Concerns over appointment of ‘capitalists’ in Tinubu’s Economic Advisory Committee

THERE are concerns over President Bola Tinubu’s appointment of notable Nigerian ‘capitalists’ into his economic advisory team, as experts argued that the job could create a conflict of interests for the appointees.

Experts said their loyalty would be more to their businesses than advising the government on the common good.

Investopedia describes capitalism as an economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods. At the same time, business owners (capitalists) employ workers (labour) who receive only wages; labour doesn’t own the means of production but instead uses them on behalf of the owners of capital.

President Tinubu, on February 25, inaugurated the Economic Advisory Committee to support his government with ideas on how to address myriads of problems confronting the economy.

Specifically, the committee was set up to support the government in tackling economic challenges facing the nation. The President charged the committee to come up with a policy framework that would help the economy to rebound.

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This move by the government elicited reactions from industry analysts and other Nigerians.

While some described the decision as an afterthought given the current hardships bedevilling the country, some said it was a welcome development despite concerns over capitalists that made up the team.

“You cannot advise the government from outside the government. Let me ask again, what will Dangote do differently? This is someone who uses government waivers for his benefits. What sorts of advice can he give to the government?,” a resource governance expert, Henry Ademola Adigun queried.

He challenged the governors in the team, asking what they had done differently in their respective states.

Governors Charles Soludo and Dapo Abiodun of Anambra and Ogun states are on the team.

Speaking on the current problems confronting the economy, Adigun linked it to a result of bad policies.

“You don’t have bad habits over the years and all of a sudden expect that the problems would end overnight,” he said.

He added “We were subsidising petrol, the dollar, electricity, and everything we couldn’t afford. The problem is not a subsidy, the problem is subsidising what you could not afford.”

“You have an economy where the former government violated the ways and means laws. What President Tinubu is doing is what he can only do at the moment.”



    Commenting on Tinubu’s economic team from a different perspective, Ken Ife, a professor of Economics, described the committee as an excellent move by the Tinubu administration.

    “It’s a positive signal to the markets. You have the captains of industry and the organised private sector, the key sector champions, finance, and banking. It’s a partnership framework which includes all the local players,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Nigeria is currently being confronted with currency problems and double-digit inflation of almost 30 per cent.

    This has forced food prices to be almost out of the reach of the average Nigerian, a major concern that has caused labour protests in several states across the federation.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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