The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the formation of an Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
MAN’s Director-General, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said in a statement issued yesterday that the formation was timely and reflected Buhari’s determination to re-energise the management of the economy.
MAN, however, called for the urgent review of some of the current economic policies of the government.
MAN said Nigerians and the organised private sector were highly desirous of such an effective and knowledge-driven team to provide the lead on the economic front.
“The news of the formation of an Economic Advisory Council is both timely and commendable. 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.”
It added that the beauty of this team, apart from their pedigree, was their private sector/citizen composition and their independence.
It stated, “They are not shackled with the bureaucracy of government and hopefully the political interference and correctness of our clime. They are more likely to be receptive to a wide range of opinions and innovations, even if deferring from the norm.”
The MAN urged the EAC to do a critical and comprehensive review of the current policy initiatives ‘that drive the actions of government and immediately do the needful to harmonise the outcomes and craft an agenda that will guide the management of the economy going forward.”
It listed some of them to include Nigeria’s Industrial Revolution Plan, Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council and the 2020-2022 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy.
MAN suggested that the EAC should work in tandem with the proposed National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
On its part, LCCI, in a statement issued by its Director General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said the EAC is a welcome development which will help to give the desired direction to the nation’s economic management.
“The stature, pedigree and the independence of the members of the council are clearly not in doubt. They are tested technocrats.
“At a time like this, the economy needs such a team to pull the economy back from the brink. The management of the Nigerian Economy needs to be anchored on tested economic principles that will propel sustainable growth and development. The economy craves a critical mass of private sector investment to stem the current slide and declines in the economy. We need to boost the confidence of investors for such private capital flows to happen. The economy desires policies that are coherent, consistent, coordinated, synchronised and transparent. The economy should be managed in such a way to harness the bountiful entrepreneurial energies and resourcefulness of the Nigerian people,” LCCI explained.
“Meanwhile, hard choices are inevitable to ensure that we build an economy that is sustainable, diversified and inclusive. We appeal to the President to give the Advisory Council ample scope, responsibility and authority to provide the much needed guidance and advice on policy choices. We are convinced that the content and structure of economic policy will be greatly enriched if this happens. This is the time to accelerate reforms, ensure fiscal consolidation, enthrone a market driven foreign exchange policy and promote a trade policy regime that is in consonance with the potentials and competitiveness of the Nigerian economy,” the LCCI added.