The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has lauded the constitution of an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement on Tuesday by its Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, MAN described the news of the formation of the council as “timely and commendable”.
President Buhari had set up the Council chaired by Professor Doyin Salami, with Dr Mohammed Sagagi as vice chairman and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Development Policy, Dr Mohammed Salisu, as the secretary.
A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr Bismark Rewane, and three others members.
In his reaction, the MAN DG said, “This, by far, is a clear demonstration of the determination of Mr President to re-energise the management of the economy in his second term in office.
“Nigerians, and indeed the private sector, are highly desirous of an effective and knowledge-driven team that will lead on the economic front.”
According to him, the beauty of the team, apart from the pedigree of its members, is its composition of private-sector citizens who they believe will operate independently and effectively.
Ajayi-Kadir is confident that the team would not be shackled with the bureaucracy of government and political interference.
He insisted that the members were more likely to be receptive to a wide range of opinions and innovations, even if deferring from the norm.
“MAN, therefore, propose that the team in partnership with the private sector should carry out a critical and comprehensive review of the current policy initiatives that drive the actions of government and urgently harmonise the outcomes to craft an agenda that will guide the management of the economy going forward,” the MAN DG recommended.
He added, “Already on ground are policy initiatives such as the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the 2020-2022 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy.”
Ajayi-Kadir said it behoved the Council to recommend pragmatic programmes that would improve the achievements already made in some areas such as Ease of Doing Business in the country.
He noted that the EAC came on the heels of the promised National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The AfCFTA, according to the MAN DG, is unarguably the most pressing preoccupation of continental economic actors in Africa.
He, however, believes the right composition of the committee will augur well for the needed synergy with the Council to boost Nigeria’s chances of being net gainers in the continental free trade area.
While they look forward to the prospect, Ajayi-Kadir was hopeful that the EAC’s monthly technical sessions and scheduled quarterly meetings with the President would guarantee the attention of government and implementation of its advice.
He said the organized private sector, particularly MAN, would eagerly engage the Council in a bid to achieve the desired growth and development of the nation’s economy.