Oronsaye Report: Lawyers, lawmakers state outline for implementation

In a bid to implement the Stephen Oronsaye report on the merger of Ministries, Agencies, and Departments (MDAs), some legal counsels have categorically clarified that only those not established by the constitution would require merging.

The Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of MDAs, known as the Oronsaye Committee, was set up by the Goodluck Jonathan administration which one of the highlights was reducing the number of statutory agencies from 263 to 161.

In response to this, some lawyers have said that ministries created by the constitution, can be merged.

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While the ones that were established by Acts of the National Assembly would require enabling legislation to merge.

Etigwe Uwa (SAN) said ‘’ for ministries not created by the constitution or statute they can be merged by the president without the necessity of a law being passed by the National Assembly but for agencies created by statute, enabling laws to have to be passed by the National Assembly before they can be merged,”.

Similarly, a senior lawyer, Tawo Tawo (SAN) said the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, as the chief law officer of the federation, is empowered to advise the federal government on the legal requirement for the exercise. “And that is the responsibility of the National Assembly.

The merger of the MDAs will only be lawful and effectual with the enactment of laws to that effect,” he added.
Also, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) said for any implementation to take place. “it will require that it is passed into law to avoid taking any illegal steps, then recourse could be had to the National Assembly,”.

However, some lawmakers who spoke on this said the report has to be approved at the Federal Executive Council (FEC). ”The right step to take is first it will go to the Federal Executive Council and get approval before it will come to us (the lawmakers) as there are due processes to follow.

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