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Outgoing president withdraws to the sidelines

By Eric Teniola
19 December 2022   |   2:00 am
A lot has been said about the Steve Oronsaye’s report. I doubt whether President Muhammadu Buhari will implement any part of that report before handing over on May 29, 2023.

[FILES] Buhari

A lot has been said about the Steve Oronsaye’s report. I doubt whether President Muhammadu Buhari will implement any part of that report before handing over on May 29, 2023. 

A lot too, has been said about the report on 2014 National Conference but not much has been said on the 1999 Ahmed Joda’s Report on Streamlining and Rationalisation of Poverty Alleviation Institutions and Agencies.  The Ahmed Joda’s Report is equally as important as the Steve Oronsaye’s Report. 

The Ahmed Joda’s Panel was set up in June 1999 by President Olusegun Obasanjo. The panel was charged with the responsibility of reviewing the factors responsible for ineffective and inefficient performance of the existing establishments and making recommendations that will ensure the Government’s success in executing programmes to eradicate poverty and raise the standard of living of Nigerians. 

The Chairman of the Panel was Alhaji Ahmed Joda (February 13, 1930-August 13, 2021). He was a long time friend of President Obasanjo. He had his education at the Yola Elementary School, Yola Middle School, Kaduna College, 1945-1948, Pitman’s College, London, 1954-1956; joined Nigerian Broadcasting Service, 1956-1960, senior assistant secretary, later Permanent Secretary, Northern Nigerian Public Service, 1962-1967 and Permanent Secretary , Federal Government, 1967-1978. 

The panel was inaugurated on July 22, 1999 by the then Secretary to the Government of Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette (1939-2019). Other members of the panel were Mrs. Funlayo Adebo-Kiencke, Dr Attahiru Jega, Chike Madueke, Dr. Peter Ogbang, Mallam Oumar Shittien, Alhaji Adamu Yakubu while Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu was the Secretary to the panel. 

The resource persons that helped the panel were Dr Magaji B. Mahmoud, Dr. (Mrs.) Evelyn Onyeozili, Dr. M.S. Kallah, Dr. Abubakar Lamorde, Dr. Ephraim Madu, Engr. A. Liman, Engr. Willy Achukwu, Hajiya Talatu Bashir, Chief (Mrs.) Bisi Ogunleye, Mr. Olubunmi Adetunmbi, Prince Lekan Fadina and Mr. S. O. Eloho of the National Planning Commission.

The next President must take a look on the Panel’s Report on Streamlining and Rationalisation of Poverty Alleviation Institutions and Agencies. 

The Panel has identified Ministries and 18 Institutions/Agencies that have Mandate directly on poverty alleviation.  It has also identified some other institutions that complement the activities of the core poverty alleviation agencies. 

In discharging the responsibility entrusted to it, the Panel used various strategies of data gathering, which include literature review, courtesy calls on State Governors, discussions with officials of State Governments; and project verification visits to States. They also include dialogue with non- Governmental Organisations(NGOs) and International Donor Agencies (IDAs), and a parley with Chief Executives of Federal Government’s poverty alleviation institutions. 

The panel recommended that the ultimate goal of government in dealing with the problem of poverty in Nigeria should be the eradication of absolute poverty in Nigeria, which is achievable, and has been promoted by the United Nations Orgnisation since the World Social Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995. In this regard, the Panel recommended the establishment of an appropriate machinery for coordinating the activities of all agencies, as well as promoting complementation between the activities of the Federal and State Governments. All with a view to achieving the goal of eradicating absolute poverty..
I also doubt whether the President will implement any part of that report before May 29, 2023. The 2014 National Conference was inaugurated by President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on March 17 2014 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Conference was headed by retired Chief Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi from Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State in the Middle-Belt Region of Nigeria.

Other Principal Officers were the Vice Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi who is from Ilesa, Osun State in the South-West Region of Nigeria, while the Secretary was Dr Valerie Azinge from Ukehi near Nsukka in Enugu State in the South-East Region of Nigeria.
Following a plenary session that lasted for weeks, the Conference was broken into 20 committees that included Public Finance and Revenue among others.

All 20 committees indeed submitted their reports and they deliberated upon at the conference. The main Committees were: Devolution of Power Committee, Political Restructuring and Forms of Government National Security; Environment; Politics and Governance; Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform. Social Welfare; Transportation; Agriculture; Society, Labour and Sports; Public Service; Electoral Matters, Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters, Land Tenure Matters and National Boundary. Trade and Investment Committee, Energy; Religion; Public Finance and Revenue Generation, Science, Technology and Development Immigration.

Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi (December 13, 1939-October 21, 2018) had his education at the Elementary School, Kutigi, 1946-1951, Middle School Bida, 1952-1953, Provincial Secondary School, Bida, 1954-1959, Government College, Zaria, 1960-1961, Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1962-1963, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England, 1963-1964, Inns of Court School of Law, London, 1963-1965, Gibson and Weldon College of Law, London, 1964-1965, called to the Bar, Nigeria, July 1966; pupil state counsel, Northern Nigeria, 1966-1968, state counsel North Western State, 1968-1971, senior state counsel, 1971-1973, Principal, state counsel, North Western State, 1973-1974, deputy solicitor general, North Western State, 1974-1975, deputy director, Public Prosecution, April-October, 1975, Chief Registrar, High Court, North Western State, 1975-1976, solicitor general and Permanent Secretary, Nigeria state, April-October 1976, Judge, High Court, 1976, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Niger state, 1976, later appointed Judge, Federal Court of Appeal, 1980. He was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court in 1992 and appointed Chief Justice of the Federation in 2002 by President Olusegun Obasanjo. 

Other members of the National Conference included Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Senator Musa Adede, Mr. James Akpandem, Chief Sola Ebisieni, Barrister Musa Salihu, Khalifa Hassan Yusuf, Chief Olu Falae, Justice Adamu Aliyu, former Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Jambo Gimeta, Justice Peter Akere, Mr Femi FalanaMr. Bisi Adegbuyi, Abubakar Adamu Chika, Mr. Supo Sasore SAN, Chief Ajibola Ogunsola, former Chairman of The Punch Newspaper, Mr. Niyi Akintola, Hajia Ladi Ibrahim, Chief Olusola Akamode, Justice Mamman Nasir, Chief Ken Nnamani, Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Tokunbo Dosunmu Awolowo.

There were also Professor Akin Oyebode, Professor Bisi Aina, Bishop Felix Ajakaye, General Anthony Ukpo(rtd), Senator Jack Tilley Gyado, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyesigha, Professor Dora Akunyili, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Professor A.B.C. Nwosu, Senator Adolphus Wabara, General Alani Akinrinnade, Obong Victor Attah, Justice G.A. Oguntade, Dr. Segun Aina, Mr. John Dara, Dr. Amos Akingba, Senator Femi Okunronmu, Sir Olanihun Ajayi, Mr. Ray Ekpo, Mr. Lanre Ogundipe, Alhaji Mohammed Sanni Zoro, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Dr. Olisa Agbakogba, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja, Hajia Bola Shagaya, Mr. Akin Arikawe, His Royal Highness, Dr Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapaha, Lamido of Adamawa, Daisy Danjuma, Chief Afe Babalola, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Chief Richard Akinjide and others too numerous to mention.

If Steve Oronsaye’s report, the Ahmed Joda’s Report and the Report on the 2014 National Conference have been implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari, the country would have been in a better position today. 
• To be continued tomorrow.