Diversification: Fast-track Deregulation of Downstream Oil Sector – NECA to FG

….Charges Govt to Plug Leakages in Oronsaye Report

By Our Reporter

Abuja – Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Dr Timothy Olawale, has harped on the need for government to fast-track the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and re-chart the course for rapid diversification of the economy.

This is also as he has advised the government to go beyond the implementation of the Oronsaye Report by reducing leakages arising from bloated retinue of aides of political officers for the cost of governance to be reduced and ensure fiscal discipline.

It argued that reducing the leakages, which has no direct national development impact, would reduce the cost of governance.

Speaking with The Nation, its Director-General, Dr Timothy Olawale, who commended the Federal Government for approving the implementation of the report, noted that the government needed to fast-track the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and re-chart the course for rapid diversification of the economy.

Olawale, who affirmed the imperative for reduced government expenditure, said reducing leakages would lead the country to national economic and social renaissance.

He urged that efforts be made to see to a logical conclusion the implementation of the report as directed by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, recent global economic downturn has proved that the country could not afford the burden of wasted billions of naira and over-lapping roles of some of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He maintained that some overlapping activities of the MDAs are, in reality, hindered the ease of doing business efforts of government.

Shedding light on the need for a implementation of the Report, the NECA chief said: “Oronsaye Report should not suffer the fate of the Ahmed Joda Panel Report and the Allison Ayida Report of 1995. Both reports made bold attempt to recommend the rationalization of government agencies and parastatals.

However, both suffered fatal fate because of the lack of political will to implement the reports.

“Over the past years, we have reiterated that the implementation of the Report is fundamental to the institutionalisation of operational efficiency and reduction of Government expenditure in the long term. It is worrisome that with over 250 institutions, parastatals and agencies of government, the average cost of governance in Nigeria remains among the highest globally.”

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