• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Presidency explains exclusion of private sector from economic management team


The Presidency on Thursday  explained the reason behind the exclusion of the private sector in the current Economic Management Team headed by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, stating that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration considers the management of the economy its own responsibility.‎

The presidency also denied reports of ongoing secret recruitment of wards and cronies of top government functionaries by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) and other agencies and parastatals of government describing it as “inaccurate”.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, told journalists at the State House that the government could not afford to leave sensitive decisions in the hands of the private sector hence its exclusion from the economic management team.

‎”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 said.

The Vice President’s media aide however added that the private sector was not totally excluded as other stakeholders such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, had also been engaged by the government.

“For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). There have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and some other economic interests with companies, making presentations.

“But generally, this team 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,” he said.

Asked to put a timeline when Nigerians will begin to feel the impact of the economic team, the Vice President’s media aide said the country was still “dealing mostly with situations that have been caused even before this administration took over power adding that the President and his team have worked hard and planned not only to save cost, or  tighten public expenditure but to also diversify the economy like never before.

” It is taking a while because of the extent of the damage” he said.

On media reports alleging that the cronies of officials of the present government including President Mohammadu Buhari and his vice, had been secretly employed by government agencies described as lucrative.‎

But Akande, told State House correspondents that there was no iota of truth in the reports.

According to him, the government was rather sanitizing the recruitment process and the public service systems to make them more transparent.

“These reports are inaccurate. What we heard is that government is working to ensure that we develop going forward in more transparent process. We are committed in going forward to ensure that some of these procedures are refined, fine-tuned and made to become more transparent,” he said.


Elizabeth Archibong