Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
THE Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) was on Tuesday directed to develop more strategies that will put the country on a sound economic lever.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive during a virtual audience he granted the Prof Doyin Salami-led PEAC.
The President, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, expressed appreciation to the council for the outstanding support and guidance it had been providing, which he described as a ‘tutorial’.
He said: “We are a country characterised by a large population of poor people, serious infrastructure deficit, lack of housing and a vulnerable economy now haunted by the COVID-19 pandemic and collapse of the oil sector and its effect on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Making a presentation to the President, the Council commended the administration for implementing several of its recommendations, even as it presented the government with a number of tough choices to make in order to put the economy on a higher growth path.
Prof. Salami, who led the presentation, specifically expressed delight with the ongoing review of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2020 Budget in view of the disruptions caused by COVID-19; the deregulation of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); approval for the implementation of the Oronsaye Report on the need to rationalise and restructure federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as well as the adjustment of the exchange rate of the naira.
He, however, noted that more needed to be done to increase efficiency, coordination and accountability on the part of MDAs.
The PEAC welcomed the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) produced by the Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and adopted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
It, however, warned that in the implementation of the N2.3 trillion spending plan, there could arise a number of problems which if unattended, could hamper smooth implementation.