The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the formation of an Economic Advisory Council.
The commendation was contained in a statement signed by MAN’s director-general, Mr Muda Yusuf, on Tuesday, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent.
It said 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.
Recall that the president on Monday replaced the Economic Management Team with the EAC.
The replaced EMT was chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
The VP and the EMT hitherto met every Monday.
The new EAC Buhari named on Monday had Prof Doyin Salami as the chairman.
Other members are Dr Mohammed Sagagi (vice-chairman); Prof Ode Ojowu; Dr Shehu Yahaya; Dr Iyabo Masha; Prof Chukwuma Soludo; Mr Bismark Rewane; and Dr Mohammed Adaya Salisu (Secretary).
The announcement of the EAC, which was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, read partly, “This advisory council will replace the current Economic Management Team and will be reporting directly to the President.
“The Economic Advisory Council 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 MAN said Nigerians and indeed the organised private sector were highly desirous of such an effective and knowledge-driven team to provide the lead on the economic front.
The statement read in part, “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.
Describing the AfCFTA as the most pressing preoccupation of continental economic actors in Africa, it stated the right composition of the committee would augur well for the right synergy with the council to boost Nigeria and Nigerians’ chances of being net gainers in the continental free trade area.