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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Oronsaye Report: Usman Panel Seeks Fresh Submission From Agencies

By: George Agba

A committee set up by the presidency to re-examine the White Paper made from the report of the Steve Oronsaye-led presidential panel on the restructuring and rationalisation of government parastatals, commissions and agencies is currently taking fresh submissions from stakeholders over the controversies trailing the White Paper, LEADERSHIP Weekend has learned.      
A source who pleaded anonymity told LEADERSHIP Weekend: “Initially, the committee headed by the minister of national planning, Dr Shamusudeen Usman, was lukewarm towards taking this step. However, it made a U-turn after many stakeholders objected to the content of the White Paper, alleging that it has substantially departed from the Oronsaye Report upon which it was purportedly based and that members of the White Paper drafting committee were financially induced to do so by vested interests.”
 When LEADERSHIP Weekend sought Dr Usman’s reaction to this development after the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja on Thursday, the minister declined, saying: “I’m not in a position to comment on this.  Only the office of the secretary-general of the federation or the attorney-general of the federation can comment on the White Paper issue.”
 LEADERSHIP Weekend exclusively reported that the presidency had been inundated with allegations that the panel charged with drafting the White Paper from the Oronsaye report trashed some of the latter’s recommendations and allegedly launched a cash-for-agency-survival extortion scheme among the 541 federal parastatals, commissions and agencies covered by the report.
It was gathered from impeccable sources that some agencies recommended to be scrapped or merged with others allegedly bought a new lease of life for themselves to the tune of N30 million, and were subsequently spared  in the White Paper.
Following allegations of unfair treatment by the White Paper committee because some agencies “refused to play ball with them,” the presidency then asked the Usman panel to review the White Paper.  

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