Senior Special Adviser to the President on Industrialisation African Development Bank, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka has called for urgent implementation of Steve Oronsaye’s report.
Oyelaran-Oyeyinka who was the keynote speaker at the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers seminar, titled, ‘Rejuvenation of the Nigerian industrial sector,’ maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan, in 2011, set up the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, under the leadership of Steve Oronsaye.
He added that the committee submitted an 800-page report on April 16, 2012, which recommended the abolition and merger of 102 government agencies and parastatals, while some were listed to be self-funding.
‘‘Implement the Orosanye Report urgently. Most agencies exist only as conduits for corruption. Focus investment on a few critical Science, technology, and industrial areas and fund them to global standards. Invest more deliberately in Infrastructure for Industrial Manufacturing.
‘‘The Oronsaye report also identified 50 agencies without any enabling laws and 55 others not under the supervision of any ministry! This phenomenon results in high personnel costs as “many of them receive more budgetary allocations for personnel than they require because that component of their budget is usually inflated”. Several of them are also “obvious duplications of existing bodies” which then underscores the fact of “overlaps and enormous wastage of scarce resources”. Four of these agencies are beyond scandalous: National Agency for Population Programmes and Development; Population Activities Fund; Population Fund Activities Agency and Population Research Fund!’’
Oyelaran-Oyeyinka enumerated the seven critical challenges of governance, saying the quality of public services, the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation; the credibility of the government’s commitment to industrial policies. Ease and cost of doing business; Infrastructure and transportation, Consistent Effort towards Economic Diversification, Security including the ability to defend industrial and economic assets.
‘‘Intensify Economic Diversification in deeds not words. The lessons of the last 50 years of Africa’s post-independence shows clearly that Nigeria continues to lag far behind in the technological capacity to diversify its economy. The economy is poorly diversified in its technological production base and export basket. The country routinely experiences disproportionately large volatility and huge swings in fundamental economic variables,’’ he said.