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Buhari’s early rejig of team will inspire confidence in economy

President Muhammadu Buhari
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If President Muhammadu Buhari re-jigs his economic management team early in his second term, his government may yet inspire some level of confidence in the Nigerian economy, market analysts say.
The 76-year-old Nigerian President was re-elected for a second term in the February 23 presidential election, defeating his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with a margin of almost 4 million votes.
Some analysts have earlier expressed apprehension that the economy may likely work on the same level of last four years if Buhari is re-elected but they are comforted with the promise by the President to restructure his cabinet for better economic performance.
Mid last year, Nigeria wobbled, which saw it becoming the nation with the highest number of extremely poor people globally according to a report by Brookings Institution.
According to the report, the number of Nigerians in extreme poverty increases by six people every minute. This has to be reversed with good economic managers, the analysts say.
Buhari, who was declared winner of the February 23 presidential election, promised during a victory dinner organised for the All Progressives Congress Women and Youth Campaign Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on March 2 that only credible persons with proven character would be appointed into office in his second term.
The President in another development also promised to re-jig the police and judiciary for better results in the fight against corruption, if re-elected.
John Ehiguese, CEO of MediaCraft, a public relations agency who assesses the last three and half years, agrees that it is necessary the President re-jigs his cabinet and appoints technocrats who will drive the fledging economy forward.
“It will be necessary to alter his team to inspire the needed hope,” Ehiguese says. The communication consultant who is also the president of Public Relations Consultants Association however says the new appointments will depend on their quality and their performance in the short and long run.
Assessing possible impact of the proposed restructuring of Buhari economic team, Kayode Oluwasona, former president of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), says the re-jigging of the team is long overdue, asking, “Does it mean that the administration has not embarked on performance review for four years? The re-jigging should have been carried out since.”
Oluwasona believes that a new look cabinet with quality managers will affect the economy positively. The hope on the economy is likely to be similar to 2015 when economic indices looked northwards after the elections.
Following the declaration of Buhari as the winner of the presidential election in 2015 and the immediate acceptance of the result by Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian stock market recorded a big rise.
It was reported that at the close of trading then, the market capitalisation of the listed equities surged by N904 billion or 8.4 percent from N10.717 trillion to N11.621 trillion, with the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index also rising by 8.4 percent or 2,635.32 points to close at 34,380.14 points.

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