Financial experts have lauded the new economic advisory team constituted by the Federal Government and tasked them on realignment of fiscal and monetary policies.
While reacting to new Economic Advisory Council (EAC) constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Tella Sheriffdeen, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, commended the team’s formation.
“It is hopeful that they will consider the need for the country to have a long-term national plan.
“The citizens need to know where the country should be in 2050 and how we will get there in terms of the resources.
“Even in the short and medium term, they should quickly look at where we are and how to reshape policies to take us in the right direction.
“The issue of current level of consumption, investment, government spending and revenue, the international economy must be looked into to fast forward growth of the economy with the next budget year and beyond,” Tella said.
Mr Sola Oni, a Chartered Stockbroker & Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications, said that one could heave a sigh of relief with the composition of the team.
Oni said that the team’s preoccupation was to offer the Federal Government realistic measures to revive the country’s ailing economy.
“The team should come up with appropriate policy framework to align fiscal and monetary policies, especially where there are disconnects.
“The members should address the issue of domestic fund mobilisation through measures such as realistic interest rates on domestic savings, holistic integration of informal activities into formal sector and more efficient banking and insurance sectors,” Oni said.
He said that the team should also propose strategy for easy access to domestic credits by investors and provision of relevant incentives for domestic and foreign investors.
Oni urged the members to conduct impact analysis on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) for enhanced implementation.
He called for engagement with the capital market regulators and operators to identify measures to leverage the capital market to boost economic growth and development.
“The team should reverse the recent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) without further delay as it will do more harm than good in the present circumstance,” he said.
Mr Moses Igbrude, the Publicity Secretary, the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria ( ISAN), called for articulation of policies and strategies aimed at increasing productivity, especially in the agricultural sector.
Igbrude said that emphasis should be on infrastructural development, for easy movement of goods and services.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer InvestData Ltd, said the economic team’s inauguration, though a welcome development, was long over due.
“The team is expected to make sure there is coordination between the fiscal and monetary policy with their wealth of knowledge and experience in economic development,” Omordion said.
He said that ERGP should be reviewed to trigger economic activities and development, noting that budgetary approach and implementation style should be another source of concern to the team.
Malam Shehu Mikali, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said the team, if given free hand, would bring turnaround to the economy.
Mikali said that government should ensure implementation of the good economic policies expected from the team.
He said that the country would feel the impact of the team if government would be willing to listen and adhere to their suggestions and ensure prompt actions when necessary.
Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd, said the team’s establishment confirmed government’s desire to take the economy to the next level.
Kurfi said that the entire members of the team were professional economists with diverse areas of specialisation and exposure.
“The number and formation is impressive and different from what we had in the past; we are hopeful that the president will get his priority right,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s constitution of an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to replace the current Economic Management Team (EMT) was confirmed by Mr Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said the Council would be reporting directly to the President.
Adesina said the EAC, which will be chaired by Prof. Doyin Salami, would advise the President on economic policy matters.
He said this would include 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,’’ he said.
According to the statement, Dr Mohammed Sagagi and Dr Mohammed Adaya Salisu (Senior Special Assistant to the President, Development Policy) will serve as Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Council respectively.
Other members of the Council are Prof. Ode Ojowu, Dr Shehu Yahaya, Dr Iyabo Masha, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Mr Bismark Rewane.