The Presidency on Thursday gave reasons why the Economic Management Team headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has no private sector representation.
Similar economic teams in the past administrations usually have private sector representatives on such government team.
In an interview with journalists in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said that the administration considers the management of the Nigerian economy as government’s responsibility.
According to him, the government did not believe in having private sector representation in the economic team, which will make them part of decisions that will directly benefit from.
He said: “We have to understand that the attitude of this Presidency is to consider the management of the economy as a government responsibility. It is not something that this government believes should be done by bringing in some of the private interests into the economic team to take a decision that they will be directly involved with.
“So our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” he added.
But he explained that the private sector is not completely left out as other stakeholders are regularly engaged by the government.
He said: “For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
There have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and some other economic interests with companies, making presentations.
“But generally, this thing is a government team and the team has been able to set out before the budget trying to figure out what the budget ought to focus on. After the budget was presented and eventually signed, there was also the publication of the strategic implementation plan which was produced in a reader friendly format.
“All of these are the outcomes of what Economic Management Team does and it is also in the team that you have the heap of the whole physical and monetary policy and don’t forget that the monetary policy is always the duty and responsibility of the Central Bank which is an economic arm of government,” he added.
Noting that the past administrations did not save money for the raining day, he said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been working hard to rebuild the economy.
He said that the administration has already changed the direction of the Nigerian economy and that Nigerians will soon start seeing better things from the government.
He also disclosed that the social welfare schemes of the administration were slightly delayed due to delay in the passage of the 2016 Budget.
Akande also denied the reports claiming that illegal recruitments were going on in some government agencies Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
“Some of these reports are inaccurate. What we heard is that government is working to ensure that we develop going forward in more transparent process. We are committed in going forward to ensure that some of these procedures are refined, fine-tuned and made to become more transparent,” he said.