The Economic Advisory Council has raised concerns that the rate of the growth of the economy is slower than the rate the country’s population is growing.
The Professor Doyin Salami-led eight-member council voiced the concerns yesterday while submitting their report to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Salami, supported by interventions by council members, responded to questions by the president and his team in which they outlined a number of challenges facing the economy and proferred solutions to most of them.
The council stressed the need to strengthen national statistical agencies; reform procurement processes; improve education; and the need for job planning in training offered by academic institutions.
The economic team also brought to the government their views on borrowing, macroeconomic stability and the need to provide a friendly climate for foreign investment.
“We need an environment that will attract investment. People will come only when they feel confident and when they come, their exit will not be challenging,” said Salami.
The council resolved to focus on legacy projects by the administration before 2023.
Buhari, while receiving the briefing by the coucil, gave firm commitment that his administration will be bound by their advice on economy related matters.
He gave the first directive on their recommendations that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, addressed immediately the observed lapses in coordination between ministries and all agencies of government.
He said: “The lack of synergy between ministries, departments and agencies would no longer be accepted. We are working for the country, not for personal interests. We have the same objective of service to the people and we will resolve this.”
Buhari, who reviewed the work of the council since its inauguration on October 9, 2019 to replace the Economic Management Team, said,
He said: “The economy is the most delicate and sensitive of all aspects of national life. A little change in the matrix can lead to major disruptions in the national economy. For example, international changes in oil prices, bad harvests, conflicts in strategic global locations, a major epidemic or pandemic like the current Coronavirus, tariff changes in major world economies, to mention only a few examples that readily come to mind, can significantly affect our plans.”
President Buhari, who agreed that the EAC briefs him more frequently; at least once every six weeks, thanked the members for their “patriotism and commitment in accepting the challenging responsibilities conferred on them”.
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