Why private sector can’t be in economic team – Presidency
The Presidency says private sector players will not be members of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT) under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The economic team, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is the federal government’s think-thank responsible for the formulation of the nation’s economic policy direction.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, yesterday said the Presidency considered the management of the economy a government responsibility.
“It’s 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’ll be directly involved with. So, our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” Akande said in an interview with journalists.
Akande, who said the economic team had been constantly engaging relevant stakeholders, added: “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 readerfriendly format.
“All of these are the outcomes of what the economic management team does and it’s also in the team that you’ve the heap of the whole physical and monetary policies. The team meets every Monday and makes proposals and suggestions to the president. But then, the team is actually like an adhoc committee of the Federal Executive Council, and that’s why we don’t throw a lot of media around it because it’s a committee meant to advise Mr. President.
“So, the team, for instance, defined six themes around the economy and used that to build the budget and reflate the economy. The first is policy, governance and security including ensuring a stable and predictable currency exchange rate and securing the nation. The second one is diversification which includes achieving targeted self sufficiency in agriculture produce and increasing private sector investments.
“The third is infrastructure development which includes the completion of several NIPPs, the Lagos -Calabar coastal railway, among others. Oil and gas reform is the fourth one and it includes privatisation of refineries and ensuring gas availability to power the plants. The ease of doing business is the fifth. The last is the social investment meant to assuage unemployment pains, development of human capacity, improve school enrolment,” he said.