Why I excluded private sector from economic team – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says he excluded private sector players from his administration’s economic management team in order to prevent them from steering government policies to suit their own “narrow interests.”
In his response to those accusing him of not having an economic management team, Buhari said he already had one headed by his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, quoted Buhari as saying this in an exclusive interview in The Interview magazine.
Akande made the excerpts from the interview available to State House correspondents yesterday.
The president said while his government would still listen to everyone, it was averse to making private sector individuals members of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT).
“We will listen to everybody, but we are averse to economic teams whose private sector members frequently steer government policy to suit their own narrow interests rather than the over-all national interest,” he said.
Asked if he thought he needed an economic management having been criticised for not having one, Buhari responded: “What do they mean by team? The vice president heads our economic management team.
“You have a finance minister, a budget and planning minister, a minister for industry, trade and investments, a governor of the Central Bank, a national economic adviser and others. Yet, some still ask for a team. I don’t know how they define the word team,” he added.
The vice president’s spokesman recalled that the Presidency had disclosed several times that an economic management team existed and met at least once a week.
He said the team played a leading role in the budgeting process and designed the strategic implementation document once the fiscal document was passed and signed into law.
He said though the Buhari administration was averse to interested private sector members, its economic team regularly consulted with different representatives of the private sector and other stakeholders.
Buhari was also quoted as unveiling his wish list in the interview thus: “One, we will truly change the way we do things in Nigeria, therein lies the future of our country as a great entity. Two, a fully diversified Nigerian economy no longer dependent on oil only, three, a Nigeria where every Naira that comes into the treasury is used for the good of the people, particularly the ordinary people.”