Nigeria: Buhari Constitutes Economic Advisory Council

Buhari sets up Economic Advisory Council to help him on advise on economic policy matters.
17 September 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted an Economic Advisory Council, EAC, to replace Economic Management Team headed by Vice PresidentYemi Osinbajo.

Analysts said, last night, that the dissolution of Economic Management Team, led by Osinbajo, automatically removes the vice president as head of the Economic Management Team, which he enjoyed throughout the fist tenure of the administration.

The council is to be headed by Prof. Doyin Salami, a senior lecturer at Lagos Business School and former member of Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

A statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said the council will report directly to the President.

Other members of the committee are Mohammed Sagagi (Vice-chairman); Ode Ojowu, Shehu Yahaya, Iyabo Masha, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Bismark Rewane.

Mohammed Adaya Salisu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Development Policy, will serve as Secretary of the team.

The statement read: "The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.

"The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the president. The chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises."

The development signals a clear departure from the Federal Government's position in the first term of Buhari's administration where economic policy articulation was largely divergent and the president operated without a National Economic Adviser.

Many public policy analysts believed that the situation contributed to forcing the nation's economy into recession and the inability of the economy to rise from the recession into sustained growth.

As a result of the haphazard approach, the economy hit its worst performance at -2.341 percent in October 2016. Though recovery to positive territory was achieved in 2017, Gross Domestic Product, GDP, numbers have been sluggish at below 2.0 percent consistently, with the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, showing 1.94 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

It is believed that with quality of the membership of the team, some elements of astuteness would be brought into the handling of the many challenges of the Nigerian economy, if the government and the public policy executives cooperate with the Council.

Some summary of the profile of the Council members are as follows:

Soludo, a Professor of Economics, was the Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2004 and 2009. He is a member of the British Department for International Development, DFID's International Advisory Group.

Rewane is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited in Lagos. He has more than thirty years experience as an economist, banker and financial analyst. He is a chartered member of the Institute of Bankers of England and Wales and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Bankers.

Mohammed Sagagi is a Political Economy and Conflict Analysis Manager at MAFITA - DFID-funded Northern Nigeria Skills Training Programme. Sagagi who has Ph.D Economics from University of Warwick, was formerly Director General/CEO, Jigawa State Investment Promotion Agency (InvestJigawa).

Ode Ojowu is a Professor of Economics and a former Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission/Chief Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo 2004 and 2005.

Shehu Yahaya with Ph.D in Industrial Economics from University of Sussex is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN) and previously the bank's Interim Managing Director.

He has held several management and executive roles, including Executive Director at African Development Bank and member, Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Iyabo Masha is the International Monetary Fund, IMF's, Resident Representative for Sierra Leone.

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