The Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, a socio-cultural group, on Thursday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for constituting an Economic Advisory Council, EAC, comprising of professionals and academics.
In a statement signed Akin Malaolu, President of the forum, described the constitution as timely and a necessary decision, capable of promoting growth in the economy.
According to the Sociocultural group, the calibre of people that constitute the new team renews people’s hope in Federal government’s promises.
“To achieve possible economic growth, all economic variables well over 200 of them must all be moved up at the same speed so that the prosperity the government promised can begin to show itself.
“The recent initiative of the government to rejig the economic growth of the country is a welcome development.
“We are very comfortable with the calibre of experts so far named’ he said.
The group dismissed speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari might have lost confidence in the ability of Vice -President Yemi Osinbajo- led Economic management Team.
“The rumor going round that Osinbajo may be facing political persecution is unfounded if we placed the health of the nation above politics.
“The old team headed by Vice President Osinbajo must be praised for exiting the nation from the recession, occasioned by years of profligacy and massive corruption.
” The previous administration (post 1999) left the nation wallowing in stunted economic growth,” Malaolu said.
The group urged President Buhari to consider inclusion of national development experts in the economic team.
“The new should have development expert in the mold of Professor Akin Mabogunje included.
“The addition of experts like him will give proper enlightenment on population growth and needs, land use generally and its benefits and the direction of migrants within the nation’s space”.
However, the group disagreed with the increase in Value added tax (VAT), recently announced by the federal government.
“The recent increase in VAT percentage from five per cent to 7.2 per cent will further widen income inequality in the country.
” It can lead to resentments that may force the Nigerian masses to see their government as insensitive to their plight, and we urge government to have a rethink, Malaolu stated.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government, on Monday, appointed an eight-man Economic Advisory Council, to be chaired by Prof Doyin Salami.
Other members include Dr. Mohammed Sagagi (Vice-Chairman), Dr. Mohammed Salish as Secretary.
Members include Prof Ode Ojowu; Dr Shehu Yahaya; Dr Iyabo Masha; Prof Chukwuma Soludo and; Bismark Rewane.
NAN also reports that the federal government has announced plan to increase VAT on some non-essential items from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.
In addition, some commercial banks have been notifying their customers of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive to impose charges on certain categories of Naira cash deposit.