Economic team: Why Buhari shut out private sector - Akande

Eyebrows have been raised in the past over the composition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team 

Economic experts have bemoaned the fact that the private sector is not represented in the team 

The presidency has explained why the private sector was exempted 

The presidency has explained why the private sector is not carried along in the composition of its economic team.

Speaking on the issue yesterday, July 7, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande said the responsibility of managing the nation’s economy remained purely that of government.

Vice President Osinbajo heads the economic team. Others include ministers of finance; Mrs Kemi Adeosun, trade, industry and investment; Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, budget and national planning; Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, information; Alhaji Lai Mohammed and agriculture; Chief Audu Ogbeh.

Some other members of the team are the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mr Godwin Emiefiele, the director-general of the Debt Management Office, Dr Abraham Nwankwo and some permanent secretaries who have relevant functions to play in reviving the economy.

“We have to understand that the attitude of this Presidency is to consider the management of the economy as a government responsibility.

“It is not something that this government believes should be done by bringing in some of the private interests into the economic team to take a decision that they will be directly involved with.

“So, our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” Akande told journalists during an interview.

He however explained that the private sector was not totally excluded as stakeholders such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), had been engaged by the government.

His words: “For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with MAN. There have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the NESG and some other economic interests with companies, making presentations.

 “But generally, this thing is a government team and the team has been able to set out before the budget trying to figure out what the budget ought to focus on.

After the budget was presented and eventually signed, there was also the publication of the strategic implementation plan which was produced in a reader friendly format.

“All of these are the outcomes of what Economic Management Team does and it is also in the team that you have the heap of the whole physical and monetary policy and don’t forget that the monetary policy is always the duty and responsibility of the Central Bank which is an economic arm of government.”
Meanwhile, economic experts say Nigeria would have lost N138 billion by the time activities resume today, July 8 after a three day break due to the Eid el-Fitr holiday declared by the federal government.

The reason for this is there were scheduled treasury bills auction estimated at N94 billion, as well as N44 billion treasury bills maturity for the week, which the three-day break have put off.

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