Tinubu needs Chief Economic Adviser, visible Management Team — Akande

Tinubu needs Chief Economic Adviser, visible Management Team — Akande

Former presidential spokesman, Laolu Akande, says the Economic Advisory Committee inaugurated last Sunday by President Bola Tinubu is commendable, but not enough, arguing that for a proper and smooth running of the country’s economy, the President should, as a matter of urgency, set up a visible Economic Management Team and name a Chief Economic Adviser.

He spoke during: “My Take segment,”of his weekly programme: “Inside Sources,” on Channels Television on Friday.

The President had on Sunday created an economic advisory committee comprising the federal government, sub-nationals and private sector.

The development came as the falling naira exchange rate, rising inflation and other economic headwinds have continued to worsen the cost of living crisis.

Some of the prominent members of the private sector that made the list include the Chairman of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu; Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; and Chairman of the Bua Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu.

Some Governors such as Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State were also at the last Sunday meeting with the President at the Villa.

Akande, who lauded Tinubu for putting the committee together, however, said the role of an economic advisory committee should not be confused with that of an Economic Management Team.

He said: “Recall that last week, in one of our segments on Inside Sources, we raised the issue of the need for an active and visible Economic Management Team for the Federal Government.

“Interestingly on Sunday, Mr. President invited some top private sector players and some government officials.

“The outcome of that meeting?

“A new tripartite economic advisory committee.

“So the President is doing something to address concerns in the polity regarding hardship.

“But this is where adequate duty of care comes in.

“While the likes of Dangote, Bua and Elumelu are clearly important players in the economy, they don’t necessarily represent the fullness of the public interest.

“But even more importantly, the meeting had no representative from the MSMEs and the small businesses.


“Moreover, this new advisory committee should not be confused with the role of an Economic Management Team.

“It doesn’t seem such a team exists as yet and if it does, the team has done a poor job communicating its role.

“Then a Chief Economic Adviser should be in the Villa, advising Mr. President on day-to-day economic matters and also communicating regularly with the Nigerian people.

“This has not happened.”

Akande also said those in leadership must communicate effectively as these committees and plans are being put in place both at federal and state levels as it will “not make any sense with the Nigerian people now, if they are not properly told how it would directly affect their conditions for the better, and they will remain agitated, frustrated and worried”.

The former presidential aide also said leaders must stop sending conflicting signals to the people.

He said: “With Nigerians partly agitated and partly enraged, this is no time for our leaders to send conflicting signals which produces distrust.

“Again the duty of care warrants our leaders avoid this.

“For instance, this week, the Federal Executive Council brought back to life the 2012 Oronsaye Report.

“It was packaged as a major FG cost-cutting attempt.

“But then this same week, yet another memo from the Villa leaked revealing that the President is visiting Qatar with a main party of almost 40 – and this is not counting the advanced party, which is usually larger. Forty, after the Presidency had announced that the number would not be more than 20.

“So while our leaders are approving the Oronsaye report, whose main philosophy is to cut excesses, we are also continuing in an excessive government lifestyle of large presidential delegations!

“This kind of behaviour by the government will not diminish distrust between them and the people.”

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