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BREAKING: Reduce Cabinet to 36, Ensure APC Doesn’t Hijack Youth Unemployment Allowances – HURIWA Urges Tinubu

Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has applauded the decision of President Bola Tinubu to trim down the number of Federal Government’s funded agencies in line with the Steven Oronsaye report....CONTINUE READING

HURIWA however says the decision of the Nigerian government to merge some of the agencies would not make any sense if the over bloated executive cabinet of the Federation constituted with about 48 ministers is not also reduced to just 36 which is the recommendation of the Nigerian Constitution.

Recall Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, revealed the decision on the Oronsaye’s report to State House correspondents after Monday’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. ⁣

Some of the decision from the FEC was to merge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), merger of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

The Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) were equally recommended for a merger.

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Some of the agencies to be scrapped and placed as departments or units in relevant ministries were the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), the National Board for Technical Education, the National Commission for Colleges of Education, the Federal Character Commission, the Gurara Water Management Authority (GWMA), the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC), the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), the Commercial Law Department and Centre for Automotive Design and Development (CADD).

In a media statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA also commended the intention of President Tinubu’s government to pay unemployment benefits to youths.

The Rights group however cautioned that the payments of unemployment benefits “would be abused and probably hijacked by politicians belonging to the ruling party to push forward their political thugs as the beneficiaries rather than the intended target.”

HURIWA therefore wants the government to put transparent, fool-proof, and accountable mechanisms impossible to interfere before kick-starting the payment of unemployment benefits to youths who truly deserve it.

More importantly, HURIWA is asking the Tinubu’s government to emphasise more on “building up the human capacity and skills of the unemployed youths rather than concentrate on just handing them handouts which are capable of crippling their capacity for self-development, self actualization and self-employment.”

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HURIWA expressed excitement that the implementation of the Steven Oronsaye report signifies that “several agencies of the government would be merged, subsumed, scrapped, and relocated.”

The Rights group said “it is economically wise to carry out thorough financial audits of the agencies to be merged or scrapped so as not to throw away the baby with the bathwater. “

HURIWA said that from the benefits of hindsight, “many of the apparently money-guzzling federal agencies deserve to be scrapped to save Nigeria from the heavy financial burden that such unproductive entities constituted.”

On what could undermine the noble goal of implementing the Oronsaye’s report, HURIWA pointed out that “amidst economic turbulence and mass poverty, the constitution of 48 ministers and 20 special advisers by President Bola Tinubu as his federal executive cabinet of the Federation is insensitive and costly.”

The Rights group said “it is irrational to know that whereas the populace and the suffering masses including workers on low wages are called upon to endure record inflation and general hardship, the President’s failure to rein in the cost of governance from the top is disappointing.”

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HURIWA insisted that for an “administration facing headline inflation that continues to rise, having triggered naira devaluation, and faces dwindling foreign reserves and a rising public debt estimated by the Debt Management Office to be 37 per cent of GDP, a bloated cabinet is anomalous, irresponsible, unacceptable and despicable.”

HURIWA is convinced beyond the shadows of doubts, that beyond rhetoric, “Tinubu has so far not demonstrated strong will to initiate drastic cost-cutting and he has since achieved the infamous record as Nigeria’s largest federal cabinet ever.”

The “appointment of acolytes and political associates signals prebendalism that is inappropriate at these times,” just as HURIWA said “the government can’t possibly convince rational Nigerians that the government wants to cut the costs of governance when his federal cabinet is the largest not only in Africa but globally.”