Experts Pick Holes in Composition Of Tinubu’s Economic Team

“In terms of the composition, the intellectuals, the experts who are working in this area are not there. What you see are largely government assisted people who are interested in one contract or the other..."

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Experts Pick Holes in Composition Of Tinubu’s Economic TeamSome economic experts on Thursday picked holes in the composition of the economic team set up by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, describing it as flawed.

Tinubu had on Wednesday approved the establishment of the Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC) and the Economic Management Team Emergency Taskforce (EET) to tackle the prevailing economic challenges in the country.

The PECC is made up of President Bola Tinubu as Chairman and Vice-President Kashim Shettima as Vice-Chairman.

Other members are, President of the Nigerian Senate, Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other relevant Ministers.

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The council will also have some members of the organized private sector, joining for a period not exceeding one (1) year, subject to the President’s directive

They are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Ms. Amina Maina, Mr. Begun Ajayi-Kadir among others.

But economic experts who spoke with Daily Trust on Thursday said the composition was flawed, saying it was composed of stakeholders with vested interests.

Ndubisi Nwokoma, a Professor of Economics and the Director, Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research, at the University of Lagos said a professional body like the Nigeria Economic Society would have made a greater impact in the committee.

He said, “The composition of that team is somewhat flawed because these are stakeholders who all have interest in the economy. If you bring in people who have interest, they would protect their own interest, they would protect their own businesses.

“They would be thinking of policies that actually would favour them, nobody would go into a discussion that would work against him.

“I think bringing professional bodies like the Nigerian Economic Society, these are purely intellectuals, people that don’t have any stake who are not business men, who are just looking at the contextual issues and looking at the direction of Government and find out where the government ought to take the economy to and what should be done to get there.”

He expressed concern that the country’s economy has been consumption based, saying, “In terms of where the economy should go, I think fundamentally we have gotten it wrong as a country, I think we need to look at the fundamental issues in terms of the structure of the economy.”

Also speaking, Professor Adeola Adenikinju of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan and Vice-President of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) while hailing the composition of the committee as timely however raised issues with the composition.

According to him, the committee is composed of largely government assisted people who are going to benefit from the expected policies they are coming up with.

“Every government needs to have a body of experts to advise them on the efficacy of policies put in place and what are the new policies to ensure the economy works better.

“In terms of the composition, the intellectuals, the experts who are working in this area are not there. What you see are largely government assisted people who are interested in one contract or the other. So they are not going to be neutral in terms of the advice they are going to give. There is a likelihood that they would want to protect their interest. You don’t have lecturers, you don’t have the Nigerian Economic Society who are on the intellectual side of the society.”

 

Daily Trust