi Barinda (PDP, Rivers), Wamako Aliyu Magatakarda (PDP, Sokoto), Gyang Istifanus (PDP, Plateau), Kyari Abubakar Shaib (APC, Borno), Adeola Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Lagos), Apiafi Betty Jocelyn (PDP, Rivers), Gaya kabiru Ibrahim (APC, Kano), Adamu Abdullahi (APC, Nasarwa), Odebiyi Tolulope Akinremi (APC, Ogun), Isah Jibrin (APC, Kogi), Adamu Muhammad Aliero (APC, Kebbi), Sani Uba (APC, Kaduna), Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) and Moro Patrick Abba (PDP, Benue).
While those who have just one establishment bills are 30. They are Senators Bala Na’allah Ibn (APC, Kebbi), Tinubu Oluremi Shade (APC, Lagos), James Manager (PDP, Delta), Boroffice Robert Ajayi (APC, Ondo), Omo-Agege Ovie Augustine (APC, Delta), Oko Rose Okoji (PDP, Cross River), Ewhrudjakpo Lawrence (PDP, Bayelsa) (who is now the deputy governor of Bayelsa State), Egwu Samuel Ominyi (PDP, Ebonyi), Fadahunsi Francis Adenigba (APC, Osun), Gaidam Ibrahim Alhaji (APC, Yobe) and La’ah Danjuma Tella (PDP, Kaduna).
Others are: Dahiru Aishatu Ahmed (APC, Adamawa), Bima Muhammad Enagi (APC, Niger), Umar Sadiq Suleiman (APC, Kwara), Abdullahi Aliyu Sabi (APC, Niger), Kwari Suleiman Abdu (APC, Kaduna), Oriolowo Adelere Adeyemi (APC, Osun), Eyakenyi Akon Etim (PDP, AkwaIbom), Jika Dauda Halliru (APC, Bauchi), Abdullahi Yahaya Abubakar, Oloriegbe Yahaya Ibrahim (APC, Kwara), Tanimu Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT), Gumau Lawal (APC, Bauchi), Akinyelure Patrick Ayo (APC, Ondo), Balogun Kola Ademola (PDP, Oyo), Bomai Ibrahim Muhammed (APC, Yobe), Mohammed Hassan (PDP, Zamfara), Alimikhena Francis(APC, Edo), Dimka, Hezekiah Ayuba (APC, Plateau) and Amos Bulus Kilawangs (APC, Gombe).
There are 20 Senators who do not have establishment bills. They are: Suswan Gabriel Torwua (PDP, Benue), Orji Theodore Ahamefule (PDP, Abia), Mustapha Olalekan Ramoni (APC, Ogun), Nnamani Chimaroke Ogbonnia (PDP, Enugu), Sekibo George Thompson (PDP, Rivers), Gobir Ibrahim Abdullahi (APC, Sokoto), Onyewuchi Ezenwa Francis (PDP, Imo), Ekwunife Uche Lilian (PDP, Anambra), Mohammed Sabo (APC, Jigawa), Shettima Kashim (APC, Borno), Akpan Albert Bassey (PDP, Bayelsa), Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina), Olujimi Biodun (PDP, Ekiti), Utazi Chukwuka Godfrey (PDP, Enugu), Adetunmbi Olubunmi Ayodeji (PDP, Ondo), Folarin Teslim Kolawole (PDP, Oyo), Basiru Surajudeen Ajibola (APC, Osun) and Bamidele Micheal Opeyemi (APC, Ekiti).
It is worthy to note that those without bills above, might have sponsored one or more in 2020 as the period under review in this report covers June to December, 2019.
It is also worthy of note that the 8th Senate had a record 213 establishment bills during its four year period (2015-2019).