Laolu Akande; Abuja
Concerted efforts to address the country’s economic challenges intensified as President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Management Team, EMT, held a consultative forum with a team of notable economic and financial experts at a meeting presided over today by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
At the parley which held at the Presidential Villa, strategies and suggestions on how best to reflate the economy, bring it out of recession and promptly restore growth topped the agenda, with the Vice President expressing the President’s determination to continuously consider and adopt policies that would boost business, increase employment and provide succor to the poor and disadvantaged.
Speaking at the forum, Prof. Osinbajo said “we will continue to engage with experts and other stakeholders so we can measure progress of the economic policies that have been put in place. The challenges are many but the opportunities are much greater, we are clearly on the path to building an economy that will create jobs and ensure inclusive growth.”
The EMT meets weekly and also hold special consultations with members of the private sector and economic experts from time to time.
Experts who attended the four-hour long special meeting were Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Mr. Bode Augusto, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, Dr. Ayo Teriba and Prof. Badayi Sani.
Issues discussed at the consultative forum include the review of the new foreign exchange regime and its effect on the economy as well as the draft Medium Term Economic Framework for 2017-2019. The EMT members and the experts made a plethora of suggestions on how to reflate the economy, especially through massive infrastructural spending with active private sector participation, ensure pro-people economic policies, increase the supply of dollars to the forex market among other issues.
Also speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, Minister for Budget & National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma said “we’ve just finished a special meeting of the economic management team, as you know, we are in the middle of consultations to develop the new mid-term economic framework, M-TEF.”
He further disclosed that the meeting is “part of a comprehensive consultation process that we are embarking on to make sure that we reach out to a wide spectrum of Nigerians to get a feed back in terms of how best to make sure that we come out of this recession.”