Tinubu’s Livestock Development Ministry casts doubt on ‘Oronsaye Report’ implementation

Last week, President Bola Tinubu approved the creation of the Ministry of Livestock Development.

DAILY POST reported that Tinubu announced this on Tuesday when he inaugurated the Presidential Committee on Livestock Reforms at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja.

Although the decision of the President to establish the Minister of Livestock Development has continued to generate divergent views from stakeholders, some observers believe the development points to the administration’s lack of commitment to the implementation of the Oronsaye Report.

Those who oppose it opined that an additional Ministry is absolutely unnecessary and will whittle down efforts to cut the cost of governance.

For instance, an activist lawyer, Madubuachi Idam, in an interview with DAILY POST, had described the Ministry of Livestock Development as a duplication of ministries, noting that it would lead to wastage of funds at a time when Nigerians are experiencing hardship.

He stressed that the ministry was needless, suggesting it should have been fused into the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Without gimmicks, I will tell you that it’s grossly a duplication of actions, needless duplication of ministries. It’s a pure waste of public resources.

“The Ministry of Agriculture which has an agency called Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service can sufficiently handle every issue regarding livestock management, and herders-farmers issues,” he said.

DAILY POST reported that the new ministry followed the report of the presidential committee set up by the President to reform the livestock industry and proffer solutions to the recurring clashes between farmers and herders.

The committee presented to Tinubu with 21 recommendations, including the creation of a Ministry of Livestock Resources, along with other measures, to help resolve the decades-long conflict between nomadic cattle herders and farmers in the country.

The excited President, while making the announcement, believed that the livestock development ministry would resolve the intractable conflicts between farmers and herders.

“Who says the solution is far? I say, ‘No, the solution is here.’ Majority of you have great experience and you want Nigeria to prosper.

“To enable Nigeria to finally take advantage of livestock farming, we have seen the solution and opportunity for this adversity that has plagued us over the years and I believe the prosperity is here in our hands,” he said.

Following the approval, Tinubu further stated that the Nigerian government was fully prepared to cover the cost of acquiring lands to ensure the peaceful co-existence of pastoralists and farmers.

Before now, Tinubu had in February 2024 ordered the full implementation of the report of the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies, headed by retired accountant, Stephen Oronsaye.

He said the administration was resolved to implement the ‘Oronsaye report’ to pave the way for a leaner government by merging some agencies and scrapping some others.

President Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, who then disclosed the development in a post on his X handle, said many agencies would be scrapped and others merged to pave the way for a leaner government.

Onanuga explained that the development was part of the far reaching decisions taken at the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting chaired by Tinubu.

“Twelve years after the Steve Oronsaye panel submitted its report on restructuring and rationalizing Federal government parastatals and agencies and a white paper issued two years after, President Tinubu and the Federal Executive Council today decided to implement the report.

“Many agencies will be scrapped and many others will be merged, to pave the way to a leaner government,” he posted on his X account.

Also, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after the FEC meeting stressed that some Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, would be scrapped, merged or subsumed into relevant organisations of government.

According to him, the aim was to cut costs and not to throw Nigerians into the labour market.

Idris added that the details of the affected MDAs would be made known soon, adding that a committee had been set up for the implementation of the report.

DAILY POST recalls that Tinubu’s administration had been roundly criticized for running a bogus cabinet, raising doubts about its commitment and determination to cut the cost of governance.

As if that wasn’t enough, many have continued to press on the administration to follow up on Tinubu’s announcement that ‘petrol subsidy is gone’ with measures to cut the outrageous cost of running the government.

There are now more doubts about its commitment and determination to cut the cost of governance amid rising inflation and economic hardship.

Also, DAILY POST findings recently showed that the National Assembly is still passing establishment bills to create new agencies and commissions despite moves to implement the Oronsaye report.

A few weeks after the Federal Government announced its determination to fully implement the Stephen Oronsaye, the National Assembly introduced no fewer than 20 bills for the creation of new agencies of government.

The Senate for instance recently passed bills for the establishment of the North Central Development Commission, NCDC, and the South-East Development Commission (SEDC), among others.

Many have frowned against the development, describing it as an arbitrary creation of new agencies.

Speaking during a press conference on the concern of Nigerians, Rep. Ibrahim Isiaka, Chairman of the special ad hoc committee, said the National Assembly cannot stop its legislative functions because of plans to implement the report.

“As we are talking about scrapping and merging agencies, the national assembly is still making many establishment bills and passing them into an Act of the parliament. The work of the legislature is an ongoing process,” he said.

“Some agencies were created for certain exigencies of time in the past. Perhaps some of them have outlived their functions. And it is the duty of the national assembly to review all agencies.

“If it is to strengthen them or look for more functions for them, so be it.

“We cannot stop the engine of the country from moving because we are reviewing activities of the past. The world is not even waiting for anyone. As the world evolves, we are moving along that same line.

“So, because of that, you are not going to say we should stop the function of the National Assembly from establishing any new commission or agencies so far it is in tandem with the position of the government of the day,” he added.

Speaking to DAILY POST, a Public Affairs Analyst and Communication Scholar at Peaceland University, Enugu, Nduka Odo, expressed disappointment over the creation of the new ministry.

Odo suggested that the development was an indication that the Tinubu administration was more focused on empowering a select few rather than working towards the betterment of the nation.

According to him, the system required a reduction in the cost of governance, not an expansion of it.

He said: “I’m disappointed but not surprised by the recent announcement of a new Livestock Development Ministry by Tinubu’s administration.

“It’s a move that reeks of unnecessary expansion of government and a blatant disregard for the Oronsaye Report’s recommendations to streamline and reduce the cost of governance. Don’t we already have a ministry of agriculture?

“As Nigerians, aren’t we tired of seeing the government prioritise pet projects and special interests over the welfare of the people?

“The creation of a new ministry is a clear indication that the administration is more focused on empowering a select few rather than working towards the betterment of the nation.

“The Oronsaye Report was a comprehensive review of our country’s institutional framework, and its implementation was meant to bring about much-needed reforms.

“Instead, we’re seeing a blatant disregard for its recommendations, and it’s a slap in the face for all those who believed in the promise of change.

“Nigerians deserve more from their government. We deserve a focus on the people, not personal interests. The system requires a reduction in the cost of governance, not an expansion of it. And I demand accountability, not the continued disregard for the rule of law.

“You can’t even say enough is enough because acts like this are already a tradition. In my view, this is the time for the leaders to hold themselves accountable for every action they take.”

On his part, the President of the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), Olu Omotayo, told DAILY POST in an interview that what the people needed presently was realistic development.

The legal expert said Nigerians want to see things happening on the ground and not the creation of corporations and departments.

Omotayo stressed that the government can’t be talking about cutting costs and at the same time duplicating functions.

His words: “If there’s a special Ministry for agriculture, there should not be any need to start creating the Ministry of Livestock Development because it’s a waste of resources. Agriculture encompasses everything. So, why create the Ministry of Livestock?

“You can’t say you’re cutting costs and at the same time have duplicity of functions.

“These organisations and ministries they are creating, most of them perform almost the same functions. I don’t think it’s a wise situation with the economic situation of the country.

“When you look at the position of the government that wants to implement the Oronsaye report and at the same time it’s creating a new ministry, that means there’s contractions in government policies.

“It’s a government that actually doesn’t know the way forward, where it’s going. But if you’re saying you want to cut the cost of governance, you want to implement a report, which is against the duplicity of ministries and at the same time you’re creating the Ministry of Livestock Development from the ministry of Agriculture, it doesn’t sound good.

“The government should be decisive or have a policy and say: this is where we are going. If you want to cut the cost of governance, there’s no need for duplicating ministries.

“What the people need now is realistic development. They want to see things happening on the ground and not the creation of corporations and departments.”

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