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Replacing EMT with Economic Advisory Council is a mistake — Ezekwesili
FORMER Minister of Education and a presidential candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Oby Ezekwesili has faulted the replacement of Economic Management Team (EMT) with Economic Advisory Council (EAC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari on Monday announced a seven-man EAC team led by Doyin Salami as a replacement for EMT that had been chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
But Ezekwesili in her reaction to the new advisory council in a series of Twitter messages on Tuesday, described the president’s action as a mistake, noting that since the Council of Economic Advisers would meet monthly and then meet the president quarterly, “setting it up as a full replacement of the EMT which should remain as the Technical Team that it should be is a mistake.”
According to her, the proper structure of the EMT should have two levels of hierarchical control, whereby; “An EMT Meeting chaired by the President with his VP as Vice-Chair and its technical meeting chaired by the Minister of Finance with CORE Technical Members.”
She said the combination of such two-layered Structure of the EMT in addition to the intellectual capacity of the appointed EAC would result to, “topmost political power, coordinated internal technical skills and input of external skills.
Speaking on what the council needs to do, Ezekwesili said the “the economy which is currently stuck in a steady state of low-equilibrium growth needs a 24/7 level of engagement of topmost political power (that’s ready to discard outdated and pseudo-socialist ideas), coordinated internal competent skills.
and brilliant external skills.
She however, expressed hope that the newly appointed Economic Advisory Council would be bold enough to inform the president on how he had mismanaged the economy in the last four years.
“The setting up a Council of Economic Advisors is in itself one of the features of the American Presidential system which we copied,” Ezekwesili said.
“Strong membership& that’s really great,” she added.
“I hope the first thing they do is tell the President how he mismanaged the Economy in the last 4 years.”
The former minister insisted that despite Vice President being the chair of now disbanded Economic Management Team, the president was the one managing the economy.
” All those BAD Monetary Policy decisions were made by him,” she argued.
“All those strange Fiscal Policy decisions were made by him. Both the CBN Governor and the Ministers of Finance were not acting based on any Economic Management Team (EMT) decisions. Now at least the pretence is over about Economy.”
She maintained that the “EMT was in reality chaired by the VP who had no power over Core Economic Policy decisions.”
“The other side of the Presidency did not mind having him be the cannon fodder for all the extremely Bad Economic Policy decisions. A President, not VP runs the Economy. I know that”
“Hopefully, our couple of outstanding eggheads that are named to the Council of Economic Advisers will ignore all those genuflecting sycophancy that surrounds @MBuhari and tell him the kind of Truth that annoys them but which must be heard for our Economy to Grow and Prosper,” Ezekwesili said.
The newly appointed team, as announced in a statement on Monday took over from the EMT.
The team would counsel the president on fiscal analysis, economic growth, internal and global economic issues whilst finding better ways to work with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.