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Published On: Fri, Oct 4th, 2019

Economic advisory council: a way out of the doldrums

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By Musa Ilallah

The Muhammadu Buhari administration has once more made its intentions very clear to political jobbers, wailers and other pessimists in the country and abroad that its Next Level agenda in his second term in office is not just another political slogan but another strategic policy measure aimed at taking the dividends at of democracy to the door steps of all Nigerians regardless of faith, region or zone.
Just recently, President Buhari constituted a brand new Economic Advisory Council, EAC that will give direction to the country’s economic agenda. The 8-man council, to be headed by a renowned Economist, Professor Doyin Salami has experts in macroeconomics, monetary policy development theory and financial markets and academicians among others as members. Members of the committee are Dr Mohammed Sagagi, Vice Chairman, Professor Ode Ojowu, Dr Shehu Yahaya, Dr Iyabo Masha, Professor Chukuma Soludo, Mr Bismark Rewane, Dr Mohammed Adaya Salisu as Secretary.
The news of a constitution of a new Council was conveyed in a statement signed by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina. The Council will replace the current Economic Management Team headed by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and will report directly to the President as an advisory on economic policy matters, economic growth, and a wide range of internal and global economic issues with conjunction with cabinet members and heads of government heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.
Though the constitution of the Council, as usual, was received with mixed feelings, however a good number of professionals in economy, policy, finance and other fiscal backgrounds acknowledged the fact that in addition to being timely, the action aws apt and expressed the hope that it will the aspirations and yearnings of Nigerians to have a sound and enduring economic policy in place in the country. Others however see it differently. Some politicians have since started peddling ambers of division in the Presidency targeted at witling the powers of the VP as Nigeria nears 2023. Nothing can be further from the truth than this. Whoever knows President Buhari very well and the cordial working relationship that had existed and still existing between PMB and his VP knows that PMB does not rule this country by sentiments. The action one can authoritatively say and without any fear of contradiction is that the action is to help the President in his drive to stir the country’s economy positively.
The Nigerian Press and also some foreign Press went to town with commendations for this economic policy direction put forward by President Buhari
Surprisingly, a former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and now Emir of Kano, Sir Muhammadu Sanusi joined the league of Nigerians who see a sense in the constitution of the Council which he described as ‘an assemblage of first class by all standards’. While commending the PMB administration for the action, Emir Sanusi by expressing confidence in members of the team, he described the President’s action as the single most important move by the President.
At least for the first time, the Emir of Kano further described the action as one which holds great potentials for turning Nigeria’s economy around.
Prior to this action, specifically during the first tenure of the PMB administration, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo was in the driver’s seat of running the economy of the country largely due to the magnanimity of President Buhari, he gave his VP the space to run the country’s economy as the Chairman of its Economic Management Team. However, Vice President Osibanjo still remains as the Chairman of the country’s National Economic Council, NEC which draws members from all the 36 state governors, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Governor of CBN, Minister of Finance and other government officials whose duties hinge on the economy of the country and have a constitutional mandate to steer the economy of the country as a statutory responsibility. The council is also charged with deliberating and coordinating of the country’s economic programmes of the various tiers of governance.
No matter what the wailers will say, President Buhari has once more proved his determination to make the strategic difference of laying a solid foundation for a sound economic base for the country having been squandered by the 16 years of the PDP misrule. He is therefore more determined now than ever before to make of the economy work for the good of all not a few selfish elites who loot the resources of the country while a big majority of the populace continue to live in squalor.
For President Buhari, his commitment has been and will continue unwavering towards making Nigeria a country for all and sundry and not for just a few selfish elites in the society. This remains his bond he signed with the Nigerian electorates before his first term commenced in 2015 and on February 23, 2019.
The EAC as it were is undoubtedly another milestone in the PMB next level forward march sojourn into a more prosperous Nigeria.

Ilallah wrote in from
EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET, ABUJA, and is reachable.

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