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Oronsaye: Rejig Of Agencies Won’t Lead To Job Cuts — FG Insists

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Following job loss anxiety over the implementation of Steve Oronsaye’s report, Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris yesterday said the Federal Government would not retrench workers.

He said the merger of some parastatals was meant to ensure efficiency in the civil service and save cost.

Idris, who spoke at the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja, said some of the merged or scrapped agencies had been redundant or had outlived their usefulness.

He said: “The consideration of Steve Oronsaye’s report is to improve efficiency in the Civil service. This does not mean that the government intends to retrench workers.

“The whole idea is that the government wants to reduce cost and also improve efficiency in service delivery.

“It does not necessarily mean that the government is out to retrench or throw people to the labour market. That is not the original intention.”

He highlighted the rationale behind the merger of some of the departments and agencies.

He said: “Only two days ago, the President approved a revolutionary approach towards reducing the cost of governance through the implementation of the much-talked-about Oronsaye Report – 12 years after the report was submitted to the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

“This is a clear demonstration of Mr. President’s unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence and responsible governance by championing a comprehensive review of the government‘s commissions, agencies, and parastatals.

“In recognition of the need to rationalise the size and scope of government, the President has taken decisive action to merge certain agencies and scrap others that are redundant or have outlived their usefulness.”

Idris insisted that the government did its homework before coming up with its decisions on Oronsaye’s report.

He added: “The merger of some agencies and parastatals and the scrapping of others are not decisions taken lightly.

“It followed careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure that essential services are not compromised and that the needs of our citizens are adequately addressed while putting the interests of the nation first and foremost.

“Through the implementation of the report, President Tinubu aims to achieve significant cost savings by eliminating duplication of functions, streamlining administrative processes, and optimising resource allocation.

“This proactive approach will enable the government to operate more efficiently while maintaining the quality and delivery of services to the Nigerian people.

“It is worth noting that these measures are not undertaken in isolation but they are part of a broader strategy to reform and modernise government institutions by leveraging technology, promoting innovation, and fostering a culture of performance and accountability across all sectors.”

Idris said Nigeria has begun to reap the benefits of the reforms being spearheaded by President Tinubu, citing some fundamental economic growth being recorded since May 2030,

According to him, the country recorded GDP growth of 3.46 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023 as against 2.54 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2023.

“Capital importation rose to 66 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, reversing a 36 per cent decline in the third quarter.

“Petrol importation has been reduced by 50 per cent since the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy.

“The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index crossed the 100,000 mark – its highest ever, mainly due to the pragmatic reforms initiated by the President, which inspired investor confidence in the Nigerian economy,” he said.

The minister said the revitalised oil sector has started posting positive results.

He said: “It is also encouraging to state that oil production has risen from 1.22 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2023 to 1.55 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“The government’s concerns over the nation’s unemployment rate have led to the deployment of some mechanisms aimed at addressing the issue holistically.

“The President has also given a directive for the design of a Social Security Unemployment Programme to cater for the unemployed graduates.

“This is in addition to setting up of a Social Consumer Credit Scheme to boost the purchasing power of Nigerians, as they make adjustments in view of the temporary economic hardship.

“As the government rejigs the National Social Investment Programme, the direct payments to N25,000 to 15 million households will resume immediately.”

The minister emphasised the enormous burden of insecurity, which has led to certain proactive steps being taken.

“The government is equally tackling insecurity headlong and more success stories are coming in daily. Without any doubt, we are winning the war against insecurity.”

“These are indeed a testament to the bold initiatives taken by Mr. President to reflate the Nigerian economy and return it to the path of growth and sustainable development,” Idris added.

Following job loss anxiety over the implementation of Steve Oronsaye’s report, Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris yesterday said the Federal Government would not retrench workers.

He said the merger of some parastatals was meant to ensure efficiency in the civil service and save cost.

Idris, who spoke at the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja, said some of the merged or scrapped agencies had been redundant or had outlived their usefulness.

He said: “The consideration of Steve Oronsaye’s report is to improve efficiency in the Civil service. This does not mean that the government intends to retrench workers.

“The whole idea is that the government wants to reduce cost and also improve efficiency in service delivery.

“It does not necessarily mean that the government is out to retrench or throw people to the labour market. That is not the original intention.”

He highlighted the rationale behind the merger of some of the departments and agencies.

He said: “Only two days ago, the President approved a revolutionary approach towards reducing the cost of governance through the implementation of the much-talked-about Oronsaye Report – 12 years after the report was submitted to the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

“This is a clear demonstration of Mr. President’s unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence and responsible governance by championing a comprehensive review of the government‘s commissions, agencies, and parastatals.

“In recognition of the need to rationalise the size and scope of government, the President has taken decisive action to merge certain agencies and scrap others that are redundant or have outlived their usefulness.”

Idris insisted that the government did its homework before coming up with its decisions on Oronsaye’s report.

He added: “The merger of some agencies and parastatals and the scrapping of others are not decisions taken lightly.

“It followed careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure that essential services are not compromised and that the needs of our citizens are adequately addressed while putting the interests of the nation first and foremost.

“Through the implementation of the report, President Tinubu aims to achieve significant cost savings by eliminating duplication of functions, streamlining administrative processes, and optimising resource allocation.

“This proactive approach will enable the government to operate more efficiently while maintaining the quality and delivery of services to the Nigerian people.

“It is worth noting that these measures are not undertaken in isolation but they are part of a broader strategy to reform and modernise government institutions by leveraging technology, promoting innovation, and fostering a culture of performance and accountability across all sectors.”

Idris said Nigeria has begun to reap the benefits of the reforms being spearheaded by President Tinubu, citing some fundamental economic growth being recorded since May 2030,

According to him, the country recorded GDP growth of 3.46 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023 as against 2.54 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2023.

“Capital importation rose to 66 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, reversing a 36 per cent decline in the third quarter.

“Petrol importation has been reduced by 50 per cent since the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy.

“The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index crossed the 100,000 mark – its highest ever, mainly due to the pragmatic reforms initiated by the President, which inspired investor confidence in the Nigerian economy,” he said.

The minister said the revitalised oil sector has started posting positive results.

He said: “It is also encouraging to state that oil production has risen from 1.22 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2023 to 1.55 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“The government’s concerns over the nation’s unemployment rate have led to the deployment of some mechanisms aimed at addressing the issue holistically.

“The President has also given a directive for the design of a Social Security Unemployment Programme to cater for the unemployed graduates.

“This is in addition to setting up of a Social Consumer Credit Scheme to boost the purchasing power of Nigerians, as they make adjustments in view of the temporary economic hardship.

“As the government rejigs the National Social Investment Programme, the direct payments to N25,000 to 15 million households will resume immediately.”

The minister emphasised the enormous burden of insecurity, which has led to certain proactive steps being taken.

“The government is equally tackling insecurity headlong and more success stories are coming in daily. Without any doubt, we are winning the war against insecurity.”

“These are indeed a testament to the bold initiatives taken by Mr. President to reflate the Nigerian economy and return it to the path of growth and sustainable development,” Idris added.

 

 

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Plateau Govt Confirms 22 Dead, 132 hospitalised In Jos School Building Collapse

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The Plateau State Government has confirmed 22 dead and 132 persons injured in the Jos collapsed school building.

Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition.

Ashoms said that those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, while the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

NAN reports that a two-storey building of Saints Academy, a secondary and primary school located in Busa-Buji community of Jos North Local Area, had collapsed, trapping students, teachers and others.

The incident occurred at about 8:30 am on Friday when the students were writing their third term examination.

Meanwhile, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has described the incident as a tragic and monumental loss to the state.

Mutfwang stated this in a statement issued by Mr Gyang Bere, his Director of Press and Public Affairs, on Friday in Jos.

The governor, who sympathised with the families of the affected victims, further described the incident as heartbreaking and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation. We appreciate the timely intervention of the search-and-rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff,” he said.

 

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Tinubu Renames National Theatre After Wole Soyinka

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President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Theatre in Lagos after Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

JomogNews reports that President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.

This online news platform learnt that Tinubu announced this in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

The tribute dated “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” was personally signed by the President and made available to journalists on Friday.

Tinubu expressed his delight to join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka, adding that July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.

Tinubu wrote, “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth. Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

“Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” he averred.

According to the President, Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world, explaining that since his youth, he has been a vocal critic of oppression and injustice wherever it exists, from apartheid in South Africa to racism in the United States.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

 

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FG Reaches New Agreement With IOCs On Crude Supply To Dangote, Local Refineries

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JomogNews Nigeria reports that the Federal Government and crude oil producers in Nigeria have committed to working towards a sustainable supply of crude oil to local refineries under a market-determined pricing system.

This Nigeria news platform understands that both parties said the commitment aimed to ensure that while the operators (crude oil producers) do business optimally, the refineries are not starved of feedstock.

Accordingly, the industry regulator, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has directed oil refiners in the country to provide monthly price quote on crude supply.

This came as the $20bn Dangote Petroleum Refinery is reportedly ramping up the importation of crude from the United States, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Nigeria’s upstream regulator stated that oil producers under the umbrella of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at a meeting called by NUPRC, agreed to concede to a framework that would be mutually beneficial with the aim of ensuring that local refineries are not strangulated due to off-the-curve prices.

“The focus of the meeting held at the instance of the Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, was on the status review of the Framework for Seamless Operationalisation of Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Template.

“It was part of efforts to effectively implement key sections of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, especially the issue of pricing and crude supply to the domestic refineries,” the commission stated.

In the statement, Komolafe said President Bola Tinubu is fully committed to providing a level playing ground for producers and refiners to do business in the industry.

He expressed the need for a rule of engagement to ensure that the pricing model from the oil producers does not hinder the domestic refineries.

He directed producers and refiners to provide the NUPRC with cargo price quotes on crude supply and delivery for effective monitoring and regulation of transactions among parties. “We need to have the price quotes monthly,” he directed.

The NUPRC boss pointed out a convergence between the Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation and the nation’s energy security, indicating that his team is re-engineering its regulatory processes to address the challenges.

“We allow all our processes to be transparent. While the Federal Government targets the implementation of the regulation, all parties must submit to the rules of engagement as a guide for operation,” Komolafe stated.

He said NUPRC is committed to driving the willing buyer/willing seller provision.

“We have to discuss pricing, especially as parties have committed to respecting their domestic crude oil obligation. As the regulator, we don’t want the upstream sector to be operated sub-optimally through cost under-recovery.

“So, the regulator is very alive to that. In crude pricing we will never allow price strangulation to disincentivise our domestic refining capacity optimisation. The regulator does not support cost under-recovery in the upstream sector, and we will continue to work to ensure that crude supply profiteering as a negative factor that can strangulate our domestic refining capacity optimisation is disallowed,” Komolafe declared.

Dangote raises alarm

Last month, the Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had accused International Oil Companies in Nigeria of plans to frustrate the survival of the new Dangote Petroleum Refinery.

Edwin had said the IOCs were deliberately and willfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by hiking the cost above the market price, thereby forcing the refinery to import crude from countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high costs.

“Recall that the NUPRC recently met with crude oil producers as well as refineries’ owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act. It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our petroleum refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for a ridiculous/humongous premium or they simply state that crude is not available.

“At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production. It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a country which exports crude oil and imports refined petroleum products.

“They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the raw materials to their home countries, creating employment and wealth for their countries, adding to their Gross Domestic Product, and dumping the expensive refined products into Nigeria – thus making us to be dependent on imported products. It is the same strategy the multinationals have been adopting in every commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing unemployment and poverty, while they create wealth for themselves at our expense,” Edwin had stated.

But on Thursday NUPRC emphasised the imperative for appropriate pricing to drive willing buyer willing seller referencing guided Fiscal Oil Price published by the commission in line with the provisions of the PIA.

“NUPRC is committed to attracting the needed investments to boost upstream development and optimisation of our hydrocarbon resources just as we want sustainability of domestic energy supply in the midstream and downstream sector.”

Crude importation

Also on Thursday Bloomberg reported that Nigeria’s Dangote mega-refinery was ramping up the importation of crude oil from the United States, stating that the Lagos-based refinery had created a new flow of long-haul crude from the US, as inflows of American feedstock could be about to rise further.

The report stated that the Dangote mega-refinery was lapping up ever more US crude, bringing the barrels thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

It stated that Dangote bought more than 16 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude oil so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In August and September, the proportion it will take from the US — as opposed to Nigerian barrels — may be set to rise, based on tenders for new supply seen by Bloomberg.

 

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