Concerns as Tinubu Appoints New NACA DG Despite Order to Merge Agency via Oronsaye Report

Questions of the Federal Government’s commitment to implement the Oronsaye report to merge agencies, have risen following President Tinubu’s appointment of a new NACA Director General.

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The recent appointment of Dr. Temitope Ilori by President Bola Tinubu as the new Director General of the National Agency For The Control of AIDS, NACA, has raised concerns over the planned merging of the agency in the implementation of the Oronsaye report.

On Thursday, the Head of Public Relations and Protocol, NACA, Toyin Aderibigbe, disclosed the announcement via a statement.

Dr. Illori becomes the first female Director General of the agency from February 22, 2024, as her predecessor Dr. Gambo Aliyu bows out of office.

The appointment has garnered numerous reactions, particularly due to its timing as the federal executive council just weeks ago approved the full implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye Panel report, which seeks to merge some parastatals, agencies, and commissions, with others being subsumed, scrapped, or relocated.

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The National Agency For The Control of AIDS is one of those agencies earmarked for merger with the National Centre for Disease Control Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Hence, some have raised concerns about the federal government’s commitment to following through with the appointment of a new head despite the committee to implement the report being given weeks to deliver.

Dr. Ilori’s appointment comes just about a month after the NCDC also got a new Director General; Dr. Olajide Idris.

@KingArthurOG posts on X, “NACA & NCDC are due to be merged under the implementation of Oronsaye Report. 1. NCDC got a new DG on Feb 16th, 2024 2. Implementation of Oronsaye Report was ordered on Feb 24th, 2024 3. NACA gets a new DG on 14th March 2024 Will the merger happen? Will it be a DG Royal Rumble?”

The plans for implementation of the 2012 report come amongst glamour for the government to cut the cost of governance and improving efficiency of service delivery.

The report, which was intended to restructure Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies, has not been implemented in over a decade despite indications by various administrations to do so. This has led to skepticism on the matter.

“I don’t understand! Didn’t they just announce that NACA is to merge with the National Centre for Disease Control as part of implementing Oronsaye?” says @DrJoeAbah via X.

Interestingly, the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Chief Ajuri Ngelale, on Thursday also announced the relocation of NACA to the ministry of health and social welfare. Prior to this, the agency had been domiciled in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The statement reads in part:

“The relocation of NACA to the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is to foster synergy and enhance collaboration in pursuit of the nation’s goal to achieve the 95-95-95 pathway for ending the AIDS epidemic.”

This move, on the face of it, suggests that both agencies are now better poised to merge, but the leadership of each agency getting a 4-year tenure still causes worries.

“Tinubu appointed his cousin, Dr. Jide Idris as DG NCDC. He has appointed Bisi Akande’s daughter, Dr. Temitope Ilori DG NACA. In a few weeks, both NACA & NCDC are expected to be merged into 1 agency per Oronsanye report. Who takes over? Ilori or Idris who are both ex-commissioners” journalist Eniola Akinkiotu @ENIBOY, says on X.

As Nigerians look on to the moves being made by the current administration, the call to minimize government spending remains a point of note. With scandals involving the National Assembly and alleged budget padding, the time seems ripe for clear government body language on efficiency and transparency.



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