In his first detailed published comments on his Economic Management Team, President Muhammadu Buhari has explained the approach and conduct of the team even as he explains his three wishes as president, including ensuring that every of the nation's income is used for the good of the ordinary people, Empowered Newswire reports.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Interview, a monthly publication in its just released July edition, the President said regarding his Economic Team "we will listen to everybody, but we are averse to economic teams whose private sector members frequently steer government policy to suit their own narrow interests rather than the overall national interest."
He said the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is the head of the Economic Management Team and listed some of the members after he was asked about the team's existence. Below is the Q & A as reported in the publication.
Q: You have been criticized for not having an economic team. Don't you think you need one?
A:" What do they mean by team? The Vice President heads our economic management team. You have a finance minister, a budget, and planning minister, a minister for industry, trade & investments, a governor at the Central Bank, a national economic adviser, and others, yet some still ask for a team. I don't know how they define the word, 'team.'
We will listen to everybody, but we are averse to economic teams whose private sector members frequently steer government policy to suit their own narrow interests rather than the over-all national interest."
It would be recalled that the Presidency had disclosed several times that an Economic Management Team does exist and meets at least once a week. The team played leading role in the budgeting process and designed the Strategic Implementation Document once the fiscal document was passed and signed into law.
While the Buhari administration is aversed to interested private sector members, it's Economic Team engages in consultations regularly with different representatives of the private sector and other economic experts including stakeholders in the economy.
Also in the publication, the President was asked what his wish list included as president. He listed three:
1. That we will truly change the way we do things in Nigeria. Therein lies the future of our country as a great entity.
2. A fully diversified Nigerian economy no longer dependent on oil only.
3. A Nigeria where every Naira that comes into the treasury is used for the good of the people, particularly, the ordinary people.